Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 resolution review

With today being December 31, I thought it would be fun to have an 'accountability moment' on my 2008 resolutions, which I had posted at The Ethicurean early last year.

Learn how to bake whole grain breads: I was superficially successful in meeting this one — I baked a few loaves of Vollkornbrot (a dense bread made from cracked rye kernels and other whole grains held together by a sourdough batter), baked my favorite sunflower seed loaf a few times (the recipe is in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) and many batches of whole-grain crackers — but never found the time to read Peter Reinhart's latest book or do any serious learning. Perhaps in 2009 I can be more serious with my whole grain baking. 

Use my solar oven more frequently and learn new techniques: This one was a bust — I barely used my cooker during the year. Sunny days happened to coincide with my busy weekend days and whenever I had nothing on the schedule, the famous San Francisco summer fog wouldn't burn off until noon and would then roll back in at 2 or 3 PM, thus preventing any serious solar cooking. I managed to build a prototype dehydration module, but only got one chance to try it out. (It was flawed and needs major modification.) In 2009, I need to find a better place to store the cooker so I can quickly set it up every weekend day that I'm home to at least heat water for dish washing.

Try a wider variety of fruits and vegetables: Although I didn't keep track of my purchases, I have a feeling that I did well on this one. On most trips to the farmers market, I'm looking for new offerings or trying items that I haven't done much with. In my resolution text, I specifically mentioned collard greens, and in 2008 I came to love these leafy greens braised in a little bit of sauteed garlic.

I don't know if I'll formally make any resolutions in 2009. If not, I'll keep last year's ideas in the back of my mind as I strive to improve.

Random link from the archive: Ciabatta
Technorati tags: Baking : Food


Steve Sando said...

Thank you for another year of interesting posts.
I don't often leave a comment but be assured your blog is well-read! From hummingbirds to solar cooking, I have to think we are long lost twins.
Please keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled on your blog pretty randomly and was struck by your resolution to use your solar oven. I grew up in India and my family used one for quite a few years. It worked very well for us. My mother would cook rice and lentils in it pretty much every day. She used it a lot for roasting nuts, peanuts had a completely different flavour in it. I was allowed to use it for my baking too. Cookies and brownies, stuff that didn't need to rise too quickly turned out very well. My parents don't use it anymore but they still use a water heater for all their hot water.
Good luck with your experiments!
- Uma