2015 simply had to end.
It isn’t possible for a year to hold any more life than this one has….but I’ll be damned if we don’t try.
Cramming the best possible changes and adventures into one single year is hardly fair to the years that follow, unless we resolve to make them just as grand. And while I fully understand the temptation of wiping the slate clean on December 31st and begin the New Year with completely new ambitions and aspirations, there is nothing about 2015 that I want to forget. So I’m resolving to have more of last year. More of 2015’s vibrance and energy. More growth and adventure. More flavors, more places, more people, more moments like these. I want the new year to be more of the last, but we are not looking backwards.
When you want nothing more than more of life itself, you tend to find it. That was the magic of 2015. And that is my New Year’s Resolution: to set no more expectations than I had at this time last year, except to embrace what comes and run after more. Because it seems that when you chase joy, it finds you. It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but progress is nearly always preceded by dissatisfaction, and that can be good too.
Looking at all the activities from the last 12 months, the year is probably best summarized in a shorter list of what I’ve learned. 2015 taught me that when you’re restless: make a move, when you’re craving things: try to cook them, when you’re lost: ask, when you’re happy: linger, when you don’t want to forget a single thing; write, when the absolute love of your life moves across the country so you can always be together: you should marry him, and when you want more of all of it: you should make it happen. Bring it on 2016. It’s going to be grand.
The Staples List
We have been doing an abysmal amount of cooking lately. We decided not to hire a contractor and instead spend every spare minute gut remodeling our kitchen with our own two (four?) hands, as well as the sacrificial, countless hours spared by our close family and friends!
The takeout has been brutal. But we keep telling each other that doubling the size of our kitchen is so very worth it. Where we used to have one 12 inch and one 15 inch counter on each side of the stove, we now have feet of counter space. We hung all our beloved cast iron on new pot racks, finally merged all of our spices into little glass jars, and Adam made lovely wood shelves to store everything all at arms length! The possibilities feel endless!
So in typical fashion, of course I committed us to an overly ambitious amount of cooking in the very hours after the kitchen cabinets were mostly in place for the holidays. From Christmas Eve to the 26th of December we cooked somewhere around meals for 70 people and I just loved every second of it. (But of course didn’t take pictures of any of it!)
Now that things are starting to settle down, and we are starting to settle into our new kitchen, I want to remember all the little things that have made this year great. One of those things is the journal that started this whole food blog, where Adam continues to write notes and handwritten recipes.
Simple and uncluttered, one of my favorite sections of the lovely leather book is titled “Staples”. This is where we keep all the cheat sheet versions of things we already know how to cook, like the difference between starting our basic ‘refrigerator bread dough’ and focaccia…. I think I like it so much because looking back 5 or even 3 years from right now, I couldn’t imagine any of these things being “staples” in my life. That is the funny thing about making a change. It isn’t something you do once or twice, but rather it becomes how you do all things in the future. This year has been full of change – some intentional and some unplanned – but all part of how I now see the future. A single recipe didn’t seem adequate to commemorate the year, so instead here is a peek at our Staples list, that we hope grows exponentially in 2016. If you want more details on how to cook any of these ol’ standbys, just ask. And have a wonderful new year!
Kate + Adam
Wonton Soup made with those wrappers (recipe coming soon):