• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

David Hensley

Culinary goals for 2014

87 posts in this topic

I have quite a few goals for this year.

One that's definitely queued up is to get a flamethrower of a wok burner to go with my spiffy new carbon steel wok. And use it.

Another is, for the first time (ever), to explore baking a bit. I'll probably start with some simple sourdoughs and expand from there. Always been a stove-top kinda guy, but I just got an oven. The absence of an oven may seem a bit unusual, but not here. I live in Bangkok, Thailand.

A couple more that I'll do, funds permitting, will be exploring sous vide (I'm keen, but may not have the budget this year) and a Thai cooking course (something more in-depth than the usual tourist courses, possibly studying privately with a restauranteur friend of my wife's, time permitting).

It's going to be a fun year.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My goal is to simplify and declutter.

I just did this yesterday! (I was avoiding a huge pile of filing.) I started with the "junk" drawer and then found myself moving on to the rest, taking everything out, cleaning the crumbs out of the drawers (!), and putting only about half of the stuff back in. Then I moved on to the cabinets. Each object went through the "Have I used this in the last year?" test, and if it failed, out it went. (Now if I could only force myself to do this with my closet!) Then, "Do I really need three of these? Which is the one (or maybe two - I'm only human) that I actually use?" and out went the extras. Some lucky Value Village shopper in Seattle is going to be very happy soon.

K

Chuck it if you haven't used it in a year? That's brutal. Unfortunately I have a basement, which is really not a good solution in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually cook something from the 300 or so cookbooks I have. Not just read and get inspired by, but actually pick a recipe or 10 and cook THAT. And maybe bake some bread in my big green egg.

2 people like this

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After four years of experimenting, this is the year I've decided to bring low temp - sous vide to earth in my recipe file. Not of any significance to anyone else, but a major advance for me in my own little world. And, text-wise, a huge challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get a good grip on making fresh pasta, including the filled kind, in less than 5 hours, and make it pretty enough for company.

Get a really good sourdough starter established, and keep it fed, and use it.

Learn how to make an olive oil/rosemary bread at least as good as the San Luis Bakery Sourdough Olive Oil and Rosemary bread that I can get from, of all places, the Save-Mart stores in Visalia. It sounds like heresy, but I think that bread is better than the La Brea Bakery version we get here in Duluth. Surely I can do as well?


Edited by Smithy (log)
3 people like this

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I received a nice grinder and vertical sausage squisher as Christmas gifts this year. I have zero experience about making sausage. So, I'm looking forward to all the wonderful things I am going to learn this year.

Brian

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I received a nice grinder and vertical sausage squisher as Christmas gifts this year. I have zero experience about making sausage. So, I'm looking forward to all the wonderful things I am going to learn this year.

Brian

Good for you! It's a lot of fun. When you get to it, you'll be able to get a lot of advice here in eGullet, if you want it.

1 person likes this

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I received a nice grinder and vertical sausage squisher as Christmas gifts this year. I have zero experience about making sausage. So, I'm looking forward to all the wonderful things I am going to learn this year.

Brian

Good for you! It's a lot of fun. When you get to it, you'll be able to get a lot of advice here in eGullet, if you want it.

I want it AND Need it! Thank you Nancy

Brian

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to make better use of my freezers, both to hold things for later and then use them when it gets to be later.

2 people like this

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knife skills. Every time I use one, I cut myself badly. I have a brand new Henkel set that I should not be avoiding.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knife skills. Every time I use one, I cut myself badly. I have a brand new Henkel set that I should not be avoiding.

You're absolutely right! In case you don't know about it, there's a short course on knife skills in the eGullet Culinary Institute that you may find useful.

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/25958-basic-knife-skills/

eta: there's also a good discussion about differing techniques in the Q&A section that follows the course.


Edited by Smithy (log)
1 person likes this

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knife skills. Every time I use one, I cut myself badly. I have a brand new Henkel set that I should not be avoiding.

You're absolutely right! In case you don't know about it, there's a short course on knife skills in the eGullet Culinary Institute that you may find useful.

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/25958-basic-knife-skills/

Thanks! I know, logistically how to use knives.,it seems unnatural to me. Plus I tend to shake when I shouldn't likely due to anemia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reviewing my list from last year...

Last year [2012] my goals were to learn to make cupcakes for my daughter (check), macarons (check), pulled pork (check) and a few others things that I now need to move to my 2013 list: sourdough bread, confitures, caramels, and vinegar.
I am adding to my list that I would like to make more tiki drinks and continue my experimentation with cocktails in general.

