Give certain things another try. There are a couple of things I’ve always been really annoyed that I don’t like. Most things I’m not impressed by are related to texture, and though I’ve tried long and hard, I don’t think there’s anyway I can train myself to enjoy them. Some things though, I’m still sure there’s some way to change my opinion. The main culprit is coffee. Having watched Matt discover proper coffee over the last year, it’s occurred to me that I’m probably missing out. I’m going to attempt to train my tastebuds in a new series on the blog coming soon, named “Learning to Love”.
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Spend cash on quality. I eat out so much. Probably too much. There are so many restaurants and cafes I want to try but it’s easy to fall into a routine. You get used to the places that are near to you, that are dependable and easy. That’s not to say they’re not good, just that there are probably more exciting options out there. This year I vow to try new places. Eat out less but do more research and even spend more money if necessary. I’m interested in trying a few more fine dining restaurants, especially those close to home in Leeds and Yorkshire. I want to try street food, corner cafes and local favourites too. Basically, I just never want to pay over the odds for a mediocre lasagne at Jamie’s Italian again. 2013 saw my dislike for chain restaurants grow but hopefully in 2014 I can visit more independents than ever. No matter how much my friends might like Nandos 😉
Expand my skill set. 2013 was the year I finally learnt how to bone a chicken properly. I want to work on classic techniques and build up my repertoire a bit – I’m talking filleting fish, tempering chocolate, making the perfect choux pastry. I can do a few things really well, through a bit of practice. I’ve got a perfect chicken stock down, I can make my own pasta. But this year I want to round those skills out, Julia Child style. It’s surprising how many things I don’t know how to do to, just because I didn’t eat them growing up. I might even go back to basics and learn how to boil an egg from Delia. Basic skills can act as the start of so many dishes, so I’m hoping it’ll seriously help with putting together recipes and menus.
Commit to seasonal eating. In 2013 I learnt a lot about what to eat throughout the year. By picking foods that are in season I’ve found that my diet has become much more varied and I’m always willing to try something new when I make meals at home, especially when I’m under pressure, if I’m in a hurry or I’ve just got home from work and want something quick. It saves me from falling into ruts with midweek meals, something I’m really thankful for because I get bored easily and a constant rotation of spaghetti bolognese, Thai green curry, sausage and mash and the like can get me down. I’ve definitely also seen a decrease in the times I reach into the freezer for a pizza or borderline looking leftovers. I’m not saying that everything I eat is always in season but I definitely use it as a guide when thinking about what to rustle up. In 2014 I want to commit more to that way of thinking and eat more of what’s ripe as opposed to what’s on the shelves at the supermarket. If you fancy looking into eating seasonably too, I found this infographic pretty helpful.
What are your food plans for 2014? Are you changing anything up? Is there anything you want to try in the year ahead? If so, share it with me down in the comments or over on Twitter @whipuntilfluffy. What have you been up to over the festive period? Keep up with my shenanigans over on Instagram. I’ll be back with a recipe in a few days.