A year ago, in the early ambitious hours of January 2018, I challenged myself with a commitment to cook every recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. Twelve months later, let me update you on how that resolution turned out….well, it wasn’t a Super Bowl season but I definitely batted a better than .500 average. (mixed sports metaphors ‘cause that’s just me)
By the numbers, I feel like a failure. I completed only 124 new recipes out of 215. Remember that I was trying to complete EVERY recipe, which mean I was 91 short. The individual issue stats were as follows:
Dec 2017/Jan 2018: 81%
Feb/Mar 2018: 68%
Apr/May 2018: 65%
June/July 2018: 56%
Aug/Sept 2018: 51%
Oct/Nov 2018: 21% - ouch!
As with many resolutions, one’s adherence to a goal drops off over time. I grew tired of trying to incorporate new recipes with difficult-to-find ingredients into my weekly menus. Publishing and executing a new menu almost every week of the year is challenging enough without including recipes that I’ve never attempted. In summary, I DID NOT COMPLETE THIS GOAL.
But on the flip side, I
learned a fool-proof technique for making frites (french fries) on the stove without a deep-fryer, thermometer, or any other fancy double-fry method
incorporated Indian-inspired dishes onto the BG menu, having never dared before
tried (and failed miserably) making three different “inside-out” roasts where the stuffing was rolled on the outside of the beef, pork and lamb cuts—a costly experiment to be sure but fun, nonetheless
made Chashu Ramen from scratch and discovered the multiple days required with many different steps really wasn’t worth the end result (we’ll be eating ramen at a noodle house for the foreseeable future, thank you)
fell in love with homemade gnocchi
experimented with four new takes on pot pie, one of which has been permanently added to the BG rotation
ordered lobster from Maine to bring authentic lobster rolls to my menu
tested several cream pie recipes, much to the delight of my DH, whom I love to please with culinary treats
So was the resolution a bust? I don’t think so. The positives I gleaned from the process far outweigh the actual numbers. And who’s to say I cannot continue the endeavor? Why can’t I keep cooking my way through the magazines until I’ve made each and every recipe? I won’t put it at the top of my goals list for 2019 but it can still be a goal, right?
I’m including my favorite recipe from the year, Cold-fry Frites, in case you want to give it a whirl. Always be trying something new—it’s an opportunity for growth, change and fun!