Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kitchen goals old and new


This year's kitchen goals

So how have I done this year?
  • Eating a vegetarian or fish (main meal) twice a week was easy goal, not too surprisingly, I suppose. There were only a couple of weeks in which that didn't happen. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the numbers, but I'm sure there were quite a few weeks with three or even four veggie or fish meals. Not sure if I'm ready to commit to three times a week. Instead, I think I'll just count the number of veg or fish main courses each week. Those numbers will help me decide on 2013 goals.
  • Soup has been served just less that half of the weeks in the year, more often in colder weather than in warm. Think it's worthwhile to continue this as a goal, just to keep soup in mind.
  • We've actually had our main meal at midday more often than I thought, again just less than half of the weeks of the year. This is difficult because of the way our schedules work. I still think it's worthwhile, since my tummy, at least, is happier eating a midday than in the evening. Think this will continue as a goal next year also.
  • As for pasta-making, I haven't missed a month. But I must say that having this as a goal has kept me focused on making fresh pasta.
I do think that having goals was useful when it came to meal planning. In particular, I'm sure my pasta-making would slide if I didn't have that goal. But also, as I laid out plans each week (not that these plans get followed in the end), I checked against the fish/veg, soup, and midday goals.

Next year's kitchen goals

So I think I'll continue the goal-setting for another year.
  • One goal, something entirely new, is to make something from a cookbook that I haven't used, or have rarely used, at least once a week. Just when I started thinking about this, not really sure whether I could commit to one per week, Cookbook Sundays came along, and I've already hopped on board. Doing this means a little more research into finding recipes, not from my stack of clippings and notes, but by picking an unused book and rummaging through it enough to find something I'd like to make. It also means an extra blog post every week. (So far, my posts are the least interesting of the participants, and I seem to be the only one making a deal out of the book, but I'll follow along, for my use rather than.)
  • Around Thanksgiving, I was rummaging through my notebook of bread recipes and info looking for something or other, and thought I'd really like to get back to baking bread frequently, not necessarily with the bread machine. To this end, I asked Santa for Peter Reinhardt's The Bread Baker's Apprentice, and have started reading that. Although making bread once a week seems a bit much right now, I think I'll aim for that. "Bread" being anything yeast-ridden (does that include a nice rijstvlaai, I wonder?), for the bread machine, from my notebook, from Apprentice, or from other bread books.
  • I think I will continue the goal of making fresh pasta monthly, since I enjoy doing that but need the goal to keep it up. At least one of those months, I'll make a filled pasta. I still have a bit of a fear of this, since I've found it difficult before, but I expect it's a question of practice and I need the practice.
  • Every week I'll count how many vegetarian and fish meals I make.
  • Like last year, I'll aim for having soup at lunch or dinner (at least) once a week.
  • Like last year, I'll aim for having our main meal at midday (at least) once a week.
This almost seems like too much, but I'll give it a try.

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