Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WFMW--Self-Nourishing Resolutions

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know about my unusual new year's resolutions. While most of the world wants to get organized, lose weight, or something else that often involves the feeling of self-punishment twinned with self-improvement, I go the other direction. Long ago, I saw a great suggestion in a magazine to go with more self-nurturing ideas--it's midwinter, a good time to be kind to yourself.

The year I saw it, our nearest city was host to the Republican National Convention, and due to sheer laziness, there were a ton of completely fabulous restaurants in our city I'd never been to. The idea of all these out of towners trying them first really got my goat, so we decided to try a new restaurant every month. (This was silly, of course; our city hosts dozens of huge conventions every year with out of towners eating in our restaurants; this one just happened to be televised.) But, we stuck to it, and by the time the convention came I was cheerfully pointing visitors to my new favorite spots.

The year my younger son turned 2, my resolution was to read six non-child-related books. That was a good year.

Last year, it was to see a movie a month. That didn't work out quite as well, but we did see a bunch, even if they were mostly Netflix and OnDemand.

This year, I'm taking a cue from my new favorite cookbook: The Spendid Table's How to Eat Supper. I loved reading the book just for entertainment value--they have lots of great asides, taste tests, etc. But one thing they wrote was that one of the author's resolutions is to master a new cookbook every year. One year, it was Mexican, another year, maybe Julia Child, another year, a Madhur Jaffrey introduction to Indian cooking.

I am not in a position to go on yearlong culinary adventures with the developing palates in the family at the table. But I can do a cookbook club for one. I was always interested in trying a cookbook club, where you have a month or two to try recipes from a cookbook, then come together to have a potluck of favorites and discuss. No one I have floated the idea to is interested. So I'm doing my own version. This month, it's The Spendid Table's How to Eat Supper. (I've already loved the aparagus and scallion recipe, and we've tried a few others too.) I have Jamie Oliver's Jamie's Kitchen from the library, but they will want it back before I can finish it. I think next up might have to be Deceptively Delicious, since my one son balks at eating anything that resembles the state in which it grew. And I still have the Robin Miller cookbook that I need to explore more, with her cook-once-eat-twice-without-feeling-like-it's-leftovers philosophy.

So, that's this year's resolution. Why mention it now? Because lots of people have learned by now that their original resolution isn't working out. And I'm flexible with deadlines. It's never a bad time to self-improve with kindness. And finally, I save my "harder" resolutions for spring, and Earth Day, since for me, that's an easier time of year to start something and stick with it.

What's your resolution? Chances are, whatever it is, you'll find a way to help yourself succeed over at Shannon's blog!


Domestic Goddess said...

I'll be honest. I never make resolutions. I don't believe in 'em. But if I were to, say, think about making a resolutionish goal, it would be to be more patient, to enjoy my life every single day and to try to take care of myself more. As you know, I'm the last person to get care around here. Which is why self-pampering is sooooo important!

Anjali said...

I have some very casual, low pressure New Year's Resolutions -- like make more of an effort to get together with friends, even if that means paying a sitter. I try to make them things that are fun to do, and good for the soul at the same time.

Brooke said...

i'm trying to read more this year...and doing a good job so far! :)

George Erdosh said...

What a great idea! I am considering doing the same. I which you would add my latest cookbook to your list: it's a cookbook but much more than that, filled with information on how to be an efficient cook preparing good and healthy meals.

Check out my latest (Nov/08). It’s already getting great reviews:

Tried and True Recipes from a Caterer’s Kitchen—Secrets of Making Great Foods

On Amazon, etc.

Kathleen said...

My kids love the things in Deceptively Delicious! I'm going to have to read that Splendid Table book.

brandy101 said...

In a way, with the surgery looming (and now behind me) I never made a resolution, as the life-changing event was so near.

I think, after what I just went through, I am going to (secretly) go back to monthly splurges (30 plus tip; some splurge!) on pedicures, because you also get the bonus of the amazing back massage from the chair plus some quiet time with fashion magazines. I need that to break out of my sweats-and-slipper-socks rut of winter!