Food Plans for 2012

January 4, 2012

We’re a few days into 2012, so I’m a bit late late for a New Year’s Post, but I kind of just got around to thinking about where I want to go this year (culinarily speaking). I have several plans and goals for 2012 in the food realm:

  1. One of the first things that comes to mind is the Spice classes I’m going to take at Escoffier in Boulder. This is a series of four demonstration and tasting classes, each focused on spices from different regions along the Silk Road, and co-presented by Dan Hayward of the Savory Spice Shop in Boulder and Chef Suzanne Rudolph. The format is perfect for me (note taking opportunities galore!), and I plan to make good use of what I learn in exploring new flavor combinations in my own cooking.
  2. Another plan in terms of learning more about ingredients and cooking is spending more time reading my newly acquired copy of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by Harold McGee. I had heard of this book previously, referenced as THE authority on ingredients, their characteristics, and what happens to them when they’re cooked, but I had no idea just how thorough and fascinating it would be. I’ve already learned more than I ever knew about the composition and characteristics of dairy products from a variety of animals, found out that tomatoes originated in the New World, and were slow to catch on elsewhere because they were viewed suspiciously (due to their nightshade family affiliation), and I can’t wait to delve into reading about other fruits and vegetables, spices and herbs, different cooking techniques – well, everything in the book, actually. This isn’t a recipe book or a how-to book, but if you love food, and are into incredibly information-packed non-fiction, I’m guessing it would be hard to outdo it.
  3. One dietary improvement I want to make this year is to explore some options for more nutritionally positive snacks. (I follow the smaller meals with snacks in-between method of eating). Nearly all of what I snack on is low-calorie and/or high-fiber, but perhaps a bit more devoid of vitamins and minerals than it could be. Sure, I’m already saving calories and fat, but wouldn’t it be better if I also got some things that were good for me in the process?
  4. This year I finally want to get comfortable with cooking fish. I’ve been hesitant to really get into preparing it at home after some past experiences with overcooked, rubbery fish, and pre-frozen fish that just smells and tastes fishy (that always strikes me as a weird turn of phrase, but you know what I mean). But this year I plan to tackle gaining some confidence (and competence) in preparing it.
  5. Five items seems like a good, doable list, so here’s number five. This dual-task item is the easiest one: try some new restaurants in Denver/Boulder (there are fewer we haven’t tried in Boulder, of course), and explore more of the menu at Jai Ho in Boulder (my newest obsession).
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