Currently viewing the tag: "New Year"

by Buck Reed

New Year, New Cooking

So, here we are again; we made it to a new year. And, if we can put politics behind us, we can go about the business of forgetting the past and looking forward to a new year. All we really have to do is make a proper New Year’s resolution.

Most people make the mistake of making their resolution too strenuous. We won’t talk about people who make it too easy. The important thing is to make your New Year’s resolution attainable. Instead of saying you are “going to cook every day,” which is a noble goal, try something like “becoming a better cook.” Assess your current skill-set and find a skill or some skills that will add to your culinary prowess.

Here are a few ideas of some skills I think every good cook should have.

Knife skills. Every good cook has a special relationship with their knives. Learning how to keep them sharp and storing them is a good start. After that, you should get comfortable holding your knives correctly and using them to make uniform cuts.

Make soup. Don’t learn how to make just one soup, but learn the techniques it takes to make any kind of soup. Making soups will help you experiment and use new ingredients, as well as help you to learn how to bring out the flavor in your finished dish.

Learn a new way to cook eggs. A chef’s hat, called a toque, has a hundred folds in it to represent the number of ways a cook can prepare an egg. Start with making a perfect omelet and work your way around the toque.

Cooking with a cast iron skillet. Although cast iron skillets seem to be challenging to deal with, once you get them set up, they can be a joy to work with. They are great for pan-frying, roasting, and even putting a new spin on your baking. The good news is that once you get your skillet seasoned, it is easily maintained with a minimum of work.

Bake a cake from scratch.  Taking the time to measure each ingredient for a cake carefully, and then mixing it all together correctly, can seem a tedious task, but it can teach you valuable skills. After that, learn how to decorate the cake without a pastry bag. Think of all the occasions you could use a made-from-scratch cake.

Prepare a hot breakfast. Preparing a morning meal in a timely manner can be an impressive skill for all sorts of situations (enough said).

Becoming a good cook isn’t about finding the perfect recipe, but rather mastering the techniques and expanding on those techniques to create good food.

If you put a little time and effort into enhancing your culinary prowess, it could be a tasty year.

by Anita DiGregory

“New Year, New Beginnings”

January 2019. New year. New beginnings. A blank canvas. A clean slate. A do-over. Perhaps country singer Brad Paisley said it best in referring to New Year’s Day:  “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

If you have made a New Year’s resolution, you aren’t alone. A poll conducted December 8-11, 2017, by YouGov.com found that out of 1,159 U.S. adults, only 32 percent said they would not be making a resolution for 2018. The top resolutions for the year included eating healthier, getting more exercise, and saving more money.  These were followed by focusing on self-care, reading more, making new friends, and learning a skill.

However, studies consistently show that up to 80 percent of resolutions fail. In fact, Strava, the social network for athletes, conducted research and found that motivation generally fails the second Friday in January, renaming the day as “Quitters’ Day.”  According to a six-month study recorded in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, more than one in three resolution makers will give up by January 31.

There are many scientific theories out there as to why so many resolutions are abandoned.  These include, but aren’t limited to, making too many resolutions, setting unrealistic goals, making commitments based on other’s expectations, or not having the proper mindset or motivation. 

Although many resolutions go unmet, the positive effects of making a resolution are undeniable.  According to many mental health professionals, resolution makers are often successful in evaluating areas of their lives in which they see the need for change. Additionally, resolutions often center on healthier lifestyle choices.

So how can we make more successful resolutions? Here is some advice from the experts. Reflect on what is important to you, where you are in life, and where you would like to grow. Choose one specific, attainable goal. Realize that it is not so much about keeping a New Year’s resolution, as it is about meeting small, important goals throughout the year. Accept that you will stumble, but don’t allow that to cause you to lose your motivation.  Assess the reasons for the stumble and make necessary changes to keep them from reoccurring. Stay accountable; use a journal. Utilize the “buddy system” by enlisting a friend to keep you on track while you help them. Celebrate small victories.

Here are some family-friendly ideas for mom resolutions; pick one to work on or devise another that suits you and the needs of your family. Smile more. Pray more.  Practice patience. Stop comparing.  Use your phone less. Work on organization. Practice gratitude.  Regularly take the kids and perform a service for someone in need. Slow down. Get stronger. Make healthier choices. Spend more quality time together.

Here are nineteen quotes to inspire you to become the best version of yourself in 2019.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

                —Edith Lovejoy Pierce

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.

            —John Burroughs

Comparison is the thief of joy.” 

                —Theodore Roosevelt

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.

                —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.

                —Tony Robbins

The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes. Unless a particular man made New Year resolutions, he would make no resolutions. Unless a man starts afresh about things, he will certainly do nothing effective.

                —G.K. Chesterton

I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years.” 

                —Henry Moore

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

                —Louisa May Alcott

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

                —Benjamin Franklin

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” 

                —Cavett Robert

Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.

                —Helen Keller

Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.

                —Muhammad Ali

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

                —C.S. Lewis

What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year.

                —Vern McLellan

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, “It will be happier.”    

                —Alfred Lord Tennyson

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.

                —T.S. Eliot

I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” 

                —Serena Williams

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

                —Plato

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

                —Winston Churchill