Trouble With Toast

2010: A Food Odyssey | January 7, 2010

Thanks to a well-timed honeymoon, my new decade started with some amazing culinary experiences in our nation’s capital.  I am extremely fortunate to have broken bread at Churchkey, Matchbox, Rasika, Palena, Jaleo, and Proof, and really, there wasn’t a bad meal to be had during our entire trip to DC.  There were so many highlights, and I know I am super lucky to have had these and many other food experiences over the past year.

So…what about 2010?  What does the year hold in store from a culinary perspective?  Here are my food “resolutions” for the first year of this new decade:

* Eat less meat – More specifically, my biggest goal is to prepare at least one vegetarian dinner each week.  I’m already pretty good about meatless breakfasts (I eat a lot of yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and soy sausage), and I’d consider it a bonus if I could incorporate some veggie lunches as well.  This is a small gesture, I realize, but hopefully it will start me on a path that will involve healthier and more eco-friendly habits.

* Master the art of breadmaking – Prior to 2009, the thought of making my own bread was totally horrifying.  Then, not only did I acquire a breadmaker, but I actually managed to bake a homemade loaf without any gadgetry!  My first couple of attempts have been far from perfect, but I am determined to keep at it and bake healthy and delicious bread on the regular.

* Attempt to make cheese – I’m not going to turn into a milkmaid or anything, but I’m told that homemade ricotta is pretty darn simple and tasty.  Once I get the hang of that, maybe there are other cheeses that I can explore.

* Eat at Woodfire Grill – Due to Chef Kevin Gillespie’s popularity and success on Top Chef, reservations have been really difficult to come by.  While I am thrilled that a local chef is enjoying an increase in business, I hope that calorie- and budget-related resolutions cause the crowds to taper off, allowing me to score a table by February or March.

* Perfect Chef Vikram Sunderam’s recipe for chicken green masala – This is a recent addition/obsession, but I am determined to give it the ol’ college try.

* Reduce waste – While my husband and I are pretty good about meal-planning and eating leftovers, we can always improve in terms of not throwing food away unnecessarily.  I’m thinking about things like dating ground spices (or, better yet, buying small quantities of whole spices and grinding them myself), keeping the fridge/freezer organized so nothing gets overlooked, and shopping smarter (meaning, smaller trips to the market more often, and not buying groceries while hungry).

* Buy a whole fish and take it apart (and use as much of it as possible) – Every year, I say that I’m going to do this.  2010 is the year when I actually accomplish the goal, I’ve decided.  Fish is so good for you, but it is VERY expensive.  Buying a whole fish is pound-for-pound cheaper, and I can definitely find uses for the “nasty bits,” since my husband won’t eat the head or tail or skin or anything that reminds him that the fish was once alive.  I just need to sharpen my knives (another resolution, actually) and get down to business.

* Continue the “Personality Profile” series, focusing more on Atlanta-based food figures – This one is pretty self-explanatory.  I have so much fun conducting the interviews and writing up the stories, and it is such an interesting break (for me AND for you, I imagine) from the usual recipes and restaurant reviews.  If anyone has any ideas or contacts, feel free to hit me up.

* Try to make homemade pasta – I’ve already done gnocchi, but now I’d like to attempt some sort of filled pasta, perhaps ravioli.  I have more counter space now, and it would be great to have fresh, scratch-made noodles to go with the various homemade sauces I make.

* Explore my neighborhood’s ethnic dining scene – There is a large Korean population where I live, but international restaurants of all sorts surround me, and I’ve not given them their due.  That is going to change ASAP.

I think that’s enough for now, though if I accomplish all of those tasks by mid-year, perhaps I’ll add a few more.  How about you?  Any food-related resolutions/goals/hopes/dreams for the coming year?  Share them in the comments!


  1. Pasta is super easy if you get an attachment for your KitchenAid. I made some the other night that was super with a friend.

    Comment by lemmonex — January 7, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    • Yeah, I need one of those attachments. Though it might not be good for my diet if all I’m eating is homemade noodles. 🙂

      Comment by bettyjoan — January 8, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

  2. Good luck with the cheese. I used this site’s recipe to make cheese a few times.

    Using raw milk from The Local Farmstand (Love is Love Farms stand at Star Provisions) gave me the best results, by far.

    Comment by jimmy — January 7, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    • Awesome, thanks for the link and the recommendations! Is the Farmstand stuff always available at Star, or is it just on certain days?

      Comment by bettyjoan — January 8, 2010 @ 3:16 pm

      • the website says Tues-Sat, but I think they changed to Thurs through Sat. For milk and eggs I suggest you email Judith ahead of time to ensure they will bring some for you.

        Comment by jimmy — January 8, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

  3. Here is where I learned to make ricotta: Indeed, it is super easy and way better than the storebought stuff. The only change I make is that I add about 1 tbsp salt per quart of milk, since I usually use ricotta in savory preparations. But seriously, it is foolproof.

    Pasta, on the other hand, can be pretty finicky and frustrating, even if you have the attachment.

    Comment by Barzelay — January 11, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    • Great, thanks for another source! I’ll definitely let you know how it turns out (one of these cold weekends, I’m just going to hole myself up in the kitchen and play).

      Comment by bettyjoan — January 11, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

  4. […] one full marathon, and buying a house, I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to tackle this list of food […]

    Pingback by To make an end is to make a beginning « Trouble With Toast — December 30, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

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