It’s the day after Christmas, and I’ve already started a little pre-season gardening! Aeroponic parsley, dill, basil, chives, mint, purple basil and cilantro. I’ve made my own “neverending” bottle of vanilla. Organic vanilla beans covered with vodka – steep for 4 weeks, then replenish the alcohol as it get used – another very cool Christmas food find (that I shared with my mom and sister). I’ve also rearranged the kitchen, purged a bit, and begun paring down some – gearing up for a more ruthless clean out.
A friend of mine has a fantastic, and large pantry, with more books than you’ll find in any cooking section of any bookstore. Seriously. But since food and writing is his bread and butter, it makes perfect sense – yet no less inspiring, and intimidating to behold.
What is almost equally intimidating (to me) is the few shelves of cookbooks I have, and the sad fact that most have hardly been cracked. Apparently I don’t NEED them – Thanks Web 2.0! Some were gifted, others were too good not to bring home, (I have more still on my Christmas list). Many have not set foot in the kitchen. This is about to change.
It’s a new season, and for me that is a renewed interest in cooking… but with January, (resolutions) right around the corner, it’s hard to get excited about restraint. Oh, I want to make soups and stews, all kinds of great seasonal dishes. Never did make all the cookies I wanted for Christmas, and the time is right to enjoy the beer I made this fall. But it is finally time (again) I got myself down (closer) to my fighting weight. One helpful push is a contest at work – I decided I’m going to win!
I’m proposing losing dozens of inches in the coming months – off the bookshelf. Last year I sold my back issues of Cooks Illustrated when I signed up for an online subscription. Now I’m taking this thinking to a new level – I’ll pick a book, seek out 3 recipes that interest me and cook them in a week or so. If I have three winners, I have a keeper (and the confidence to try more). If I don’t like em, then odds are the rest of the book isn’t exactly to my taste, and will pass it on, and move on to the next book.
The goal – a streamlined kitchen, and a much less cluttered house. A house full of only the things I love and need. Will new books come into the house? Surely. I’ll try to break them right in, and I’ll have a tougher litmus test before I begin to create new piles of clutter.
If you DON’T love them, set them free!