I find that I work well within boundaries to a certain extend. When something becomes a chore, like something I have to make or do, it always ends up on the bottom. However, creating a list of fun activities or restaurants has always worked well. On the occasional free weekend when my husband and I have nothing to do, we usually do just that—nothing. We forget about the museum exhibits or parks we want to visit, the hikes or beach trips. Sometimes there seems to be too many options so we feel paralyzed and lazy and just do nothing.
I loved to cook before Top Chef came around. I was never a fan of cooking shows. The food network annoys me. Sure they’re some good recipes out there, but how can you really learn to make a 4 hour braise (with sides!) in a 27 minute episode. The shows would just frustrate me. But when Top Chef came along, I was immediately hooked. Top Chef doesn’t teach you how to make a recipe, it inspires you to think out of the box, to consider what you would make if faced with some saltine crackers and a piece of fish. Or what dishes would best describe you? Watching the show definitely encouraged me to play with flavors and invent new dishes.
If I had the choice of choosing my final meal before going to that big kitchen in the sky (god I hope it’s bigger than a Brooklyn kitchen or God has one twisted sense of humor) I think it would end with Creme Brulee. Easily my favorite dessert, yet one that I don’t have too often. I’ve had my overwhelming share of bad creme brulees–burned, too dense, strange texture. One time the chef didn’t even bother to brulee it! To me it looked (and tasted) like a dense custard with way too much granulated sugar, but to them it was creme brulee. I won’t point any fingers at the guilty party, but let’s just say it wasn’t exactly a diner.
Well, the title says two, but really we probably could have fed 4-5 people with the amount of food I made. Did I mention I’m bad at cooking small quantities? The advantage, however, to cooking big is there’s always leftovers. Reducing the amount of nights I cook in a week and replacing that smelly deli sandwich with something actually edible.
My husband and I kept things quiet over New Years. Dinner on New Year’s Eve at Talde (don’t worry, you’ll hear ALL about that soon), then a nice dinner in on New Year’s Day. We got a rib roast as part of our quarter cow from Lewis Waite Farm. Normally, something to savor at a large dinner party, our roast was just shy of 3lbs, so better intended for a more intimate party. The roast has been sitting in our freezer for some time now. Partially because I’ve been to lazy to deal with it but also a bit intimidated to prepare my first roast. Yes, you heard right, I’m a roast virgin.
I am done cooking for the year! Sad and nice at the same time. We’ll be traveling to visit more family for the rest of the year and heading out for New Year’s Eve. So after making pizza this evening, I am not expected to cook ANYTHING until New Year’s Day. And yes, that even includes preparing a bowl of oatmeal.
While I love cooking, it is fun to get a break. This year I’ve cooked a lot and tried to blog about most experiments and even some failures. I had a lot of extra time during the summer, and as a result my pantry is overflowing. Who knows what I’ll achieve next year. I have started thinking about a sort of “bucket list” as to what food goals I’d like to achieve in 2013, but until then, let’s have one last 2012 recipe hurrah with you, the readers’ favorite recipes of the year and a few additions of my own.