It's a brand new year, and we're feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle a whole new set of cooking projects. Thinking of diving into Chinese cooking? Baking bread every week? Eating entirely locally? Take a look at what the Kitchn editors have planned for the coming year, and share your own cooking resolutions for 2010!
Kathryn: I would like to master the mother sauces!
Emily: I want to learn how to make (and document) favorite family dishes, such as my mom's Vietnamese sticky rice cakes, my dad's marinated tofu, my great uncle's Slovenian nut bread, and my boyfriend's mom's Korean pancakes.
I'd also like to really dive into my Indian cookbooks … and maybe, by the end of the year, feel confident cooking Indian dishes without recipes. Another goal is to bake bread regularly. I'm looking forward to using the new Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book.
Elizabeth: I want to cook more from my cookbooks. I've got cookbooks I've never opened, and I know they'd inspire some different techniques or dishes. Also, I want to throw more boozy brunch parties!
Joanna: Make more salads! That's my everyday goal, and I just got a mandoline, so I'm already itching to slice up every vegetable I see. I also want to have more casual, simple dinner parties without waiting for a special occasion or making a big elaborate spread. My big project goal is to make molé.
Mary: My cooking resolution is to do more baking – as a kid I used to experiment and bake all the time. I stopped about 15 years ago. Now that our 6 year old son is developing an interest, it is time to get back into the chemistry of baking. We are also fairly European-influenced in our cooking, so in 2010 I want to try more Asian dishes.
Sara Kate: I want to continue trying new things: having a food-curious toddler has helped me this year explore new things (conch!) both as a cook and an eater, and for 2010 I'd like to continue that with my daughter. Children have that great way of making you young and curious again.
I also want to get a better grip on the way food and wine interact. I've sort of scraped by on this one. I'd like to have a little more confidence, not in a fussy way, but in a way that would get me excited about picking wines outside of the little box of wines I know I like. And finally, I'm planning to take more time to chat with farmers at the farmers' market.
Dana: I never made that cassoulet, so I'm carrying it over into 2010! I'm also going to continue exploring my relationship to meat, paying close attention to the questions and ambivalence. My chicken and egg CSA is helping with this by not removing the heads and feet of the chickens they bring us.
This sounds basic, but as someone who lives alone, I don't cook enough proper meals for myself, electing instead for quick bread and cheese suppers. So in 2010, I hope to cook more veg and greens and proper suppers.
Faith: This year, I want to clean the kitchen thoroughly and do a mini-Cure, paint the kitchen and breakfast nook, and do a few more little things to get them in nicer shape. I also want to make the 10 or 15 recipes that have been on my to-make list!
I'd also like to fast for a morning or entire day once a week. Being so immersed in food and cooking has at times made me feel like I can't appreciate food or savor it like I used to. The best way for me to return to a point of welcoming food and appreciating it is to go without for a little longer.
Sarah: I'm going to brave the world of alternative baking. I'd like to push myself to bake with less sugar and use sugar alternatives, flour alternatives, binder alternatives, the works. In addition to traditional veggie/fruit CSA's, we'll also be striving to eat as local as possible when it comes to meats and cheeses. We'd like to be eating less of it, but when we do, we want ingredients that sing.
I'm also planning on building a stock of food. My husband and I believe firmly in having more than just a stocked pantry, but having a years supply of food on hand—like the Boy Scouts say, always be prepared. We've accomplished it quite well in the past, but we'd like to add more diversity since you can only eat so many black beans. At the same time, we'd like to be on the ball when it comes to canning up extra CSA ingredients to add to the stock.
Emma: Like Elizabeth, I have a lot of cookbooks sitting on my shelf that I hardly ever open. My goal this year is to cook at least one cookbook recipe every week. I'd also like to explore Chinese and Indian cooking a lot more!
What are your goals, dreams, and ideas for cooking projects in the coming year?