2022 Kitchen Goals: Fall Update
September 27, 2022
Fall showed up with a vengeance this year, dropping about thirty degrees overnight. But it meant a beautiful weekend for apple picking, which is perfect to get you into that autumn mood. A new season means it’s time to reflect on my kitchen goals again, and figure out the best way to use the final quarter of the year.
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The day-to-day routine for the rest of my year is punctuated with holidays, events, and big family meals. It starts early next month with an annual family Oktoberfest celebration, and goes through multiple birthdays, a wedding, and of course Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So my goals for the season have to keep that breaking of my routine in mind. It’s harder to plan to do things each week (or on any designated cadence) when that could be a week filled with other plans. Instead, these goals are all about embracing the crazy. But first, let’s journey back to the warm days of summer.
Summer 2022 Goal: Keeping It Fresh
Keep track of fresh produce
This is the piece of the goal I was the most successful with. In fact, up until last week, I did an excellent job of keeping the produce tracker spreadsheet up to date twice a week: on Tuesdays, when we added our weekly farm share, and on the weekend, when we visited our favorite local farm stand.
I am constantly making adjustments to how this spreadsheet can work the best for me, and I did implement a few changes this year for better tracking on priority for what we need to use up before it goes bad.
Unfortunately, some things still don’t make it into a dish, and end up getting tossed out. However, the good news this year is that we have been able to transform that waste into compost, which will go to good use in next year’s garden. No more excess trash from fruits and veggies that we forgot in the back of the fridge!
An organization focus on the fridge
Speaking of the fridge, I really tried here, you have to believe me. I truly started off so well, making myself a three-pronged game plan for tackling this overwhelming area of the kitchen.
First, I took measurements of the interior of the fridge and documented those. Then, I began sketching ideas for how to organize it, and looking for products that would help me get there. And that’s where it kind of fell apart, so I never made it to budgeting a wish list and making organization purchases.
Instead, I found myself frustrated with either the sticker shock on fridge organizers or the lack of the products being exactly what I wanted. Everything felt like an overly expensive compromise, and I couldn’t jump in on any of it. I’ll keep pursuing a fridge reorg, but my hopes aren’t as high.
Utilize creative resources
Here’s another place that I started off doing a really good job with, and then I kind of let fall apart halfway through the season. I did add my entire cookbook collection to Eat Your Books, and some favorite websites as well. I was able to then use that to search recipes and find inspiration for dinners.
But I didn’t update my recipe database with a single recipe for the entire three months. I wanted to add five per week! The tracker I created for myself is, sadly, completely blank. I want to blame it on not having the time, but it was more likely just having other priorities.
Luckily, Eat Your Books worked well during the beginning of summer, helping me to develop some exciting new dinner recipes for my husband and me. As busy work seasons met up with the produce getting more overwhelming, however, we have started to fall back on some of the old classics.
Discover Previous Years’ Goals
How are your goals going? Check out this fall update for some ideas on resolutions all about your kitchen and food!
Fall 2022 Goal: Embrace the Opportunities
Fall is a season of adventure. It’s watching a leaf fall off a branch and be carried by the wind on an unknown journey, or turning the corner on a new hiking trail to discover a bustling world of color and nature. I love fall because the air is crisp and wearing sweaters still feels new, but also because of everything that gets packed into these three months.
Since holidays and gatherings are such a big part of this time of year, my goal for the season is to really lean into each one of them, whether I’m hosting or simply enjoying someone else’s hard work.
How does this relate to my kitchen? Well, around here, all of the major fall events revolve around food. So whether it’s trying the adventure of a new technique or flavor combination, exploring a different cuisine, or bringing the joy of my own cooking to others, I am fully embracing fall food.
So when it comes to keeping track of my progress, it’s a little more abstract than the previous three quarters of the year, but I’m still going to do my best at making these goals measurable:
- Make holidays an adventure by experimenting with at least one entirely new dish for Oktoberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plus, I want to try adding twists to the more traditional dishes. To make this a reality, I’ll be starting my big menu plans way in advance, leaving myself lots of room for error.
- Keep control in check when enjoying food. I can get very caught up in what I am eating: will I like it, is it good for me? But I want to make sure I don’t limit myself when I should be exploring. It’s a delicious season, and I do want to take advantage of all those fun flavors. I want to let myself indulge at least once a week, without thinking too much about it.
- Share my creations by giving away at least 50% of what I make for this blog. That will mostly be in the form of handing out desserts to coworkers and hosting family, but also includes anything I make for a gathering I’m not hosting as well.
I’ll once again be using my planner to keep up with the progress of these, by creating visual trackers I can use to narrow my focus and stay accountable. We’ll see if it works any better this season!
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Most of my fall decor comes from Target, but I pay for a lot of it by earning gift cards for completing surveys. You can sign up for Swagbucks using my referral link, and we’ll both earn 300 points (~$3) after you earn your first 300. Also, check out Target’s fall decor (not sponsored).