New Year, New Directions

I was visiting a friend's blog and read through her list of goals for 2010. I was struck by how many of them resembled my own. She, like me, is not wild and crazy about the whole "New Year's Resolution" idea. I don't like to put that much pressure on myself. But I do have some overall goals for this year that I'd like to work toward. Will I achieve them all? Maybe, but probably not. I'm a-ok with that. So, without further ado, here are my goals for 2010:

1. I'd like to become much more familiar with how to cook without a recipe. I'd like to open up my cabinets and say "I'll put this and this and this together and then add a little of this for dinner". I got a wonderful book called How to Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson.

Not this Pam Anderson...

This Pam Anderson...

She's a great cookbook author and food journalist. Her book is really challenging me to stop depending on recipes so much and put my own knowledge and instincts into my cooking.

2. Consider planting a garden. I chose the word "consider" because I kill all plants. I try so hard to keep them alive, but always fail. I really do mean always. Herbs in the windowsill...dead. Poinsettia plants given to me for Christmas...dead. All flowers planted in the back yard...dead. In fact, last year I never got around to bringing in my flowerpots before winter came and they all froze. Which means the soil inside of them expanded and they all exploded. Only one survived and I'm looking at it right now from my window and wondering when it will also freeze and explode. My gardening skills are so bad that the previous owner of our house came back to visit the neighbors and weeded our flower beds (which was somewhat alarming because she didn't ask permission first...but at least the weeds were gone!)


I'd like to clear out all the flowers and such from the little garden off of my patio and plant a vegetable and herb garden. My neighbor, who just happens to be the former head of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, said that she would help me. We shall see.

3. I'd like to pursue a healthier lifestyle for both myself and the environment. I've been learning a lot about the food industry lately and feel more and more compelled to buy more organic and sustainable foods. I need to figure out a way to work these higher priced items into my shopping budget, but I think it's a challenge worth taking. I want to eat more seasonally and locally. I'm excited for the weather to warm up (in, what feels like, a thousand months from now) so that I can explore some local farmers markets and produce stands.

I also want to be more active. I want to strengthen my core so that I have less lower back pain. I also want to increase my energy level. Ironically, I'm heading over to the gym today. You may think that's not ironic at all...but I'm going there to quit. I'm quiting so that we can use that money for a Netflix subscription. Sounds like I'm getting closer to my goal of being more active by the minute! All kidding aside, I don't enjoy working out in a gym setting and have been working out more at home.

4. A minor, but important, goal of mine is to wear an apron when I cook! Seems like a no brainer, but I never remember to put one on and then I get stains on all of my clothes. I have so many grease spots on various shirts from splattering olive oil or smudges from juicy fruits and veggies. It's such a silly thing to forget, so my goal is to remember to grab it before turning the burners on.

5. My last goal is to open up our home more to friends and family. We do a fair amount of entertaining, but I want our house to be the kind of place where we can invite people over spontaneously. I want it to be a place that I'm not embarrassed by if someone stops over unexpectedly. This means that I need to pick up regularly and keep a well stocked fridge and pantry. The idea is that we can bump into people and invite them for dinner without me going into a total panic over what to serve them and where to stash all the random things lying around.

So there they are. Those are my goals for 2010. At this moment, my clothes are all over the bedroom floor, the fridge is empty, and I'm quitting the gym...it looks like I have a lot of work to do!

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