Sunday, January 6, 2013

Kitchen goals old and new

Kitchen goals for 2012

Well, I can't say I've done all that well overall with my goals for 2012. Here's the round-up:
  • Cooking from unused cookbooks — 32 of 50 weeks. I did pretty well with this for a while, especially while when Cookbooks Sunday was happening. Lately, though, I've been focusing on Madhur Jaffrey at IHCC, and this goal has fallen into the background. 
  • Bread  — 25 of 50 weeks. Not too good. I intended to work through some of The Bread Baker's Apprentice, got started reading it, and then put it aside. I've made some bread, but nothing regularly. Santa did bring me a baking stone this year, so maybe that will be a bit of inspiration to do more baking.
  • Soup  — 26 of 50 weeks. Slightly better than 2011, but still not too good. Sigh.
  • Midday — 25 of 50 weeks. That's a surprise, almost half the time we had at least one midday meal a week. Mostly those were restaurant meals, I'd guess. I still think this is a worthy goal, but it just doesn't go with our daily routine very well. When we eat out it's frequently at midday and occasionally we need to eat our main meal at midday because of an evening commitment. Otherwise, it just doesn't work for  us.
  • Veg/Fish — We averaged over 3.5 per week. Didn't have this as a real goal, just intended to count. This is the way both of us prefer to eat. We like red meat, but not too often. Counting helps keep that in focus.
  • Pasta — 9 of 12 months. Boo. And, I didn't get a stuffed pasta made.
Overall, not as good as I'd have liked. Probably there were too many goals, but this may also reflect my bad mood for much of the year.

Kitchen goals for 2013

First, I guess, is the question of Do I even want to continue this game? In 2011, it seemed to help me focus on things like making pasta regularly and preparing lots of vegetarian or fish meals. For 2012, it was not as stimulating somehow, although I enjoyed using unused cookbooks. After some consideration, I think I will continue, but with fewer goals.
  • I want to continue participating in the Madhur Jaffrey theme at IHCC. This is fun because I already use her recipes a lot, and I've been expanding my repertoire a bit. If the next author is someone I'd like to cook with (e.g., Nigel Slater), then I might go on with that, although maybe not as frequently. Otherwise, I'll revert to cooking from unused cookbooks. 
  • I'll continue to count vegetarian and fish meals per week, just to be sure this doesn't fall off. 
  • After two years of making little progress on the soup and midday meal goals, I think I'll drop those both. They're both worthy goals, but neither are working well for me right now. I did find a Souper Sundays cooking group, where you cook a soup and post about it weekly, which was tempting. But I really don't want to increase the number of posts I'm doing.
  • I had another goal in mind for this year, to cook a meal from each of the Time-Life Foods of the World books, but that will have to wait for another year. 
  • I'll continue to aim  for making pasta once a month. A stuffed pasta would be a bonus. 
  • Bread-making is the tough one. I've got the book, I've got the stone. I think I'll go on with the goal of baking at least once a week, even if it's just an ABM bread. Does pizza count? Of course, it has yeast in it. Or, better, I think I'll try to bake a real bread once a month. Ideally it would be more, but baby steps seem more in order to get me going.
So I've got one weekly goal, one weekly count, and two monthly goals. That will do for 2013, I think.

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