Food Resolutions 2016

Food Resolutions 2016 - Vegetal MattersNow is the time resolvers are furiously compiling lists, joining gyms, starting the Whole30, or partaking in a dreaded juice cleanse. Drastic lifestyle change isn’t what I’m after at the turn of the year, but more a reflection on the last twelve months and plans for development. While it is a little ridiculous to think we should only start improving ourselves once January rolls around, the communal embrace of change and betterment is certainly inspiring.

Last year I wrote about my food resolutions and would like to uphold the tradition.  I did embrace simpler cooking (though that could still stand to be on the list) and read recipes more thoroughly (some of the time). I actually read Gulp. and More Home Cooking, a different book by Wendell Berry (which almost counts) and the other two are sitting on my bookshelf patiently waiting for me.

This year I want to be better at cooking with others. Cooking is my hobby (ok, obsession), and I love all aspects of the process. I also like to be in control of all aspects of the process. But socializing is important, and I think it could do me some good to let others help out more in the kitchen.

I will stop being afraid of fermenting. I’ve had a languishing sour dough starter my sister generously gifted to me in the fridge for about a year and barely used it (shame on me!). She’s also started making kimchi which is spicy, sour, and crunchy in just the right combination. I’ve taken The Art of Fermentation out of the library, and completely overwhelmed by all it contains, returned it barely read. I’ve been reading Phickle and other blogs that dabble in fermenting. It’s time to stop watching and reading and start doing.

I will waste less in the kitchen. Always planning recipes means I sometimes buy an ingredient for one recipe and then don’t always remember to use it up. So I’ve started leaving a night of the week with dinner unplanned to use up any scraps in the fridge. Plus this allows for a bit more improvisation. Tonight, for instance, as I type lentil soup is bubbling away. It is in the single digits out and my plan for dinner was not appropriate for the weather, so items from the pantry and fridge all came together for a needed, warming soup.

Besides the books that rolled over from my list above, these are queued up for 2016:

The End of Food by Paul Roberts.

The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher. This is actually five separate books, and so far I’ve read Serve It Forth.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan. I read this when it first came out, but it needs a reread for some discussion here.

Other food related books I should add to my list? Food resolutions from your kitchens?

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