What a Year for a New Year

Well, here we are.  Time for some musing and then some time for projecting.

I did it.  I have cooked every page 210 in every cookbook I own.  What have I learned?

1.)  I don't like squab.
2.)  I like lamb.
3.)  I am also quite fond of duck.
4.)  I still have a soft spot for Irma even though many others have guided me wisely and well this year. 
5.)  Often I have cooked after or during momentous occasions--during one meal, we got the phone call that a job offer for the husband did not come through.  For another, we celebrated that one did.  I love that there is this record of the meals surrounding these events even if I haven't always been forthcoming in the details.
6.)  Only a couple of recipes have been bombs.  This is fine by me.
7.)  I cannot make dosa.
8.)  I am slowly learning to bake bread.
9.)  I like liver, especially if it is sauteed in cream and whiskey.
10.)  In fact, I did a lot more cooking with cream and whiskey this year than I ever imagined I would (or have ever done in the past).  I like whiskey and cream.  Both separately and combined.

I have reorganized around my cooking.  This blog has reignited my love of cooking and writing and has happily paired the two.  I have broadened what I am willing to make--on a weeknight, even.  I have been writing again, which is something I have missed and still love.  I have had an excuse to seek out boar, squab, chanterelles, fresh pasta, and nopales.  And I continue to think about the ways in which food marries memory, friendships, family, and creativity into something wonderful and baffling and elusive.  For all of this, I am grateful.
So, I am excited about what's coming up:  as I mentioned, I will be cooking inside the box.

This idea came one August night over dinner of fish stew with two wonderful Berkeley friends and their adorable boys (one of whom is my undeniable pal because he absolutely gasps with glee when he sees me and I find I do the same when I see him--plus lately he has taken to doing my hair in elaborate and sometimes painful ponytails).  We were pondering what my next step would be, and I mentioned that I missed my CSA box.  By the end of the evening, I vowed to reinstate the box (shout out to Full Belly Farm) and had a name for the blog for the new year.  Hence the change in upholstery and the name change (but not the address change--I have to keep my roots and all).

So some new ideas and some avowals:
1.)  Cook what's inside the box.  Even if it is a five-pound bunch of daikon radishes.  (First delivery of the box is January 11.)
2.)  Post at least once a week.
3.)  Try new recipes, attempting to find most recipes within the cookbooks I own or making some recipes of my own.
4.)  Cook page 210 (regardless of the year I receive the book) should I acquire any new ones.  (I must justify the new additions to our library--I did get the husband Bittman's How to Cook Everything for Christmas.  He got me Bittman's The Best Recipes in the World.  We're nothing if not predictable.  I did take three cookbooks to the used bookstore to make some room on the shelves.  So I have 52 cookbooks, still.)
5.)  Talk about food and literature.  I cannot help it. 
6.)  On a side project, we and the husband's family have undertaken the project (for the past year) of cooking meals for one another once a month.  Inspired by Cucina Nicolina's Wordless Wednesday, I will post here only the date, menu, and photographs as documentation.

And so, what you will find in my next post is the January Family Feast installment...

One year ago:  Greek Salad


  1. Lovely reflection, Erin. I finally signed up for a bimonthly CSA box, so I look forward to finding inspiration in your posts! Happy New Year!


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