New year – new me – small victories, I think….

I am so not a New Year’s Resolution person. At all. I rarely make them because I have no follow-through. LOL. At least I KNOW that about myself.

Over the past year, after completing a Whole30 and feeling amazing, and then returning to feeling miserable, we discussed our health ad nauseam. We discussed our lives. We chatted about friends and family, moving, and recreation. We have decided that our health is completely dependent on how we feed ourselves, how we sleep, how we recreate, and who we have in our lives on a regular basis. Our faith is the centerpiece of all of this; the nexus we revolve around.

In one area in particular, it pretty much falls on my shoulders to make a positive, and permanent, change. And so I am embarking on healthy cooking. I was never taught how to cook. And so this year, I am challenging myself to learn to be a better cook. I joined this amazing cooking club called Food52. Their premise is we cook 52 weeks of the year (hence the name) and if you want to eat better, you need to cook better. I also joined their monthly cooking club. I am beyond excited. I am learning to put flavor and technique together, to give my family basic meals that are savory, healthy, and from local providers. I love their outlook. And I have met (and become friends with) some women who are amazing cooks. And one in particular who has inspired me. She knows who she is – at least I hope she does!! She took me to an amazing place where I walked among raw grains and some fresh spices. I walked out of there (okay, we sort of “scurried” because it was so cold!!) with a new NutriMill mixer. (It’s a division of Bosch). And that started my transformation. Thank you, my friend.

Yesterday I whipped out two loaves of bread in about 10 minutes, from ingredients to first rise. That new mixer was incredible. So smooth and powerful and fast!!!  After about forty minutes, they were baking in the oven and the smell was pure heaven. If you have never made your own bread, you truly are missing something special. The kneading, the whir of the mixer, the smell of the warm yeast, and that aroma of fresh baked bread – there is nothing like it. And I also made-from-scratch some amazing potato-cheese soup. It was so wonderful on a very cold day, to smell the bread combined with the soup! And tonight, the leftover bread and soup tasted even more magnificent, as we took down all our Christmas decor and wondered at the fog and minus (yes, negative) four temperature outside.

If you want a treat and have not seen it, watch the movie Julie/Julia. It is a delight. I can relate to Julie, because I am going to try cooking from the infamous cookbook above. The cookbook that changed American kitchens forever. I used to watch Julia on TV as a kid and her voice is something you never forget. Watching her debone a chicken, or telling the food to do as it was told, beating it into submission some times, was something I treasure to have seen while young (her show is on YouTube, in case you have not experienced any of it). Amazon is a great place to find used books. I got both volumes for pretty cheap. And I anxiously await their arrival! In the Food52 monthly cooking club (they also have a baking club…oh my! The photos alone are killer) you are asked to cook from the main book, which is Julia Child’s book. They give you an amazing list of books to choose from, and ask you to cook at least one recipe from one of the alternates. It was hard to choose, and now that I have chosen, there are four or five others I would love to try. I will peruse the others and download recipes from them, as I am inspired!! Bouchon Bakery is one I would love to try, when I have patience – ha-ha! But the one I chose is “Small Victories.”

The author wanted a cookbook about home cooking. LOL. She said she wanted to “demystify” home cooking using lessons she calls, “small victories.” There are over 400 recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I need small victories on this journey, and I thought Julia Turshen could help me achieve them. I cannot wait to dig in to these recipes!!!

So, my resolution is to not be afraid to slice, dice, spice, and heat my way to new discoveries for all our meals. I am going to endeavor to cook from ingredients rather than boxes or mixes. And I want to learn to be comfortable in my own kitchen. I am also going to whip out my serving dishes and tablecloths. I want our meals to be a place of communion with one another and a healthy place to gather. Hopefully, friends and family will join us along the way, even if it is just to sample some of my culinary discoveries, small victories, and amazing meals.

The tree is coming down, and our New Year is beginning…our new adventure!


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