I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a wild ride so far. When we get to the end of March in any year, I always say it feels like it’s been only a week since New Year’s, and at the same time like it’s been years. That’s never been more true than it is right now. But I still have my kitchen, which means I’m still trying to work toward my kitchen goals for 2020. Here’s where I’m at after the first quarter.
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Cut Down On Waste: Food And Disposables
I wanted to track the food waste we’re creating, but honestly I really didn’t start doing that at all. Let’s be real, I’m not super motivated to keep track of what’s going in the trash can or down the garbage disposal. But I have done a better job of keeping track of the produce we have on hand, and coming up with ways to use it up before it goes bad.
On the disposables side, we have fully switched over to reusable grocery store bags in NY. We’ve even done a pretty good job so far of remembering to keep them in the car, so we’re not stuck carrying items. Otherwise, I haven’t introduced too many new sustainable practices in my kitchen, but I’m sticking with some old favorites.
Moving forward: I will continue “auditing” our produce supply, and brainstorming meal ideas. Plus, I want to look for new ways to cut down on disposables. Maybe I’ll even write a sequel to that old blog post later in the year!
Try Making Something Totally New Each Season
This has been my most successful goal in the first three months of 2020. I’ve definitely tried a few different experiments, and made some fun stuff. Mostly, I like to move one step away from my comfort zone at a time, which means making a familiar dish with a new twist. Something like cinnamon-praline stuffed challah or rocky road black beans brownies both challenged me on a low-level.
But it’s been dinners that I’ve let myself go completely off the rails with trying new things. We used some trimmings our basil plant, Count Basil, to make fresh basil fettuccine. It was the first time using our KitchenAid pasta roller and cutter attachment. However, I’ve technically made pasta before. So I’m claiming my “totally new” achievement to be homemade tortillas. They were easier than I expected, and completely delicious!
Moving forward: I don’t have any concerns about this goal. I’m always trying new things and it shouldn’t be a struggle to continue. To help myself, I want to start a list of ideas for my quarterly projects.
Keep Eating Local, Even In The Off Season
I thought this goal would be the toughest in the first quarter, but it turns out that may not be the case. While we didn’t visit too many restaurants, we definitely patronized a couple local breweries over the past months. We have some old favorites and we tried a couple new ones as well.
At home, I signed us up for another season of our farm share, and I’m hoping we’ll get plenty of fresh produce again this summer. Plus, we’ve started really breaking into our home-canned collection from last summer. We made a peach pie using canned peaches, and we’re slowly but surely working our way through jams and pickles.
Moving forward: It’s looking like it will be tough to directly support local breweries and restaurants, but there are still ways. I’d like to brainstorm ideas for keeping local when possible, even in a limited market, with many doors closed.
Take Advantage Of Hosting Opportunities
Sometimes you make a goal with the best intentions, and the universe has other plans. We spent the first two months of this year saying “oh we’ll host a game night/brunch/get together soon!” and “Once the snow melts we can have people over!”
But then March hit, and now no one is hosting anything. This is definitely disappointing. I had so many ideas for the year, and now I’m not sure any of them will happen. Spring brunches are pretty much off the books, and now I’m not even sure about summer barbecues or even Thanksgiving dinner.
Moving forward: I may need to revise this goal. It’s clear that this year won’t be exactly what anyone intended. I’m going to think it over and see how I may be able to adapt.
So that’s where my goals are so far in 2020. It’s been tough to keep up with these, especially the last two. However, I feel like I’m doing my best. I can put my focus into the first two goals. Meanwhile, I’ll have to spend some time thinking about how to make things work. Did you make any goals for 2020? Let me know how those are going!