2017 Resolutions and Cook the Book Planning

Hello, 2017. I am not one to traditionally do resolutions. In fact, I wrote a popular blog about making the anti-resolution to be enough. So, this isn't a list of resolutions, but more goals: specific things I want to learn how to do or enjoy this year, so I can plan for them and check them off.

The one that will dominate a lot of this blog (but not all of it) is my Cook the Book series. When I spent last year pregnant and unable to ride, I had to find something to occupy my time. I had always wanted to learn how to cook - like REALLY cook - so I spent the last year readings giant tomes (think Harold McGee, Culinary Institute of America text, etc.) on cooking, and then I failed and succeeded (sometimes) in the world's tiniest kitchen. I legitimately had 27 inches of counter space. Well, we moved right before Aubry was born in August, and I now have a great kitchen and a continued passion for cooking. This past fall I held multiple 5-7 course dinner parties for 12-15 people, so got through hunks of books (thank you, Naomi Pomeroy), but looking at this year I wanted to focus on learning new flavor profiles and techniques.

I don't know what my cooking voice is, but I hope to find it. At this point I can handle a lot of modern things (I have a sous vide, and a biochem minor, so it doesn't freak me out), but I also still have a lot of traditional dishes and techniques to master. I want to learn new flavor profiles from other parts of the world. With that in mind, my Cook the Book series will cover ten books this year.


I plan to cook at least 25 recipes from each book (complete recipes, but for example today I am doing Momofuku's ramen which requires 6 sub-recipes). I originally thought of doing a book a month, but since so many are smartly organized seasonally, that wouldn't work. So, I will focus on 5-6 recipes a week from 1-2 books, then blog about them. This week, I am starting with Chang's Momofuku and Howard's Deep Run Roots. When I recap, I will use the subject "Cook the Book: Momofuku 1-3", for example, if I am covering the first three recipes from Momofuku. All of the relevant posts will have CookTheBook as a tag, so you can find them that way as well.

For now, I have a suckling pig head staring at me that needs to go in a pot for broth. It's going to be one interesting year!

Alright, here is the full list of goals. What are your for this year?

Goals 2017:

1.     Be gracious

2.     Send one letter a week to a friend

3.     Read 52 books

4.     Learn to shuck oysters

5.     Master braised short ribs

6.     Bake a great sourdough (recipes welcome!)

7.     Find the perfect biscuit recipe

8.     See an opera

9.     Make a porchetta

10.  Have a cochon de lait

11.  Bake a whole fish in salt

12.  Go to the African American History and Culture Museum

13.  Compete Stella somewhere close and fun

14.  Make cheese

15.  Serve ceviche

16.  Make ravioli

17.  Filet a fish

18.  Cook Eric Rupert’s sea urchin pasta

19.  Make Jacque Torres’ chocolate chip cookies

20.  Cook 25 recipes from (I will call this “Cook the Book” series):

a.     Momofuku

b.     Persia

c.     Heston Blumenthal at Home

d.     Deep Run Roots

e.     A Kitchen in France

f.      Taste and Technique

g.     The Red Rooster Cookbook

h.     Modernist Cuisine

i.      My Two Souths

j.      Heritage

21.  Run around Roosevelt island

22.  Make a chocolate torte

23.  Write on my blog once a week

24.  Make Aunt Nee Nee’s dumplings

25.  Make an address book

26.  Walk Tara and Aubry every day

27.  Eat vegetarian three days a week

28.  Plan two girls trips a year (Spring planned – Rolex!)

29.  No more than 7 hours of TV a week  (I was going to do 5, James revolted)

30.  Enjoy my body and health while I have it