2017 was both fantastic and awful. Just for now, let’s focus on the highlights. Here are some of the best things I did, both in and out of the kitchen, in 2017.
Girls’ trip: Not the movie--although the movie was also fantastic. I don’t recommend watching it on a plane, though. Which I did. Anyway. In July I went to a resort in Connecticut with three of my best friends for a long weekend. We got massages and drank wine by the pool and ate this ridiculous seafood stew, which was one of the best things I had this year.
New York City Football Club: Dan and I got season tickets to NYCFC this year and it was incredible. Some of my happiest moments from the year happened in Yankee Stadium with this club, including a David Villa hat trick (!) for a win over the NJ Red Bulls (!!) when my DAD was there (!!!). THE BEST. Counting down until March 11 when we can freeze our toes off at our 2018 home opener. #ComeOnNewYork
New Orleans: I went to New Orleans with buddies for my birthday and ate myself silly. Po’ boys, gumbo, shrimp in every meal, a ridiculous cheese plate at Bacchanal (pictured in the header for this post), and a lamb lasagna at Herbsaint that was so good it made me angry. No, I did not have a hurricane. No, I do not regret it.
Thanksgiving dinner: I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner! It was tiny, but it was delicious. What I learned: prioritize and plan out your (tiny) oven space, outsource some things to guests, and don’t make a whole turkey. I just made turkey legs, because (HOT TAKE!) white meat is bullshit.
CSA: We joined a CSA (community supported agriculture, AKA farm share) and getting a bounty of incredible produce every two weeks was such an awesome learning experience. I cooked a lot of things for the first time (tatsoi! lemongrass! kabocha squash! mizuna!) and realized I really love blue plums. I really recommend trying a CSA if you’re committed to cooking a lot and open to eating a lot of salads in May and June when the only things in season are hella greens.
Reading: I continued a resolution from years past to prioritize reading books by people of color, and it’s had a dramatic effect on my worldview and my ability to empathize with people whose experiences are different from mine and I just really can’t recommend it enough. My favorite books this year were Her Body and other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, and I’d love to loan them to you.
Exercise: TURNS OUT people aren’t full of it when they say that exercise “makes them feel good” and “improves their health”. WHO KNEW? This year I ran on purpose for a few months (only a mile at a time, but it’s a huge deal for someone who had anxiety every school year on the day they made us run a mile) and later joined a gym. Like, I love the gym??? And I’m having a tiny identity crisis about it but also I feel great and love my body for the first time since, like, puberty. If you’re nervous about going for the first time (I get it, I was super intimidated) I’m happy to chat with you about it or take you to my gym if you’re local.
Cooking: Obviously! I kept cooking and made a lot of things repeatedly (panzanella, enchiladas, this pasta with walnuts and cauliflower), got really good at some things (Caesar salad, lamb ragu, roast chicken), and had some utter failures (mozzarella, every single time I try to make an omelette). The best food book I bought this year is Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat (I was lucky enough to buy it at a signing/cooking demonstration and she’s SO charming and wonderful). It’s taught me so much and you should definitely buy it! 2018 cooking resolutions: revive my sourdough starter, continue to distrust all things Instant Pot, and learn to properly break down a chicken.
Other highlights: Starting to watch basketball (go Sixers), following @SheaSerrano on Twitter, the Women’s March, Beyoncé’s twins, NYC Ballet’s Nutcracker, and visiting London for the first time.
THAT’S ALL! Happy New Year and may 2018 be your best year yet. My plans include taking a cruise to Alaska and trying like hell to flip Congress. BYE!