Monday, January 6, 2014

A fresh plate: 2014

A very Happy New Year to all you lovely readers. I absolutely love new beginnings for they give us a chance to look back on how the last year fared, an opportunity to start afresh, several new possibilities to grow, to learn and to experiment.  

Fresh plates and clean slates I love them both. For I can fill up my empty plate with things I have never tried and write new goals on my slate.
These are my resolutions for the year with respect to food.
  1. Bread making: I really would like to make 52 loaves this year. I did try several last year and I have to admit most have been just so-so. I have several books that have some very doable recipes and this Christmas I got another book that just might make my dream of baking and breaking my own bread more achievable. Do you have any online resources you’d like to share? I don’t think I will be making my own starter I will still depend on the good old dry yeast but I will be using my hands for sure. We’ll leave the starters for another year.
  2. Make pasta from scratch: So I own a pasta maker and it has NEVER been used (Hangs head in shame). This year I’d like to take it out of its box and show it my kitchen. That I learnt how to make ravioli from Chef Marco Sacco should help.
  3. Explore more of Indian cuisine: At home we love to eat a bit of Indian, a bit of Thai, a bit of Italian, a bit of this and a bit of that…you get the idea…right? And when I say Indian I mean Indian not just Butter Chicken and Dosa. kori gashi one day, khichra the next, Mum’s rajma chawal one day and my mil’s cholar dal another. But who am I kidding? Indian Cuisine is vast and even If I spend a lifetime exploring it I don’t think I would still be able to do justice to it. I have already made a little beginning in that direction though which I intend to share with you once I am allowed to (insert wink) and I am spending considerable time reading more and more about it; getting to know the history and the geography of the wonderful country I come from through food.
  4. Blog more about what I am cooking with my littlechefling: Orange Kitchens is my space where I like to talk about what is on our table and in our kitchen. It is also a space where I like to share what Sara and I have been cooking and we do spend a lot of time in the kitchen but for some reason I fail to share a lot of it here. We make, we eat and we move on. This year I intend to mend that; just what the New Year doctor ordered. Reflect and repair. So you will see a lot of kid friendly recipes that they can help with and ofcourse that I hope they will relish.
  5. Concentrating on Kids and their relationship with food: I’d like to devote a large part of my year working in that direction. I took babysteps last year by writing relevant food stories and conducting food demos where I talked about it but this year I intend to focus more on the subject of connecting the children with real food (the obesity and diabetes figures here at Dubai are really alarming) and also how it is very important and ofcourse fun it is to get into the kitchen. I have a little roadmap but it needs more work and I will be sharing that with you pretty soon.
  6. Use more cookbooks rather than using the same ones over and over again: I own several cookbooks. I own more than 100 cookbooks. But you know what like a lot of you out there (please tell me you belong to this group) I end up using the same ones each time for they and I have made this little bond over the years. They are familiar and I trust them. They help me when life takes over and I have to get a meal on the table each night. But this year I am going to get to know my other “friends” a little better.
  7. Try a new cheese each month: We are a cheese loving family. Right from my little chefling who knows her Cheddar from Gouda or DH who hearts the stinky old cheese, the more pungent, the better for him. But once again we stick to the familiar ones. This year I’d like to meet more cheese. One new cheese each month. Stand alone bites.
  8. Reduce my dependence on packaged/processed food: I have already been working on this one for several years now and this year I intend to continue. Less and less dependence on the processed and packaged food. I admit some of it actually makes my life easy but today we have some wonderful healthy options that are both easily available and not so hard on the pocket and of course like I said earlier make one’s life convenient. Plus I have been following her for a while now and I have to admit I am hugely influenced by her writing.
  9. Meal planning: Family, friends and work and several other things that one wants to somehow fit in those 24 hours; I love them all. But there is one thing that I completely detest; staring at my refrigerator and trying to decide what I am going to be serving that night. And I have observed that If I plan my meals in advance (we ofcourse eat better, reduce wastage, eat variety…the usual you know) it makes a me a happier and calmer person. The fact that I have most of my meals planned for the week always-always takes the pain (Read: Thinking) out of cooking away. Let’s admit it making three meals a day, each day is not always fun.
  10. Eat breakfast everyday: While we are on the subject of making me feel like a better person (if not actually make me one :)) the last one is my personal goal. I have observed that I religiously start my day with a walk and my morning cup of coffee and then begin work and before I know it I have already missed breakfast (I work largely from home and working from home does that to some people like me). This year I am making a promise to no one else but me to have that breakfast that I make sure my entire family eats and that I usually miss.

So those were my foodie resolutions for the year and we will see how I fare at the end of the year. What are yours? I’d love to hear from you.

Eat well and stay healthy.

Image: here

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