08 January 2009

Be it resolved

I don't make many New Year's resolutions, but this year I did come up with two that I think I can live with*:

1. If the temperature is above 40 degrees as I am getting dressed and I don't have to be somewhere immediately after, I will walk to work.

Progress report: So far, so good. Or so far, not so good. The only day the temp was above 40 so far this work year, was the day that I had to return the laptop to the office, so I drove.** All other days were cold or cold & rainy.

I will probably have to walk on Inauguration Day not matter how cold it might be as all the bridges from Virginia to DC will be closed and I live on a major Maryland to downtown DC route, so getting out of the parking lot for my building could possibly take all day.

2. I will cook at least one thing from one of my cookbooks each month. My friend Stephanie, who lives in Michigan, made the same resolution so we going to cook together long distance. Whenever one of us tries a new recipe, we'll e-mail the other and say what cookbook it came from and what we thought of it. David thought it sounded like a cool idea and would also like to play.

What prompted this resolution for me is that when Mom did the apartment to Very Assisted Living downsize, I got many of her cookbooks. So I have lots of cookbooks in kitchen and if they are going to take up that much real estate - they completely fill the roughly two-foot wide, four shelf baker's rack - they should get used.

I'm utterly dying to use a cookbook of my own that I've had for years, The Norman Table, largely because it's pretty and prett' near every recipe calls for Calvados. Just for fun, though, I decided to start with the top shelf and work from left to right. And as I shelf my cookbooks by height, I am basically going from shortest to tallest.

The other "rules" for this game***:

1. The recipe should be one I've never made before. No fair using the recipe for Cinnamon Toast from my Winnie-the-Pooh cookbook. Turn to a different page, girl! Show some initiative!

2. The first time I make the recipe, I will prepare it as written. Henceforth, I can use the text as a series of suggestions. Except for flour substitutions, of course.

3. Mom always put the date under a recipe if she was making it for the first time and it's nice to see that in her old cookbooks. I think I'll give preference to recipies with dates in her handwriting. And I'll add my dates.

First up is the James Beard Cookbook, which has dates in Mom's handwriting and my teenage handwriting.

*If I really need a third, I could add something easy and fun like "spend more time watching tv with a cat on my lap." The cat would definitely vote for that.

**Carrying a laptop that one does not own for a mile is: a) heavy, and b) asking for a trip-and-fall.

***Which only apply to me. I'm not goat-roping Stephanie or David.