New Year’s Eve, in my book, is easily one of the worst holidays. The entire celebration is built around the traditions of staying up later than you would like and kissing someone at midnight, likely in public. No food, no presents. No thank you. The only redeeming tradition is the champagne. That I can get behind.
New Year’s Day, however, is something I do look forward to. It’s a symbolic fresh start (good riddance 2017!) and the perfect time to change all of the terrible things about yourself.
Many people will tell you not to even bother with resolutions because, statistically, you will fail. Or maybe just try to improve yourself year-round. I say that’s not as fun. New year’s resolutions don’t have to be something dreadful. The only time I have succeeded in keeping my resolutions is when they have been something I want to do and am excited* about (See: starting a cookbook club).
This year, I made a few indulgent resolutions (ones that are easy to keep) and a few that will hopefully trick me into being a better person.
Make My Own Pasta and Bread
Considering how many people cut out carbohydrates as part of their resolutions, this may seem like a bad resolution. In 2017, I had to make pasta dough when I made ravioli on my own for the first time. It was one of the most satisfying cooking experiences I’ve had. The same satisfaction I felt when making breads for Friendsgiving.
Considering how rewarding I found these experiences, I decided that this year I would focus on mastering different breads and pastas. I’ve picked up a few tools (I got a gnocchi board for Christmas!) and have a few cookbooks to help me along the way.
Here’s some of the books I’ll be using this year:
- Breads Illustrated
- Breaking Breads
- The Hot Bread Kitchen
- Bouchon Bakery
- Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza
I’m taking bets on how long it will take before I cave and buy the Kitchen Aid stand mixer pasta attachment.
Cook More Food At Home / Waste Less Food
My biggest struggle with being a functioning adult is bringing my lunch to work. It’s just not something I’ve ever been able to do consistently.
I know what you’re thinking: just try Sunday meal prep like everyone else! Unfortunately, I know myself enough to know that just doesn’t work for me. I don’t like to eat the same thing over and over again. Which leads to my other problem: wasting food. I am inordinately paranoid about food safety. If something is more than 2 days old, I assume it’s just garbage at that point and that’s where I put it. So making my food 5 days out just won’t pan out for me.
Here’s how I plan to tackle these problems:
- Plan weekday meals around pantry staples. Buy only what I want to add to these and only what can be consumed within the week. When in doubt, fall back on the green + grains + something formula (like this).
- Make weekday meals with 2 servings at most. I know I will never want to eat anything more than twice.
- Use my weekends to tackle complicated/time-consuming recipes. Like this delicious black dal or that pasta I plan on making.
- Keep track of the recipes I want to make. And then make them. I forgot this is what Pinterest is for.
My roommate would probably prefer of my resolution be something along the lines of a moratorium on plant buying. But my real resolution is to fit more plants in my space.
As such, I’m going to take to the skies (um, ceilings)! And I figure I might as well learn a new craft in the process. Expect a lot of macrame from me in the new year.
I will also make a better effort with my garden this year. After the lessons learned from last year’s planting (animals will steal your zucchini and flowers will burn in western sunlight), I feel much more prepared to garden.
The Not-Fun, Self-Improving Resolution: Stop Eating Everything Bagels Every Morning for Breakfast
It’s a problem. They are just too good. They are a reason to get up in the morning. But it has gone too far.
Is bagel withdrawal a thing?
*I also successfully kept my resolution of making my bed every morning, which does not seem exciting and was not necessarily something I wanted to do. But I am here to tell you that everything they say about the benefits of making your bed is true.