Written by adam on Jan 4, 2007
Resolve to Change Your Life
Filed Under: Editorial
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.
Responses to "Resolve to Change Your Life" ...
Adam, nice post to start off the year; I may steal your idea a bit! And I like to think my start at baking has inspired you (that's completely a joke!)... But I am going to continue pushing my bread baking efforts this year, with a focus on artisanal style/euro style breads now that the holidays are over.
One of my life changes is to take photos of my food... Oh, I already did that, to the point of my wife and friends laughing at me!
Nice Post Adam! I too and trying to make some life changes. For one, instead of continuing to struggle to lose weight, I am concentrating on losing waist! To that end, I plan to expand my culinary knowledge so that I continue to make dishes that I love but find new ingredients that will make them healthier.
I am also chronicling my waist loss journey at http://waistloss.wordpress.com. Feel free to follow along...
Well, I resolve to change my life by kicking His Royal Highness out of the kitchen every now and then before I forget how to bake! Now, where is that unbleached all-purpose flour?
Neil ... awesome. That's the perfect thing to do. And just the right kind of attitude .. a positive one!
Curt ... Yes, you did inspire me to improve.
Wife ... if I could only get you to wash a dish.
Welcome to the 'learing to bake' club Adam. Last summer (when it was too dang hot to bake) I made a promise that this winder I would learn to bake bread. Another experiment is scheduled for tomorrow and I'll be posting my results.
Adam I agree - make life changes now before it is too late! This year I was inspired to make a *Gratitude List* http://www.trustedadvisor.com/ instead of a *New Year’s Resolution List*. One of the many things I am grateful for is the inspiration I get from Men in Aprons! Best of all is that you always seem like you are having so much fun with your cooking adventures! Happy New Year!
Hi Adam. What a great post! Like you, I need to improve my bread-baking skills, so I'm taking a turn at king cake this weekend to fulfill the brioche portion of my curriculum.
Mostly, I want to learn more about sauces this year. I've got the basics down, but need to expand my repertoire to put the finishing touches on meals. To that end, my husband bought me the James Peterson book on sauces which came highly recommended on Amazon.
Best of luck with your resolutions!