Friday, January 6, 2012

Philly Food Lovers' New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions are the order of the day.  While we recognize that a huge number of resolutions are broken, we're giving it a try.  In an effort to keep our culinary edges sharp we each made 5 resolutions that we hope to keep.  And we'll be honest--if we crash and burn we'll fess up!

Claire resolves to:

1. Throw the Midas Feast dinner party that we've been talking about for the last 6 months.  The goat's leg is still languishing in the freezer!

2. Put the iPhone down when eating; stop taking photos of everyone else's food...

3. Explore a new cuisine - I tried out cuisines that were definitely foreign to my experience - Southern (Collard Greens for example) and Mexican (I've become a Chipotles in Adobo addict - how did I live without these little firebrands in my life?).  Want to get under the skin of American cooking? Well,  I'm going to work my way through Jamie Oliver's tour of America cookbook.  (The chocolate bread pudding with a chocolate beer sauce was a culinary highlight in 2011)

4. Make Indian food from scratch - having invested in a coffee grinder for grinding up spices I'm going to grab my friend, Farah Kapoor and go to her fave Indian grocery store at 42nd and Walnut.  I hope to learn how to make food like Farah's!

5. Go on a food tour with Fairfood Farmstand.  Missed their snout to tail Pigfest, which toured farms and wound up with a four course pork banquet at one of the farms with which they partner.  I won't make the same mistake again.

Keri resolves to:

1.  Expand my fish repertoire.  I tend to limit myself to clam sauce, sauteed shrimp, or roasted salmon (unless my dear fisherman of a neighbor gives me so-fresh-it's-still-almost-swimming striped bass, thank you GL).  With the amazing selection available in most seafood markets, I need to widen my scope.
A welcome gift--freshest striper from my now favorite neighbor.

 2.  Master meatballs.  Seriously.  I cook a lot of Italian food, but the perfect meatball continues to elude me.  My daughter, a budding food critic herself, is not one to sugar coat her reactions.  Upon biting into one of my carefully crafted orbs, she invariably says, "Mom, you seriously need to go to Fran's and take a lesson from her."  (Fran is Francesca Palladinetti, my dear friend who grew up in South Philly and learned meatball making at her Nonna's knee.)

3.  Explore different grains such as quinoa, barley, and lesser-known types of rice.   Never fear, I'm not going vegetarian on you, just recognizing that the occasional "Meatless Monday" is a healthy, cost-effective, eco-friendly option and variety makes for more interesting meals.

4.  Cook with my kids.  The mad dash to get dinner on the table and eaten before dance class or after sports is for the birds.  It also happens to be reality for a busy, active family.  But when the opportunity exists, I would like to involve my kids more in the planning, procuring, and preparing process.

5.  Continue to encourage my husband to claim the kitchen on Sundays.  An amazing development occurred over the last year in my house.  My husband, who was competent enough in the kitchen to avoid starvation, but not particularly interested in cooking, has taken over Sunday dinners.  He plans, shops for and cooks the entire meal, sometimes asking me to pitch in with a side or veg, but in general, it's all him.  Being a guy, he tends to gravitate toward meaty stews, robust roasts, and hearty, manly fare, but, particularly at this time of year, that's perfect.   And, yes, he even cleans up afterward.

What are YOUR 2012 resolutions?

1 comment:

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