To Cook is To Love: A Foodies Journal

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By: John Verlinden/TRT Cuisine Writer–

New Year – New Resolution
I can’t believe another year has passed.  So have you made any resolutions?  My New Year’s resolution for 2011: Make No Resolutions! A resolution’s a surefire way to disappoint should my best laid plan not quite work out. No matter how reasonable and thoughtful we are about setting our goals, some jerk always seems to come along about January 2nd to mess things up.

Just because I’m not making resolutions, doesn’t mean I don’t intend to make some changes, I’m just making wishes this year instead. Cubans have a great tradition to ring in the New Year which I love; it’s calleddoce uvas (twelve grapes).  Along with your midnight glass of champagne to toast the New Year, you get a dish of 12 grapes. The grapes symbolize the months of the coming year, and as you savor each one, you make a wish for each month.  As I ate my grapes and concentrated on my wishes, something strange happened. It occurred to me that even though I wished for something different each month, all my wishes (once I’d put aside the “new Mercedes,” the “beachfront villa” and the “winning megabucks ticket,” that is) basically boiled down to this – spend more quality time with family and friends, improve my health and do something creative. Sound familiar? Once I figured that out, I knew I could make all those wishes come true and I could do it all at the same time.  You can too!

Each month, let’s make a special dinner party (get out the good china and tablecloth) for someone special in our lives. We’ll make it with them (family and friends) – there’s no better way to bond than when prepping a meal together. Make it nutritious (better health), by making it the old fashioned way – from scratch with whole food ingredients. And, make something you haven’t made before (creative opportunity); I’m finally going to tackle the fresh artichoke.

And, if you should miss a month or we have to order in pizza because our soufflé falls flat … no biggie, we’ve got eleven other chances to get it right.

Have questions? Need a recipe? Want to suggest a topic? Contact me: john@muchogusto.com or www.muchogusto.com.