Welcome 2011

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As usual, I’m a little slow to the punch when it comes to pulling together the first post of the year. But hey, a delicious New Year’s Eve potluck dinner with wonderful friends, amazing wine and too much bubbly, followed by a New Year’s day/weekend road trip to Philly is sure to put anyone a few days behind schedule.  So, 2011 – welcome!

2010 was good year for the blog and my food adventures. After an uneven and unfocused 2009, I think I finally started to hit my stride. I rolled out a new blog layout that’s much more functional and user-friendly, churned out 52 posts on a somewhat regular basis (aside from a short summer break), bumped up the number of readers and doubled my followers on Twitter, started to include posts on cocktails and wine, and I got a new camera and started taking better photos.

As for my year in food, I didn’t have any specific food resolutions for 2010, but I will say it was quite a productive and adventurous year. I learned how to make yeast breads. I expanded my interest in wine through many tastings, trips to several wineries in Napa, Ontario, Long Island, and Virginia, and built up my personal wine collection. I visited the Ferry Building farmer’s market and ate tacos from a truck in San Francisco. I ate a lobster roll almost as big as my head at Red’s Eats. I met Thomas Keller. I took a 12 week cooking class at CulinAerie (still need to finish up a few posts for that). I finally went to Komi. And, I capped off 2010 by cooking two great dishes for Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinners (stay tuned).

All in all, a good year. Looking to 2011, here are ten things I’d like to do:

 

100 posts I think this is a good goal for me. It’s basically two posts a week – a pace that I’ve been keeping (mostly) for the last couple of months.

Bake more bread More specifically, I want to start a new sourdough starter and maintain it throughout the year.

Take more cooking classes I had a blast at CulinAerie and want to go back for more.

Canning, preserving and pickling I’ve noticed this on several other lists. Some family friends back in Maine are excellent at canning and make some amazing pickles, relishes, and jams. I want to be able to do what they do.

Take better photos My photos have improved since I bought a new camera last summer, but they could be better. I live in a basement apartment with recessed lighting and not much natural light (plus I do most of my cooking in the evenings), so it poses a bit of a challenge. Going forward, I want to compose my shots better and improve the lighting.

Volunteer on a regular basis I volunteered a few times at DC Central Kitchen last year, but haven’t been in a few months. I’d like to volunteer at least once a month this year.

Make a serious cassoulet Not just any cassoulet. I’m talking epic. Something like this.

Switch to stainless steel cookware This is kind of a freebie because I just got a new set of stainless steel pots and pans for Christmas. But I’m wicked stoked to start using them, so I figured I’d cheat and include it on the list.

Dine out more often For a variety of reasons, I didn’t make it out to restaurants as much as I would have liked in 2010. And when I did, it was usually to old standbys. In 2011, I’d like to go out more and try out new (to me at least) places.

More posts on food issues I’d like to write more about food policy issues, or at least include more roundups with links to various articles of interest.

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