2010 Resolutions of the Culinary Variety

On the same day that I posted a look back at 2009 and a look forward to 2010 with a focus on my blog, I read a really great post from The Bitten Word on culinary resolutions from 2009 (how they did) and for 2010 (what they want to do). It made me realize that my blog is just an extension of my kitchen, and as important as it is to think about where I want to take my blog, if I’m not focused on cooking then the blog won’t have a leg to stand on. I’ve thought about it a bit for the last few of days, and my 2010 culinary resolution list is as follows:

  • Learn to bake bread. In the culinary world there are generally cooks and bakers, and I’m absolutely of the cook variety. Even so, I really want to learn to bake bread because the precision required will make me a better cook I think. I’m somewhat realistic about how much time I have to devote to learning to bake bread. Enter Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, the second book from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. To help me stay on track with this goal, I’ve joined a baking group and I’ll be blogging about my adventures in bread baking a couple of times a month.
  • Learn to make gnocchi from scratch. Ever since I saw this Myer Lemon Gnocchi recipe a couple of years ago in Food and Wine, I’ve wanted to make my own gnocchi. This year I’m going to do it – I might even take a class. I have a feeling gnocchi falls into the “easier than it looks” category, particularly with some practice, and I’m determined to find out.
  • Learn to make authentic jambalaya and paella. I’ve made “cheater” versions of both of these recipes before, but have never taken the time to research or really learn about the techniques for either. Seeing that both are as much about culture as they are about cooking, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the ingredients, techniques, and traditions.
  • Make my own stocks. One of my dirty foodie secrets is that I buy my stock in boxes instead of making it myself. I’m lucky to have access to good quality pre-made stock, but still, it’s silly to not make my own. It’s less of a cooking issue for me and more of a storage issue because I want to be sure to use the stock I make and keep it from over-running my freezer. Somewhat ironically, the first cooking class I ever took at Central Market was a soups, stocks, and stews class and have never made stock at home. I will remedy that this year.
  • Make wild boar ragù. I absolutely love boar. I regularly eat wild boar ribs and wild boar pozole locally, and any time I can get authentic ragù at an Italian restaurant I jump at the opportunity. Making the ragù is the easy part, I’ve already picked out the recipe. The hard part is sourcing the boar. Even my local meat market doesn’t sell it, so I’ll have to find another source. I’ve already started asking around and I’m sure I’ll learn quite a bit about local food sources as I hunt my boar (figuratively speaking of course).
  • Cook and eat more vegetables. This is a growth area of my whole family – we simply don’t eat as many vegetables as we should and we only collectively like about 10 vegetables. We must change this for our own good. To help with this goal I’m either going to 1) join a CSA or 2) grown my own vegetables, or some combination of the two. I’m sure it will be an interesting learning experience all around.
  • Spend more of my grocery dollars locally. I’m inspired by fellow food blogger Kristi Willis of Austin Farm to Table to get closer each week to meeting the “Know It or Grow It” criteria for most of the food in my grocery bag. If, as a country, we can get closer to our food sources I’m convinced that every aspect of our lives will benefit. We’ll have healthier bodies and healthier communities.
  • Eat more meals at home. This one is a bit of a challenge because Austin has so many great eateries. So while I’m not giving up eating out, I think I should, and can, make more everyday meals at home. It’s as simple as making breakfast tacos instead of buying them, or putting away a few freezer dinners for the nights I’m too tired to cook. I expect my savings will easily fund the trip to Italy that I have planned for my 40th birthday in 2011.

I’m sure I’ll miss on some of these and take on some new things I haven’t thought of yet, but if I even do half of these things I’ll be a better cook and my blog will certainly be a better place for me and my readers.

What are your 2010 culinary resolutions? Is there anything I can do help make them possible? Please share in the comments.


  1. Nice list of goats for 2010!

    If you want to make stock I would like to suggest making Veal Stock. It is utterly delicious and will definitely have a huge impact on your cooking. I could not believe how it changed my dishes. If you need any more info on the veal stock just email me, the recipe I used is on line and takes 2 days but so worth it.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’m abstolutely willing to put the time into making the stock because I know the results are worth it. I’ll try out your veal stock – I’d rather go with a tested recipe :-)

  2. Eating more vegetables is one of my resolutions as well. As for the gnocchi, there was a great recipe in last January’s Fine Cooking from one of the editors. She just so happens to hail from Turin, Italy (the land of good gnocchi) and her instructions were really good. It requires a subscription, but if you can find a back issue at a library, I urge you to check it out: http://www.finecooking.com/articles/soft-fluffy-gnocchi.aspx?ac=ts&ra=fp

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks for the direction on the Fine Cooking link. I’ve always had good luck with their recipes and I think it’s worth the subscription fee.

  3. You can get wild boar from Broken Arrow Ranch (http://www.brokenarrowranch.com). It is mail order but they are fairly local to Austin – they are in Ingram, TX and they source from ranches all over central Texas.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thank you! Ingram is close enough and worth it for the boar. Much appreciated!

  4. I was going to suggest Broken Arrow as well. They are great folks and very helpful. They take great care with the animals they harvest, which gives one peace of mind.

    Another option is to get your hunting license (after a hunter education class, of course) and harvest your own animal, which really puts you in touch with your food, or become friends with a hunter (which is what I did–made easier because I work at Texas Parks and Wildlife). http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/

    • Natanya Anderson /

      I have to admit I hadn’t thought of hunting my own boar, but I can imagine how connected it would make me with my food. I have several friends who are hunters, I may try to connect with them a little more and offer cooked food in return for fresh ingredients :-)


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