I’ve given some thought to the direction of this blog in 2013 and decided I
wanted needed to set specific goals. First, I’m going to target posting 1-2 times per week. I’m going to post every week on Tuesday morning with an occasional weekend post as well. This is ambitious and I’m sure there will be weeks this doesn’t happen but a girl has got to try.
Secondly, I’ve decided to take a specific culinary focus for the next year. The meals I throw together on weeknights will continue to be varied and diverse and the best ones I will share here. But I work well with goals and I wanted to challenge myself and have direction. This year I will be focusing on learning and cooking Italian cuisine.
Now I have to explain why I chose Italian when there are so many cuisines, Thai, Chinese, Middle Eastern to name a few, that I enjoy eating and cooking. I’ve purchased several cookbook in the past year to explore various ethnic cuisines and had some favorites that could have inspired a more focused study. However I especially enjoyed one: Sauces and Shapes by Oretta Zanini de Vita and Maureen B. Fant. . Matt and I got into making homemade pasta and I wanted a cookbook for reference. I quickly realized that what I associated with Italian cooking was only partially true. Italy is made up of twenty regions with distinct cuisines of varied styles, heavily influenced by the locally available food. There was much to learn and I was excited to explore.
Secondly, I was smitten with the emphasis on simple cuisine that lends itself to home cooking by focusing on fewer quality ingredients and ensuring each part of a recipe is deliberate and necessary. So often when I cook I throw together too much reaching for any additional flavor instead of focusing on each ingredient and what it lends to the recipe. I did research on what cookbook should be added to my library and decided on The Essentials of Italian cooking by Marcella Hazan.
As I read Marcella’s book I found many similarities to what I had enjoyed in Sauces and Shapes. Both authors spoke with a demanding authoritative voice of what you must and must not do. There is also an emphasis on making food the center of family and friend gatherings. This is how I grew up and one of the reasons I go back to the kitchen over and over again. To enjoy each other over food, wine, and fellowship. I am excited to focus on learning this cuisine, blending it with my unique style and create something original and delicious.