Every year at this time the papers fill with talk of New Year's resolutions, kilos to be lost and marathons to be run. But I'm not interested in compiling a list of self-flagellation and denial this year, I want to concentrate on the positive and look ahead to the skills I'll (hopefully) acquire and the food I'll (definitely) eat.
|Milton Brook Mortar & Pestle, The Essential Ingredient |
USE THE KITCHEN GADGETS I HAVE
Here at the Market, it's so easy to wander into the Essential Ingredient or pop into Lee's Asian Grocery and decide that I really, really do need a mandolin. Or a mouli. Or a Thermomix. Or a mortar and pestle, completely ignoring the fact that I own three of those already (everyone needs one in every different size, right?).
This year I resolve to use the kitchen equipment I already own. To get every ounce of pleasure from something that I once couldn't wait to own. Which leads to ...
|Stone fruit at Garden State Fruit Supply|
MAKE ICE CREAM MORE OFTEN
While I can eat ice cream at any time of year, the ice cream maker does tend to get a little dusty over winter. But in summer, with trays of nectarines and mangos everywhere it's a crime to let it simply sit there. There is nothing like eating freshly-churned ice cream on a warm evening as the cicadas whir in the background. And having your own machine allows you to experiment a little, try flavour combinations that you're unlikely to find anywhere else.
MAKE MY OWN PASTRY
I know, I know. (Don't get started, I hear enough about this from my mother).
One of the best cooks I know swears by Maggie Beer's recipe for sour cream pastry. I'll get right onto that, but then I'd have to buy a food processor which kind of breaks my first resolution ... (there are exceptions right?).
CUT DOWN ON FOOD WASTE
Here at Prahran Market, our traders donate almost 40,000 kilos of fresh food to SecondBite each year, which is distributed to agencies in need including the Prahran Mission and Sacred Heart Mission.
Now I don't have access to that kind of service at home. And I somehow don't think they'd be interested in the wilted contents of my vegetable crisper. Or the prawns I picked up at Theo & Sons that I was "definitely definitely" going to cook but then went out for dinner four nights in a row. But if I shop a little more often, a little more consciously and plan a little in advance, hopefully I can keep my own food waste down this year.
|Artichokes at Russo's Fruit Supply|
THINK ABOUT EATING AN ARTICHOKE
So it turns out you can be a food obsessive and work surrounded by some of the best produce in the world without ever having eaten an artichoke. Oh the hearts of course, in salads and on pizze, but have I ever acidulated some water and steamed, boiled, baked or stuffed me an artichoke? No. And they are so utterly beautiful, truly one of the knockouts of the vegetable world. I'll think about it. Really I will.
So do you have any culinary resolutions for the New Year? Some of our shoppers are talking about making their own pasta or bread this year or getting round to the cassoulet challenge ...