• Posted by Califia Suntree on January 14th, 2013, 5:00 AM

    As 2013 gets underway, I start thinking about my goals for the year. As I’ve said before, I hesitate to call them “resolutions,” but I do like starting a new year with some ambition. Looking to last year’s goals, I’m afraid I didn’t do very well. I did check a couple more of Jonathan Gold’s “99” off the to-do list (my current total: a measly 21). I did not attend the Donut Summit in 2012–because they didn’t have one. Fortunately, Portland’s newly opened Blue Star Donuts will provide me with ample fried dough this year. I still can’t do sardines, but I have started using anchovies as a base for pasta sauces and salad dressings, and I did can some stuff, though my experiment with the trendy-for-a-second chrono-diet was limited to bigger lunches.

    But out with the old, in with the new! Here are five of my food goals; share yours in the comments!

    1.) Go to the farmers’ market more. Nothing raises the spirits like walking among colorful piles of fresh produce, so this year I’m going to prioritize weekly visits to the Portland farmers market. Winter is no excuse to get in a supermarket rut–cold weather farmers markets are more popular than ever. End result: a healthier (and more seasonal) diet.

    2.) Go mushroom hunting. I’ve only been mushroom hunting once, in Spain in ’06, where we ended up throwing all kinds of random fungi into a sack, which we dubbed the “bag of death.” Now that I live in mushroom territory, I’m determined to try again–and get some edible rewards. (The Oregon Mycological Society is going to be a great resource–though the name of 2013’s first member event is concerning: it’s called the Survivors’ Banquet.)

    3.) Learn how to make Vietnamese food. This one is perhaps ill-timed, since I finally live proximate to the best Vietnamese food in town. I had wanted to start by making DIY nuoc mam (fish sauce), but I think fermenting a crock of salmon pieces for six months could get me evicted. This cuisine–among my favorites–has always daunted me. In 2013, I will take the pho by the horns, stock up on kaffir lime leaves and cellophane noodles, and dive in.

    4.) Drink more beer. This goes with number 3. But, also, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild, there are currently 51 breweries in Portland, “more than any city in the world.” So, I have my work cut out for me. Fortunately, studies show that beer strengthens bones, boosts iron, and makes your hair pretty (but only if you pour it on your head).

    5.) Put my vintage cookbook collection to use. This one has been a long time coming. I collect old cookbooks and the yellowing, butter-smudged recipes of my ancestresses. I have piles of of them, which I love to flip through and admire. And yet, I never actually prepare these vintage recipes. Julie took on Julia, I’m going to take on Foods of the World.

    I’d better get cracking–only 351 dates left and 27 volumes to get through.


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