12 in '12
In 2009 I created a list of 40 Things to do Before I was 40. I didn’t get everything accomplished, Al Gore did not return my request for a dance, however I proud of what was accomplished from the list and even the items that were added after the initial 40. The list was really to get out and enjoy life. Sometimes I think we let so much consume us or we get stuck in the same ruts that we really stop living. So instead of the typical New Year’s Resolution I created a new list that I am calling 12 in ‘12. This list contains things I want to accomplish in the 12 months of 2012. They are not in any particular order
1. Cook with John Besh- After starting my blog I started using Twitter (@SmallServing), I think it was to follow one of my friend’s company but I then started following all sorts of people (friends, celebrities, chefs, businesses, etc.). I was surprised to find out people want to follow me. One chef I started following was John Besh from New Orleans. I was giddy with excitement when he started following me too. I will tweet my blog posts onto Twitter and was shocked (and again giddy with excitement) when he responded to my post about Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo and asked how it turned out. He has commented back about a few of his dishes I have made. My passion for John Besh goes back to when I was introduced to him, via television, when he completed on Season 1 of The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network. He was my pick to win from the first episode; Michael Symon defeated him in the final round to win the title. I liked his style. His Southern charm and seemingly laid back personality combined with incredible skill makes him the type of guy you would want to hang out with and cook. Two of my favorite cookbooks are his books “My New Orleans” and “My Family Table”; they are such stunning books I actually keep them on my coffee table.
2. Plan and Execute “Dining in the Dark” for Fifty Lanterns. – In 2005 my friend Linda Cullen co-founded Fifty Lanterns. While she was working in Afghanistan she saw a need and had a solution that could change the lives of those most in need with the help of solar light. Since 2005 Fifty Lanterns has provided renewable light in areas of war, conflict and poverty around the world. This event would draw attention to and raise money for Fifty Lanterns. I will be looking for a restaurant(s) or venue willing to host the event. Guest’s ticket price would include dinner and cost of one lantern to be purchased. The room will be only illuminated by the number of lanterns purchased. If you would be interested in hosting the event or participating please email me and I will keep you updated on the details. To find out more about this awesome organization visit http://www.fiftylanterns.org/
3. Have a drink made by all the bartenders in book Northstar Cocktail by Johnny Michaels. This book features a number of bartenders I know in the Twin Cities area; they are truly great at their craft. I know I will not have any problem taking care of this goal. This book can be found at bookstores around the Twin Cities and online. Looking forward to glasses of wonderfulness from Johnny, Jesse, Pip, Chad, Adam, Jeff, Nick, Tim & more. Cheers!
4. Run 12k – (7.46 miles) I am not a runner, never really have been. I did find a program that is designed to help non-runners train for a 5k in months. I have actually started working on the program already, but will be looking forward to running outside and not just on my treadmill because they will be very different.
5. New Car- I currently drive a 1996 Toyota Corolla is close to having 200,000 miles on it. It is starting to show it’s age. I think it is time for something new. I do enjoy my Toyota and it has been an awesome car, first stop is the Toyota dealer. I am not in a big hurry so I have time to take a few cars out for a spin.
6. Lose 30 lbs. (and not find it again). I think everyone puts “lose weight” on their new years resolution list. I wonder what the percentage of people who achieve that goal is. 30 lbs may be a lofty goal, but when broken down it is only 2.5 lbs per month. I have a treadmill in my condo now and I am already in the habit of working out on it every day.
7. Skydive again – On my list of 40 Things to do Before I was 40 was to skydive. I did it and I loved it! I want to do it again. My Uncle Max in California was very proud when I jumped the first time, he told me he had never went sky diving though his sons have. I told him I would be happy to go with him and we could do together. I guess I get bonus points if he jumps with me. I think skydiving in San Francisco would be a great trip.
8. Try 12 new restaurants - In 2011, I officially became a food blogger. I have set goals of new restaurants every year. I am keeping it on there to inspire me to keep trying new restaurants. I think everyone should do this. On my list so far: La Belle Vie, Bachelor Farmer, Cafe’ Levain, The Lowery, Cafe Maude, Spill the Wine, Haute Dish, Pizzeria Lola, Al Vento…ok this list is rapidly growing and I haven’t even added the local food truck I need to try in 2012. My fellow food bloggers will have more recommendations so I am not worried about reaching this goal.
9. Trip requiring my passport – I do not need to go anywhere, I want to! It is time to dust off my passport and leave the country. I am not sure where I will land, but this year the passport needs to be stamped.
10. New Job - 2011 was tough on the career. In February I learned that I was going to have my hours reduced at Supervalu from 40 hour to 24 hours and it was going to happen in 4 weeks. I spent the next seven month living on a part-time salary while looking for a new job, even something part-time. In September, just one day before my 41st birthday I was offer a part-time job with the Minnesota Wild as a Sales Associate at The Hockey Lodge; I was ecstatic! A week later and a bit of a story, I was temporarily given back my hours at Supervalu, with no guarantee of how long it would be. I am very grateful to be working 40 hours, however I do need to keep options open.
11. Meet up with 12 people I know only via Facebook, but have never met. This one was inspired by Nate Anderson.
12. This will be the Year of the Kitchen! This past year I have really been inspired by Chef John Besh and his book “My Family Table ~ A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking”. He puts the focus back on his family and I thought of my own; in my family getting together is very important. I wrote in a blog recently titled “Are you too busy?”
Someone once referred to my family as being like the mafia; we are very close and protective of each other. I credit my parents raising me and my siblings with the understanding of the importance of family. This understanding is continued to be passed onto my niece and nephews. I am crazy about my family, they are the most important people in my life. We disagree and fight at times, often we have very busy schedules that may not allow each other to visit as often as we would like, but when it comes down to it we would be there for one another in an instant if we needed. You cannot turn on the computer or TV without hearing something bad the world around us. Hearing friends say “I am too busy for…” or “I wish I would have…” makes me really start questioning where is this all breaking down. We often do not realize we should have spent time together until we are usually at someone’s funeral. Then we want all the time back with a person and it is too late. I am guilty of looking at my smartphone or texting while I am with someone, but recently I have tried to be more conscious not to do it. I want to be present in the conversations and interactions with people. I love to cook in my kitchen and often invite other to join me, unfortunately “I am busy” has been the RSVP. …Think about when it was that you and your family sat down and enjoyed a meal and conversation without the TV on, texting or phones ringing. If you can’t remember it it time for a change.
I don’t have the biggest kitchen, but one thing I know is the kitchen is a great place to get together. In 2012, I am extending the invitation out to everyone from the non-cooks to the best chefs I know to come over, hang out and whip up some great food. I think this could make an interesting blog series.
I will continue to update my blog with how I am doing with the 12 in ’12 list. As with any of my lists like this there may be things added….ok, that is pretty much a guarantee. Sign up to follow my blog and you can be kept up to date on how it is going.
Happy 2012 Everyone!