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Some New Resolutions

With the start of the new year, it is time to go through last year’s resolutions and see how I managed to do. Then, I need to figure out what sounds like good projects to start for this year. It’s a nice sort of “house cleaning” project, even if I never really do make it through all of them.

Here’s how last year went on a scale of 1 to 10 of achieving my goals:

1. Keep a closer watch on those “things in the back of the fridge” so that fewer foods go bad before their expiry dates and turn into missing science experiments
Result – 7. Yep, managed to do that. Of course a few folks who came to visit said that it was surprising how little food I keep in my fridge for how much I love to cook.

2. Make those recipes that I’ve been pulling from magazines and sort through the ever-growing pile of interesting ideas
Result – 5. So-so. What I did end up doing was not to pull as many recipes from magazines as I had in the past and to cull the ones that I had that were duplicates.

3. Check spices for freshness – don’t end up with anything in the cabinet that looks like old
Result – 8. I made it a mission to use up spices that I had had on hand for a while which also meant that I was able to tackle goal #2, as I then had to look for new recipes in which to use them.

4. Go through my cookbooks and use more recipes from them (and donate or get rid of the ones I will never use)
Result – 7. I got my cookbooks (and other books) out of storage this past year and just cleared them out. What I kept were the classics and some favorites that have given me some reliable recipes. The rest, I sold to a second-hand book store and ended up with some extra cash.

5. Learn new culinary techniques – broaden my skills set
Result – 2. I’m not sure that I really ended up learning anything new, but I did work on my crêpes-making for a post in August in honor of Julia Child’s birthday.

6. Try more restaurants to which I’ve never been and revisit ones I haven’t been to in a while
Result – 4. Again, a bit of a mixed bag here. I did make it to some new places and to a few extra street fairs, but I didn’t make it back to some of the places that I’d been to years ago to see how they are doing.

7. Visit some of the other great food markets in the city – Essex Street, Arthur Avenue, Jackson Heights, etc.
Result – 0. No excuse here. Laziness, lack of motivation. I do need to manage to make it to these at some point.

8. Work on my food photography skills
Result – 5. I have managed to figure some things out and have tried to take better photos, but I still feel like I need to work on a few other things.

9. Blog more and have fewer gaps in posting
Result – 6. I did post more in 2007 than in 2006 but there were some times that I just couldn’t get there. It didn’t help when the cable service was accidentally cut off either.

10. Attempt to make mayonnaise again!
Result – 0. Maybe this is another one for the books for 2008!

Here’s my look ahead at what’s in store for this new year:

1. Eat more whole grains – try to find some great new recipes using these
2. Snack better and try not to cave into the 3:30 p.m. sugar craving to head for the closest snack machine (it’s 4 floors away from where I sit)
3. Practice portion control – don’t let the lunchtime blood sugar slump take over and drive me to heap my cafeteria tray with lots of calorie-laden, starchy food
4. Throw out duplicate recipes – test to find out the definitive version to keep for my files
5. Keep recipe pulling from magazines under control
6. Start a book of Family Favorites recipes to share with my siblings – test and update them
7. Make a binder of my own favorite “Keeper” recipes, with photos
8. Take cooking courses to improve my skills and knowledge
9. Cook more dishes from the books that I already have
10. And, most of all….I will not be jealous of the guy in my office who got Bacon of the Month as a present for Christmas!

Buon appetito!