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Resolved December 31, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

Do you make new year’s resolutions? I don’t. I gave that up a long time ago. I got tired, as a teenager, of resolving to get rid of those 10 pounds that had no intention of going anywhere. I got tired of listing arbitrary goals just because the number of the year was changing. It’s possible that I resolved to never make a new year’s resolution again, but frankly, I don’t remember.

Last year a brother-in-law asked me if I made new year’s resolutions. I said no, but I make lists every day, which is a little like daily resolutions. Certainly this is tasking, not necessarily change-your-life stuff. But the lists include items that may keep the need for big lifestyle changes at bay. I don’t have a new year’s list with “lose 10 pounds” on it, but my quotidian lists always include “work out.”

If you want to change something about your life, change it. Why make it a new year’s thing? Why make a big announcement/production of it on January 1? If you want support, ask for support. It’s OK if that happens in March or July or October.

That said, I may be making a new year’s resolution. I don’t think it’s actually a new year’s resolution—it’s just the timing of the thing. I need to do it now, and it’s new year’s eve.

Some of you will remember my refrigerator rant from nearly a year ago: my meltdown at the ridiculous number of condiments cluttering my life and cold space. Well, the other day I was trying to make space in my cupboards for all the generous foodstuffs given me for the holidays. As I tried to shove stuff in, other stuff began to fall out.

This led to a bit of reorganization, as best I could in the moment.

And it’s when I’m doing this that I realize I have a lot of food and food helpers stashed away that I never use or think about: five types of rice, dried beans, rice noodles, rubs and sauces and special spices, cans of beans and coconut milk. When I occasionally stumble across this stuff, I think, I should make [logical dish] with this. Then I promptly forget about it.

Thus, resolved: Soon I am going to inventory the cupboards (and maybe the refrigerator). I am then going to do some meal planning based on my actual stash. I am going to eat the food I have. I am.

Will the fact that I am resolving to do this around new year’s mean it will never happen? We’ll see.


1. Cedar Waxwing - December 31, 2008

I’m with you — I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore — I never followed through, and when I failed, didn’t try again — thinking I’d failed for good.

I’m a list maker too — and when I don’t make lists I don’t accomplish much.

Good luck on your not-really-a-new-year-resolution of making dishes based on what you have in the house. (I’ve tried that — and usually make things no one wants to eat).

Let us know what you make — ok?

2. indigobunting - December 31, 2008

CW: Coincidentally, as you were commenting here, I was commenting on your family recipe blog (Craig, do you remember our first outing to the Hard Times Cafe in Alexandria?). Maybe I’ll use your lentil recipe in this endeavor…

For those interested, see Cedar Waxwing at:


3. Deloney - December 31, 2008

As long as I have garlic and onions around, I can always throw together something.

4. Bridgett - December 31, 2008

I don’t do new year’s. I find the whole idea of January kind of depressing and I don’t want to do anything new. As a catholic, I usually give up/start somehting good during Lent. I am usually successful at those (but they have a start and end date, so it’s easier–last year I gave up complaining about the weather–you may have noticed, that doesn’t last).

5. Cedar Waxwing - December 31, 2008

I saw that you commented on the recipe blog — thanks! The lentil soup is pretty good. I think I’ll make that for tomorrow.

6. indigobunting - December 31, 2008

Hmmmm. I’ll bet if I take any item I find and add garlic and onions, it would be delicious.

7. laurie - December 31, 2008

that’s a sensible resolution. and a tasty one.

i don’t do resolutions, either, other than the eating one: i mean that by new year’s day i am so stuffed with carbohydrates and cookies and nuts that i am deeply craving astringent things like tomatoes and oranges…. and i vow to quit stuffing myself with junk and return to my normal sensible ways.

funny how that vow always coincides with the moment i polish off the last cookie, the last fistful of cashews, which makes it pretty easy to keep.

happy new year!

8. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - January 1, 2009

I do indeed remember Hard Times. I had some of their world famous chili, and couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it was world famous, or even locally famous. It was pretty wretched. But you kept laughing and making wonderfully snarky comments, so that was all that mattered.

9. Craig (Maito Sewa Yoleme) - January 1, 2009

My (somewhat related) resolution is to roll the big, BIG outdoor trashcan into the kitchen and start pitching things from the refrigerator that (a) shouldn’t be eaten by anyone because they’re so far gone they are now laboratory experiments, (b) were bought for Mom, but which I don’t or shouldn’t eat, (c) are neither of the above but simply don’t hold any interest, so they’ll stay there for who-knows-how-long. Well, I know how long, and it’s today.

10. Helen - January 1, 2009

So what’s on today’s menu?

11. indigobunting - January 1, 2009

Laurie: Indeed, the self-disgust factor is reaching staggering heights. And I still have cookies in the house.

Craig: What a sweet thing to say. I’m glad I was better than the chili. Did you manage your refrigerator project after the recorder playing?

Helen: Well, today, I had pancakes, real maple syrup, bacon, a bite of sausage, potatoes, eggs, a pint of whole milk (like grade school!), and coffee. But as this was at the firehall, it probably doesn’t count for my project, which I intend to start today. Soon. Maybe.

Quoted in today’s Writer’s Almanac, Oscar Wilde: “Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they have no account.”

12. Mali - January 3, 2009

This made me laugh. My pantry and refrigerator and freezer are chock full of those items I find which I buy thinking “I saw a recipe once which used these” and then I can never find the recipe. I refrain from throwing them out because we are constantly exhorted to have an earthquake emergency stash of food. That’s just an excuse, and anyway, numerous forms of pasta and jars of sumac are not going to be of much help after an earthquake with no power. Maybe you’ll inspire me to clean out my cupboards too.

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