Resolve to Change Your Life
I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. I prefere to take a Dr. Phil-ish type of approach to making changes to my life. I do not make resolutions on January 1st. I make life changes. I think that if a change is important enough to make in your life, you shouldn't wait until the first day of January to make it. Make your change now before it's too late.
This year, maybe you should take a look at your culinary skills and decide to make the life change to improve them. It does not matter at what level your skills are, most likely you should be able to improve. Nobody is perfect.
For me, I have decided that it is time to improve my abilities in cooking fish and baking breads. Cause, dammit, I suck in those two areas. For too long, I have put off learning the finer points of cooking fish, and I cannot escape my shortcomings in bread-making. Every time my wife whips up a skillet of southern cornbread or a batch of yeast rolls, feelings of inadequacy overcome me. Sad but true.
Overcoming one's shortcomings can be a daunting task. Where do you start? It's hard to look at yourself in the mirror, tell yourself you suck and then try to do something about it. But that actually may be the best way to go about making the change. I once read that a great step to success is to identify your greatest weakness, and turn it into your greatest strength.
Find out what you want to improve about your cooking, then take steps to improve it. Learning a new skill is not usually something that is done overnight, so be prepared to practice. And do some research; the world wide web is the perfect place to start.
For instance, if you are trying your hardest to get those beautiful grill marks on your steaks, but are having no luck, maybe you just need to learn a little more about how it works. There are some great sites out there on the web that can help you. Get Your Grill On is one of them, or you can hop over to Steven Raichlen's blog to get some great info. Knowledge is power.
Perhaps you want to learn how to make a burger that doesn't taste like a hockey puck. Men in Aprons' better burger guide 1 and guide 2 are the perfect place to start. Not to mention, the countless meat-based blogs out there on the web.
After you have equipped yourself with knowledge, the only thing left to do is practice, practice, practice. But be in the right frame of mind. Obey all your normal culinary routines, such as mise en place, but make sure that you are having fun doing it. If you are enjoying yourself while cooking, your results will probably be better than if you have a sour attitude.
You know, confession is good for the soul. I'd like to hear what resolutions or life-changes you plan to make this year in the kitchen.