2009 Goals: Cooking

My goals for this category are closely intertwined with my gardening and sustainability goals (coming this weekend), so you’ll probably see some connections.  And as always, advice is coveted!

 

1)   Learn how to make sourdough bread.

 

I didn’t think my dreams of grinding grain at home to make real bread would’ve come to fruition in 2008, but God is gracious!  The next step is to learn the art of sourdough.  I have many web and physical (cookbook) resources on the topic, and I’ve got everything I need to begin, so I’m going to give this a try at the end of January, just before the garden gets underway.

 

2)   Learn how to lactoferment.

 

I’m totally clueless in the food preservation department, so I feel like I need to master something in that area.  Since lactofermentation is the only form of food preservation that increases the nutrition, why not start there?  (I also want to learn how to can tomatoes this summer, but only because I can’t live without my spaghetti sauce and salsa).  Two things I want to attempt are kimchi and sauerkraut.

 

3)   Buy less processed food.

 

We’ve never been big on a lot of processed food, but I do have a few standbys, for convenience’s sake – Rice-a-Roni Mexican Rice and plain Cheerios are the two that come to mind.  I make my own Mexican rice about half the time, but I still haven’t found a recipe that makes my family want to gobble it all down in one sitting.  I still haven’t tried the one out of Alice Waters’ Art of Simple Food, so that will be next.  The Cheerios are the main snack food of the littles, so I really just need to come up with some better – i.e., less processed, more nutrient-dense – snacky kind of item that I can make once or twice a week.  The older kids eat nuts, but my son can’t really chew them yet.  I’m going to scout around for ideas when I set up next week’s menu plan, then hopefully try out one new thing every week.  By summer, I would like to eliminate the Cheerio snack in our house!

 

4)   Eat out less.

 

We made it a goal last year to only eat out once per week, which is still a lot, but a big improvement over our entire lives previously.  This year we’re aiming to stick with that, since we had some periods where we really screwed up.  If we can do it, then next year we can try for once every two weeks.  Not only is eating out expensive, but most likely, the food will not be as nutritious as something we could make at home!

 

That’s all…but any suggestions are welcomed!  If all goes well and these are accomplished mid-year, then, by golly, I’ll establish some more goals.

 

This post is a part of the Nourishing New Years Resolutions Carnival at the Nourishing Gourmet.

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7 responses to “2009 Goals: Cooking

  1. Hi, we are trying to eat out less, too. We eat out or order in maybe 1-2 times per month. My husband still likes to order a pizza or Chinese every once in a while.

    I find that one thing that helps us avoiding eating out (or getting take-out) is making sure I have some easy-to-prepare things on hand for last-minute meals.

    Making sure I have a ready supply of homemade chicken stock turns out to be one of the best things — because I can always make a quick soup or throw some rice in the rice cooker (I always make it with chicken stock instead of water) or make some fast risotto (his favorite).

    Also, I try to cook in bigger batches so I can freeze the leftovers. I freeze in potions big enough for the 3 of us. Then I can just go into the freezer and grab some frozen lasagna or soup or whatever in the morning, let it defrost and voila! We have dinner!

  2. Hello,
    Great goals. We too are taking process foods out of our house. We are down to 10% right now. They make a healthy organic Cheerios that is called HoneyO’s I think Kashi make them. I have justed making Soughdough Bread. I got my starter from King Arthur Flour and it was so easy to start. I can’t wait to hear more of your changes this year.
    Hugs,
    Elizabeth

  3. I think it’s great that you’re trying out the home preservation! I’ve taken a lot of food science classes and have canned tomatoes and made sauerkraut. Both are actually quite easy and I don’t think you will have any problems, but make sure you ferment correctly to avoid botulism.

    Good luck and I’m interested to see how it goes!

    NAOmni

  4. What great goals you’ve set for yourself! I’ll be interested in seeing your progress on them. We rarely eat out anymore, maybe once a month. The less we eat out and eat my or my husband’s cooking, the less satisfied I am with restaurant food. About the only thing I like out to eat is a good pizzeria pizza or Chinese food. I am particularly looking forward to your kimchi.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog.

  5. Pingback: Nourishing New Years Resolutions Carnival

  6. mmm tiramisu…tried it for the first time last year…my life has yet to be the same

    on a more serious note, i love Rieslings, but i know they are too sweet for A LOT of people i.e. most of my friends, therefore i’m going to work on branching out this year…eventually…wish me luck!

    NAOmni

  7. Best wishes on reaching your fantastic goals! I love sourdough. I also purchased a starter from KAF. They sell a nice crock for it too. Their starter comes with some basic instructions- My first ever boule came out perfect! I converted my starter to whole wheat. The KAF whole grain cookbook also has some instructions for growing your own starter. I hope we can eat out less as well. Ilan to make extra and freeze it for the rainy days…

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