I keep reminding myself that New Year’s resolutions don’t last.
I have to keep telling myself that, because right now my gym is packed. The dressing room is full of people putting on new sneakers, and the weight machines are full of people staring cryptically at the not-so-helpful illustrations of faceless male bodies and the accompanying terse Hemingway-esque instructions.
As much as I wish these people the best in their new goals for themselves, I also can’t wait until mid-February, when the place clears out entirely and I am free to saunter between machines unencumbered.
Of course, spending so much time pondering the short life spans of new yewars resolutions has made me pessimistic about my own. Far from lofty, my resolutions are to read more, write more, and clean more. All three are limping along come mid-January, when I realized I really needed to be cooking more, too.
My problem isn’t so much with how often I eat out, but what I eat in. Working in proximity to a professional kitchen and living alone has caused my personal eating habits to deteriorate. I am happy to scavenge from the take home fridge at work or eat turkey sandwiches for weeks on end. When I do cook something up, its more likely to be a stand-by dish that I don’t need a recipe for, like an easy cheese pizza or pasta in a simple sauce.
In an attempt to get myself out of my cooking rut (and really enjoy some of the fancy new kitchen stuff I got for Christmas), I am creating a challenge around my resolution to keep it from getting forgotten alongside my new gym buddies’ running shoes.
The challenge: Cook at least one new recipe from a new cookbook every week until I’ve exhausted my collection.
With 15 cookbooks and an ever-expanding collection (one of the perks of the job at America’s Test Kitchen), I should be cooking new recipes straight through until spring.
So stay tuned while I cook my way through everything from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking to Helen Exum’s Chattanooga Cookbook. It should be an interesting start to 2013.