There’s a lot of pressure on the month of January to magically produce new habits, commitments and even whole new selves. Whether or not they eventually come to fruition, what matters is starting the year by reflecting on things that matter to you. At least you can spend the first couple weeks of the year as a virtuous, kind, healthy and motivated person.
Personally, a lot of my own reflections revolve around food. Besides the enormous amount of time spent eating in our lives, food represents a meaningful focus point for thinking about personal habits, cultural phenomena, identities, rituals, attitudes and relationships — a few of which just so happen to be common subjects of many new year’s resolutions. So, for the food-obsessed and all-around well-intentioned alike, here’s a list of food year’s resolutions:
- Devote time to making and (especially) eating good food. No matter your diet, food preferences, budget or ingredients, the best thing you can do for your food is give it the time and attention it deserves to cook and eat. Put on your best Gordon Ramsay hat and get excited about different aspects of the cooking process. Watch a sauce slowly simmer and thicken; note the difference in the way ingredients look, taste and smell; discover new combinations of flavours and textures. Spend a couple hours sitting around a table with good company and enjoy the food, mood and drinks — at least before schoolwork starts up in earnest and you have to lock yourself in your homework dungeon with a packet of Soylent.
- Learn something new. For me, one of the most exciting things about food is the never-ending amount of research and knowledge that goes into it and its endless experiential and creative possibilities. So many people are thinking, writing and doing research about food that it seems a shame not to take advantage of it! For example, I learned that onion dicing trick last year and now I feel like I’m on Iron Chef every time I cook. Learning a new technique, recipe or fact will stoke both your curiosity and your confidence.
- Challenge yourself. It’s kind of funny sometimes when you think about the aversions you have to certain foods or certain techniques. I cook a lot, but am personally terrified of overcooking meat. Simple? Yes. Worthy of anxiety? Probably not. This is a good year to change that.
- Eat healthier. This is a perpetual resolution because humans are fallible and my cravings are better characterized as sugar poltergeists. But all is not for naught! These saccharine demons can and will be exorcised – after I finish my bag of five-cent gummies of course.