New Year, More Resolution

New Year's resolutions remind me a bit of horoscopes; an awkward and unlikely way to bring change about in your life. (Astrology strikes me as being to life planning what lottery tickets are to financial planning.) I only know a handful of (okay, 3) people who stand a chance of adhering to their resolutions rather than see them fizzle by Valentine's day. (I am not among the three.)

One possible ingredient for failure is our choice of resolve. For many, it's to lose weight and /or "get (back) in shape", probably the one-two punch resolution that fails most, sometimes even simultaneously. Other resolutions have more variable odds of success. For example, if you're 35, and you want to learn German, unless you plan to move to Germany (or another country that speaks German), you'll probably never speak German.

I believe that, if you resolve around changing slightly something you do every day - cooking, for example - suddenly your odds of success get much higher.

To that end, I'm compiling a list of resolutions for 2008 that are food-centric.

Eat at more restaurants in San Francisco - I take that city for granted SO much. One of the most beautiful cities on earth and I neglect it constantly. Not to mention the fact that San Francisco is often in a dead-heat with New York over which is the dining capital of the U.S. Chicago and Los Angeles vie for third place.

Make more stock - I've done it many times before, but not often, and not very well. Michael Ruhlman's book "The Elements of Cooking" is jam-packed with so much of the nitty-gritty stuff I've - if you'll pardon the usage here - skimmed over throughout the years and discarded as being too fussy. I've taken the "self-taught" approach (to varying degrees of success) and hit a wall.

Follow A Recipe - You read that right, follow a recipe. In other words, read the amount and type of ingredient and use that amount of that ingredient. I'm really trying to recall the last time (if ever) I followed a recipe verbatim. I made bread the other day substituting whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour. It turned out wonderfully, but I still strayed from the recipe. (It was a bit dense because I misread the amounts which called for two packets of yeast rather than the one I used.)

Part of this becoming a resolution was reading what Julia Child went through to produce her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". Testing each of those recipes repeatedly to make sure she was doing the original versions justice. Who the hell am I to stray from her version without first trying it? There's an old adage about "you can break the rules, as long as you understand what they are first." I think that's the case here.

Stop spending so much money on food - Seriously, crack is a cheaper addiction. Might be that I had to give up my uber kitchen in one of life's twists of fate, and my struggles in a tiny kitchen are at odds with my mild case of claustrophobia (or, hell, maybe I was just spoiled). But I eat out far too often and in not-exactly-bargain restaurants. Until dining becomes tax-deductible, I need to scale back. A LOT.

Stop spending so much money on alcohol - Well, stands to reason that spending money on food would also coincide with spending money on wine. Simply drinking LESS when I do drink would also help this situation, but I prefer baby steps...

Try Greek food again - I'm not exactly sure what put me "off" Greek food, but it was a powerful one. I have a bias against it I can't explain and I must make peace with it.

Other resolutions may come about throughout the year and I reserve the right to add more, though none of these seem appropriate to delete.


bb said…
I recommend Kokkari to you Daniel-san. It will help you with your resolutions in that it is Greek, and in SF. It will not help you in that it is not cheap*, and they do serve alcohol.

Going with a few people seems best so you can try lots of different things. It's delicious!

Oh yeah - when you are finished eating, rather than waiting for the bus-staff to clear your plate, I recommend that you stand on your chair, smash your plate on the floor and yell, "Opa!" Then, run!*

If you are too lazy to go to SF, their sister restaurant in Palo Alto is called Evvia . Also delicious.

Don't know if you use it, but I think you can use OpenTable for reservations at these places.


* = dine and dash could help you get in shape and with your problem of spending too much money on food.
~Dawn~ said…
I recall no mention of "Stop spending so much money on alcohol" when speaking of resolutions at BOKA. Had I known this prior to my invitation to the bar, I would have politely declined so as not to contribute to your breaking of intentions. All that said, thank you for the invitation, the drinks, the laughs, and the company. Who knew a snarky, carnivorous man and an easy-going, vegetarian woman could enjoy a few hours of each others conversation?

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