🔪 Kitchen Resolutions 2023
Every year I sit down and make some resolutions for the kitchen. Given that food is one of my favorite sources of joy, novelty, and connection, it’s a favorite practice of mine to spend a little bit of time making this space more useful, and my time spent in the kitchen more meaningful. Having people around my table (even figuratively) is how I show love, and bring people together – and although we can’t do much of that these days, I’m thankful to be able to take the time to feed myself well.
I’ve been writing these resolutions for more than a decade, and some of them pop up year after year – affirm doing good things that work – and a handful are new each year. You can take a peek through previous years here: (2012) (2016) (2017) (2018) (2019) (2020) (2022)
Re-Commit to Consistent Kitchen Habits:
Particularly the habits that keep me consistent in other areas of my life. I find that most things in my life depend on me eating well.
- Weekly Meal Planning: one of my home court habits in my “Let’s Eat” spreadsheet. I also make a weekly Evernote note with my shopping list on there as well.
- Update my “Anytime Shopping List” ie: regular groceries list (favorites, protein, don’t leave the store without this!) — got a head start!
- Update my “New Recipes To Try” list (with at least 52 stellar recipes for the year and beyond); and a weekly Turkish recipe
AND: Dishes cleaned before bed, coffee maker set. Coffee cup next to the coffee maker, ready to take on the day. (After a year + without a working dishwasher, this is now so much easier with a working one! Another reminder to tackle nagging tasks!)
While some people find a perfectly spotless and minimalist kitchen ideal; I actually need to be able to see appliances or pantry items in order to be inspired to use them.
- Do a systems audit for blockages
- Make what I want to use more obvious
- (New) Schedule a quarterly KITCHEN PURGE.
Quest for Best:
This is one of my personal values – I get a lot of satisfaction out of keeping track of the “best of”, like your own neighborhood consumer reports.
- Do a pantry audit, and re-stock pantry with “best of” items, update my spreadsheet
- Seek novelty: Bean of the Month Club, Spice Club, new item at Trader Joe’s or one new item at Formaggio each trip! (NEW: Noma R+D club shipments, an Omsom Everything box.)
AND: Update my 1000 new fruits/veg to try list! (By *season* if possible)
Assorted Culinary Miscellany
• Get your knives sharpened. Just do it! (China Fair does it for a dollar)
• Review storage containers for more sustainable options
• Re-Read a classic cookbook every month
• Read more food writing (and memoirs) – added to reading list!
AND: Write a new travel (and local!) bucket list of restaurants. (Currently in my Ideas Doc)
Make Memories in the Kitchen
- Update Friends + Family Favorite List so I can cook in honor of my people and think about them (or cook for them!) If I haven’t solicited some from you, drop your favorites in the comments for me!
- Monthly: Update Seasonal Favorite Cooking List (in my Ideas Doc)
- Monthly: Update my list of “Big Cooking Projects” (in my Ideas Doc)
- Zoom Cooking classes with friends! (In 2021, I had a great time taking a truffle making course, and a Lamb Biryani from Pondicheri – looking forward to choosing a few great options to take with friends and family!)
- NEW: Pick two signature cooking gifts (something to perfect and send to people)
- NEW: “The Weekly Bean” – I have a subscription to the Rancho Gordo Bean Club that leaves me with a very large stash of beans to eat. I aim for a bag a week. I was very inspired by a picture in the Rancho Gordo Bean Club facebook group of a woman who had a nice running list in a bullet journal of her weekly beans.
Restaurants in Boston I’d Like to Visit
Yes it’s not *technically in my kitchen* (also generally working my way through Eater 38) Pammy’s • Oleana • O Ya • Fox & The Knife • Kava Neo-Taverna • Contessa • Menton
New Cookbooks in 2023:
My bare minimum of reading/rereading starting point – I read a lot more cookbooks generally, but my specific resolution is to add recipes I want to try to my running doc!
- January: Smitten Kitchen Keepers (already loving this!)
- February : The Woks of Life
- March: Ottolenghi Extra Good Things
- April: Pierre Franey’s The 60-Minute Gourmet
Do you have any kitchen resolutions this year? I’d love to hear about them!
PS: ICYMI: my non-exhaustive list of food I ate in 2021 and food I ate in 2022!
I love the idea of not going to bed with a dirty kitchen. It is something I have strived for but between my husband’s and now my pre teen soon who have late night munchies it has been a challenge.
Sam, I love this. Kenji’s Wok book is awesome. I’ve made ton of recipes from it, and it’s given me a better understanding if the foods I love when eating out.
Also, cheers to seeking out new an novel things. For a couple years in my Cook the Book Club, we only covered international books. Indian, Israel, Cuban, etc. It was a fun way to learn about cultures through food and many times, ingredients I’d never heard of. Just shopping for the ingredients was an adventure!
Another time we did regional cookbooks, like Junior League books. (The Seattle Junior League books are particularly well done and I often gave them as gifts.)
If you need ideas for those Rancho Gordo beans, my friend Crescent Dragonwagon (silly name, James Beard Award-winning author) wrote a cookbook on beans. It’s very well done. Her book on soups is also a cult classic!
I have The Wok now on your recommendation! Looking forward to reading 🙂
I can’t say that I manage to do it every night, but it’s a nice one to re-commit to!