There are a lot of ways to measure a year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. About 8,700 hours. As for me, this past year was, among other things, 158 recipes.
A year ago, I set out to cook all 1,300-plus recipes in The Gourmet Cookbook. My wife thought I was crazy. I was optimistic, but unsure whether gourmetalltheway would end up as a one post wonder or one of the millions of orphaned blogs out there on the web (according to this New York Times story, approximately 95% of blogs haven't been updated in the past 120 days).
When I set out on this project, I had some expectations. I knew that I'd learn a lot about cooking, and that I'd eat a lot of good food. But, there were a lot of things that I didn't expect.
First was the food. Since I've determined to cook everything in The Book, I started out with some recipes that I would never have made otherwise. Strange sounding things like strawberry salsa, pickled carrot sticks, and watermelon rind chutney all turned out to be pretty good. Next was The Book's flexibility. When my son was born in December (the other, and by far most amazing, thing that happened to me over the past year), I thought that parenthood would mean the end of The Project. How would I ever have time to cook fancy food and help take care of a newborn? Well, The Book has so many great cook-ahead recipes that that I was able to spend a couple of hours in the kitchen on the weekend and we could eat like royalty all week (we still have some mushroom barley soup in the freezer). And then, when my son developed a food sensitivity that caused my wife (who is nursing) to swear off wheat, soy and dairy, I was again surprised by the number of recipes in The Book that work with my wife's dietary restrictions. But that biggest surprise of the project has been how it's helped me build and strengthen friendships. Through the project, I've become part of a community of food bloggers. I've met and befriended Melissa. And, my wife and I have gotten better about having friends and relatives over for dinner or a visit. Of course, having a new son to show off helps, too. But there's just something about sharing good food that brings people together.
At the rate that I'm going, about three recipes per week, it'll take me another eight years to finish The Project. And, you know what? That's OK. This Project is all about the journey. The destination is incidental.
Now, let's get cookin'.
2 years ago