Now that we are into the new year, and you may or may not have already fallen off the workout wagon, it’s time to think about new types of resolutions. Personally, I think a New Year’s Resolution should be specific rather than general. For instance, if you work out, figure out five ways to work out better, or more efficiently. Or if you write like I do, figure out five ways to become a better writer so more people share your stuff on Facebook or come back to your site every day. I know most of you do this already, but just in case you aren’t, I have to get better in order to fix that!
When it comes to being a “foodie” things are no different. You could just watch more Top Chef or Chopped, or you could actively make an effort to understand and appreciate food more. Luckily for you, you came to FoodSided, and now you will be given a simple of tasks that, when completed, will in fact make you a better “foodie” in 2014. And don’t worry, I am not going to tell you to take a trip to Italy or France and break the bank. Being a “foodie” does not necessarily have to equate to spending money if don’t want it to.
Try a 12 New Cheeses! One for every month.
If you haven’t figured it out, cheese is the life-blood of a foodie. In fact, in today’s food-centric world, some people drown their sorrows in a silky log of chèvre, rather than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Let’s be clear, trying the latest block from craft doesn’t count. Be adventurous, find a local dairy farm, order something from overseas. Cheese is a beautiful thing when it’s done right. Just be sure to ask the shop or farm you buy it from how they recommend it is eaten. Most good cheeses are best as stand alone bites, but some are best consumed with some sort of formage paraphernalia.
Need some help learning about cheese? Cheese.com exists, and it’s awesome!
Bake a Loaf of Bread, from Scratch.
Bread has been a staple of civilization since the beginning of time. Yet most people, have never made their own loaf of bread. Go back 100 years, and you would probably find as many people in America who could bake, as you’d find who could read and write. Another caveat here: when I say bake bread from scratch, this doesn’t include dry active yeast. Make a starter, knead your dough by hand, and unplug your bread machine.
If you need help learning how this process is done best, check out Bread by Jeffery Hammelman.
Tackle the Food Alphabet: One Food For Every Letter!
If you want to really open your mind and become a gastronome, this simple exercise is great! The way it works is throughout the year you try a new food, dish or ingredient for every letter of the alphabet. So 26 new foods in 52 weeks. Just one for every two weeks. Sounds easy sure, but the key here is the research involved in making sure you don’t eat apples for A or Bananas for B. Some letters will be pretty tough, but try to get it done. Keep a log, and do your research. You can thank me later!
Go One Month Without Eating Anything Processed
This is not meant to make you into a vegetarian or force you into organics. The purpose of this exercise is to make yourself a better cook, get you to appreciate where your food comes from, and maybe make you healthier. The healthy aspect is really up to you though. If you want to make pizza dough and pasta from scratch and load it up with fresh cheeses, go for it. Making candy from scratch is also a tasty and fun way to not be healthy, just make sure you don’t use refined sugar. You can take this to any extreme you want, but I recommend allowing anything that is not packaged in a box, can or plastic bag. The only exception, San Marzano tomatoes, because not using San Marzanos is torture.
Get Netflix and Watch Ted Talks: Chew On This
I have to be completely honest here as to why I included this on the list. As much as I thought I knew about food before watching this stuff, my mind was semi-blown afterward. Now, I will say take all of this for what you will. I’m not here to brainwash anyone or gavage a way of thinking down your throat. However, watching these presentations is definitely mind-opening to why some people are so passionate about the direction food is going in America and around the world.
If you have seen these Ted Talks, then go ahead and watch The Mind Of A Chef starring David Chang and produced by Anthony Bourdain.
Share This With Friends And Make A Dinner Group
By dinner group I mean find a group of 4-6 people and go out to dinner somewhere new once a month and have a dinner party once a month. The key here is to order a few items and share when you go out and to go with a pot luck when you eat in.The act of eating food after all, is a communal activity. Treat it as such!
And Obviously, Read More FoodSided.com!