I can't believe calling this past decade that Aughties never caught on, even if it made it to Urban Dictionary. Here's to not poking our eyes out when we hear people say Oh-Ten.
Honestly, I can't say that the New Year means much to me. Usually I'm more inclined to make resolutions on my birthday, as I enter a new year of life. Yes, it's all about me. As I've gotten older, time does seem to pass more quickly, just like my daddy told me it would, and I missed Thanksgiving. So today, right in the middle of Thanksgiving (a month ago), New Year (tomorrow), and my birthday (in a month), I'd like to mention a few food-related things I'm glad to have. Give thanks!
1. Finding someone to cook and eat with who is amenable to my vegetarianism and keeping meat out of the house. I'm also thankful he will at least try anything I put in front of him. Faithful readers have seen we've had our share of recipes flops and near-fails. Full disclosure: we almost always have a California Pizza Kitchen frozen marghertia pizza in the freezer.
2. Having a large enough kitchen to play in, even if the stove is a little tilted (I bet I could fix that if I tried). I'm not prepared to say I love my kitchen, but as we consider moving to a new place, we do have higher standards than we would have previously held.
3. Getting together with some good women each month to cook for the Ronald McDonald House. Even if the residents prefer their cheese and meat to whatever I cook, it's a good time -- not just fellowship over a meal, but over the preparation as well. That's a special feeling of teamwork and togetherness.
4. Being able to walk to two grocery stores. Right now, I am thankful for this. When I move, I will try harder to plan ahead and not drive to the store too often, which I hope will help my pocketbook. These days I drop almost as much as (an inexpensive) dinner out each trip I make, and I limit myself mostly by what I am willing to carry. If I drive for food shopping, I'll also try to shop locally -- Kroger doesn't count -- to balance the environmental detriment. That's something I want to do anyway, but those resolutions are for another post...
5. Not to get sappy here, but another (and different) thanks to my partner Alex. He helps me cook and stays out of my way when I want to do it myself. He's diligent in cleaning vegetables, browning tofu, and he loves to help, especially if it means using the broiler. He's come a long way from not really knowing how to mash potatoes to being able to pull his weight in the kitchen. That's what it's all about for us -- not making something spectacular or fancy or selling what we do, but just making good, healthy food. Food that we know what is in it, and that meets our ethical standards. Plus, he makes it fun. Take a peek at this photo of him kneading seitan, our third attempt -- post on that coming later.
Runners up: DVR, which allowed me to watch Top Chef at my leisure; new gadgets and new cookbooks; taking that cooking class at Park + Vine, which although I complain about it, I sure talk about it a lot and learned two important things; using Twitter more and connecting to more blogs; and, finally, reluctantly, I'll admit to thanking Weddingbee for reminding me that blogs aren't just online journals, but can provide ways to connect and learn