I think I've achieved my goal regarding cocktail experimentation and tiki drinks (cf. the Spirits & Cocktails forum).

I've made bread regularly, including fougasse, Italian semolina bread, and a bunch of others, but haven't made sourdough yet. I got distracted and did not make confitures, caramels, or vinegar in 2013. I hope to do that this year.

Adding to the list: make falernum, perfect my ravioli technique, and learn more fabulous chocolate tricks thanks to the eG workshop.

Also I really want to make duck confit and this may be an excuse to buy an Anova... we shall see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks! I know, logistically how to use knives.,it seems unnatural to me. Plus I tend to shake when I shouldn't likely due to anemia.

If you can learn to use a pinch grip (thumb and forefinger "pinch" the blade at the bolster end of the blade and the other 3 fingers go around the handle) and keep you other hand's fingers curled under it will become difficult to cut yourself.

1 person likes this

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Difficult but not impossible. I nick myself here and there. With the fingers curled it's still possible to shave the knuckle

My goal is to turn water into wine. More seriously I'd like to experiment with more cultural foods I have little experience with. Would love to make breads and pizza/flatbread better than I do now. Want to expand my SV cooking to see where it really shines for me. Right now it's more about inattentive cooking. The ability to cook while I'm busy doing other things

I'm sure there are many more goals to attain that I haven't thought of currently. But the year is still young

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another of my goals is to sweet-talk hubs into buying me a convection oven.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice! And here I was just going to have my wall unit oven suffer a tragic accident, such that it would require replacement.

I like your idea better, though!

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To understand the principles of pastry, I think, is my goal for 2014. Chocolate tempering and shaping, laminated doughs, yeasted bread; all of it. I'd like to look at anything the best pastry chefs make and say - if not "I can make that" - at least "I understand how he or she made that."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first go at roasted zucchini was so-so. I will try trimming them differently and draining them longer next time.

I roasted asparagus this week and was pleased with it. My daughter, her husband and I couldn't get enough. My wife didn't care for them, thinking them to be a bit bitter. We gladly finished them for her.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My goal is to recover from shoulder surgery so I can start cooking normally again - one-armed cooking is a pain in the ass, as is the inability to take a pot or pan off of a shelf without significant problems. Our new Cuisinart Combo-Steam Convection Oven has come in handy for sure.

Porthos - I think you're in California...how about roasting artichokes, sunchokes, all sorts of colors of carrots...


Edited by weinoo (log)
3 people like this

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just to add one more, eat what's in my freezer and pantry! A couple years ago we had a no shopping for a week or something like that thread, I went several weeks w/o having to buy anything but fresh things. I'm gonna do that again, don't even have a clue whats in the bottom of my chest freezer, the downside of these cheaper units. Also setting up a spreadsheet or whiteboard next to it, with notes what's in it and since when. I bought it when I got into ordering meat direct from the farm, but in the end that approach is no good for me, since I end up with portions either too small or too large to feed us four. Need to empty the whole thing out, defrost it, toss what's too old, eat what's good.

And cook even more with veggies. Scaled down our meat consumption, we still eat meat several times a week, but I can't remember the last time I ate an entire steak by myself, we usually share one or two. I'm gonna cook from the three wonderful books by Yotam Ottolenghi, the veg dishes looks and sound fantastic.

And bake from it, wondering if I maybe should jump over my 'no sweet tooth' shadow and learn to bake a couple things. Especially since the first fresh strawberries from down the road (Watsonville, CA) already showed up at the market.

ETA: I've come to the conclusion that zucchini won't ever budge to roasting or grilling for my taste. Reverted to make them my Italian uncle makes them, cooked low and slow with onion, garlic, s&p until all soft and loosing shape. They develop a nutty flavor I can't get any other way.


Edited by OliverB (log)
1 person likes this

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dinner for four once a month. This month featured Rissotto with sausage and Manchego stuffed dates wrapped in Serrano ham among other tasty stuff.

Rock on

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two goals:

First one to get back to having folks over for lunch, with or without dogs. Family health problems have put us behind in our usual lunching custom.

Second one and more interesting perhaps is to make all the recipes in my latest purchase: Power Hungry: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook. Camilla V. Saulsbury. To date, I've made about 6 or 7 with delicious results. I've also begun an eG topic," Power Hungry": making the bars from recipe #1. So far, it's been fun. Just finished making: Citrus-Seed-Fruit Bars. They just might be the best one yet.


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.