I made one resolution this year, which I think is easily attainable but will go a long way to helping us feel more grounded at home: to better manage our eating.
It means not only cooking more but also planning and budgeting so that mealtime can regularly be something that feeds our souls. We've had a lot of upheaval over the years and have found ourselves in a habit of resorting to desperation foods - eating out all too often or throwing together "deconstructed" meals of bread and yogurt, hummus and eggs. Not terrible stuff, but not especially uplifting. One starts to feel a little transient always eating on the run.
My first improvement for the year was to start making my own pickles. Aside from being expensive (at least in the quantities we consume), most storebought pickles are simply uninspiring. And there couldn't be an easier way to punctuate a meal with joy than by serving homemade pickles.
It turns out, Market Basket regularly discounts older pickling cucumbers en masse. This is my second batch, and I can attest that slightly wrinkly older cucumbers are every bit as delicious as smooth younger ones. I found the recipe for pickling spice on All Things Considered. If you're interested in making some yourself, best to buy whole spices in bulk from an Indian or Middle Eastern market.
I've found the easiest-to-remember recipe for brine is 1 cup of white vinegar to 3 cups of water, plus 1 tablespoon of salt. Start by adding the cucumber slices to your jar, then fill to the top with brine. Add pickling spice along with a couple of bay leaves and whole garlic cloves. I also like to add dill weed.
Let the pickles sit in the refrigerator for at least three days (just try waiting longer!).
Pictured here with Armenian string cheese.
What about you? Considering any food-based resolutions or other simple (if not easy!) changes in your routine?