A New Year!

Hey, would ya look at that: it’s 2011! I kicked-in the new year in Barcelona with my mother where we ate 12 grapes in 12 seconds before midnight at the Plaça de Catalunya. According to Spanish folklore, successful completion is supposed to bring good fortune in the coming year. Well, aside from indigestion (Spanish grapes are NOT seedless, which we learned a bit too late, and in the excitement of the church bells tolling and people chanting, we chose potential good luck over gastronomic fortune), the only thing the new year brought me was a debilitating 5-day sickness for the remainder of our trip. (More on España to come…)

"grapes of luck" at La Boqueria, an open market in Barcelona

This year promises to be a doozy. In 5 months, I will no longer be able to shirk real-world responsibility for collegiate irresponsibility. Already, I’ve lost the luxury of sleeping alone in a full-sized bed (however I’ve gained the luxury of having a live-in boyfriend, so I can’t complain). Nonetheless, I have a few new year’s resolutions that will hopefully make this year (specifically this semester) a little less stressful.

1. Cook more, better, and intelligently. Yes, my raison d’etre is food, but not with the culinary emphasis of say Julia Child. I can definitely tell you about the choices and consequences in buying a bunch of conventional peaches imported from Georgia, but I can’t tell you how to chose the perfect peach, when’s the best time to eat it, or some other ways to consume it (i.e. in a pie or cobbler). I want that to change by the end of this year. I would like to be the go-to-girl not only for inflammatory responses about the state of our food system, but maybe also for some low-key advice on, say, how to pick a good artichoke. To begin this year-long lesson in culinary perfection, I’m reading How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons. So far, a well-written introduction to the world of raw ingredients.
2. Bake more, better, and intelligently. (See above.) Also, I want to try new techniques and baking fancier things, ya know, things besides cakes, cupcakes, and breads.
3. Learn more crafts. Last year I made Noah a quilt for his birthday, this year I’m knitting a sweater. I knit a lot of Christmas presents this year, including a scarf with a chunky rose for my 3-year-old sister. But knitting and quilting are about as far as my crafting skills go. Noah consistently one-ups me: last year with a bedside table made from a fallen tree, and this year a wooden spoon. I’m currently on the wait-list for a jewelry making class that I’m criss-crossing my fingers I’ll get into. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll have to settle for introduction to printmaking, which wouldn’t be so bad I guess.
4. Spend more time with friends and really enjoy New York City. Last semester, I was so consumed by my farm women research and interviewing that I barely got out of the apartment/library/upstate NY farms. I only have one more semester here in NYC so I want to rediscover the city one last time and get in as much face time with friends before I move off to who-knows-where-vill. This includes more bars, eateries, and absolutely more shows.

This seems like a doable list. Fingers criss-crossed.

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