Thursday, December 31, 2009

Update on Thursday 13 New Year's Edition 2008

Here's what I said I'd do last year on New Year's Eve, mostly relative to cooking and blogging.

How did I do? Hmmm, not too badly. Not stellar, rock-star, spot on, but somewhere in the acceptable range. (I can just hear Seth parroting back to me my little Yoda mantra: "There is no try. There is only do or do not." Or some such nonsense that sounds like it would come from me. Ha.)

1. Continue to blog about food, but get healthier along the way. Gradual steps toward whole foods, less processed, for the whole family. Check. Some weeks have been a little light, but I'm still here!

2. Be experimental in the kitchen. Perfect the omelette--either using Bittman's method or Pepin's, or maybe I'll come up with something all my own... Finally make my own marshmallows. And madeleines. And lavender lemonade (with my own lavendar). Did the omelette thing, did the lavendar lemonade. Experimented a bunch... didn't always blog about it. Sigh.

3. Find more local sources for foods and ingredients. Shop where local sources are promoted. Yep. Eggs, produce, meat. Thankfully we have more sources now than ever.

4. Make a grocery budget and stick to it. Stop the spontaneous and impulse purchases, which are rarely worth it. This one I did better in the first half of the year. Then I relaxed a wee tad. Need to step up the awareness again.

5. Expand the repertoire of foods Seth can cook on his own. He will have input on this, of course, but it's time to move beyond scrambled eggs and pesto to some of his more ambitious tastes like choux pastry (cream puffs!) and gelato (those were his two first requests). Note the sweet tooth; this apple did not fall far from the tree! But I'm also looking for him to be more self-sufficient in the kitchen, less dependant on "Mom, I'm hungry, what is there to eat?" This one needs to stay on the list. We kinda fell down on this one...

6. More and improved home gardening to expand our local food sources! I need to be more consistent in the care of the garden all the way through the season and preserve the overflow. (I have a tendency toward giving up around the middle of July--pathetic I know--when it hits 105 degrees in Walla Walla and I'm all about shade and air conditioning.) This was the best year yet for the garden. Produced more, and preserved more. Onward and upward for next summer!

7. Get recipes posted to foodgawker and/or tastespotting. Join foodbuzz. Be a part of the food blogging community. Um, yeah. Tried once with tastespotting, got rejected and promptly went to sleep on this goal. Ready to hit it again. Did join foodbuzz, however, just not very active...

8. Figure out a way to get the fig trees growing/living/thriving and not eaten by Ruby. This may prove to be the most challenging goal of 2009! Check. Put one outside the fence. Genius, eh? Here's hoping it makes it through the cold...

9. Continue to work on recipes that are in my head (from catering days) and get them out on paper, tested and scaled for normal proportions (as in, who needs chickpea salad for 50? Not most people, and not me, anymore!). Sort of... it will continue, as this is an ongoing thing.

10. Pare down my recipe books and food magazines, decide what's really important and what will never be used and finally break the cord and get rid of them... even though it feels pretty painful to think about. I gave away two cookbooks! Well, maybe a few more than that. And now I have at least a half-dozen new ones between my birthday and Christmas, so I will take out a few more oldies (speak up if you are interested) to make room for the new! I am committed to not outgrowing my two full bookcases of cookbooks.

11. Food photography. While tangential to food itself, and more related to the blogging, I feel keenly about improving the quality of photos on my blog. I have some ideas on how to do that, and fellow food bloggers have been good about posting their tips, so I will take advantage of that. And then there's just practice, practice, practice! OK, just made progress on this one within the past couple of weeks when husband bequeathed me his Nikon as he upgraded. I am ready to rock the photog world. Well, with baby steps...

12. Embrace Michael Pollan's mantra of: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. (Sher's version: Eat REAL food, not plastic-corn-chemically food. Portion control, please! And a steak every once in awhile is fine, just keep it local.) This one is a good reminder. Still need to work on fewer processed items coming into the house.

13. Exercise more. I'd say "daily," but that might be a little too ambitious. But almost any exercise will be more than what I'm doing right now! Ditto to this one. Ever onward!

Tomorrow I will post my resolutions for 2010. I'm doing it a little differently this year... fewer goals, more tenacity in hitting them! That's the theory, anyway.


  1. That's a lot of resolutions! Sounds as if you took at least one step on most of them. I think that's stellar. Don't be so hard on yourself. I don't make resolutions any more, but I usually forgot what they were by February. LOL

  2. That is a lot to take on in a year! No, you didn't do too bad. Love "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." Now I'm off to check out more on Michael Pollan (thaks for the link).

  3. Excellent list! That exercising is hard but I have made real strides with a treadmill. I bought the smallest I could find at Walmart and stuck it in the kitchen where I could see the TV. It has made a big difference.

  4. I'm with everyone else - those were a lot of resolutions! I hope you're being kind to yourself and remembering that a little progress on a lot of things equal big overal progress. Can't wait to hear what you're cooking up for 2010!

  5. Sounds pretty ambitious.
    Happy New Year to you :)

  6. You are so much more serious than I.

  7. It sounds like you did pretty good...I started buying from local sources for milk & eggs (a dairy right down the street!). Best of luck in the new year! Oh, parting with old cookbooks is hard, I know...even the magazines.

  8. Love the idea of revisiting last year's resolutions and evaluating your progress on each of them. I reviewed my last five years of December/January posts and saw way too many repeats on the list. Hope to fix that skipping record this year! Best of luck to you. I'll be sure to stop by for some yummy ideas. My wife and I pull many of our meals off of blogs just like yours! :)
    (here via Janet of FondofSnape)

  9. Don't anyone worry too much about my being hard on myself... not really going to happen. I like to accomplish stuff, and setting the bar way out there works for me, even if I don't always reach it!

    Thanks for all the comments and encouragement! Please do keep stopping by.

  10. Great list! You didn't do too bad! :) I posted new ones for this year too. This year we will do them all! right?

    Thank you so much for sharing! Happy Thursday 13! (Even though I am a day late commenting hehe)

    and Happy New Year!



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