This new year…

As the new year approaches I’ve been giving some thought to things I might like to do better.  I’ve never been one for setting any serious goals for the new year, but I do like at least reflecting a bit on how the year has gone and what I could improve on the next time around.

On this blog I’ve been a big proponent of meal-planning but the truth is that in the last year I’ve really not lived up to my own ideals!  I would say for the majority of weeks of eating this past year I had very little plan.  We still ate fairly well, mostly local, and healthy, but I think we weren’t as focused or efficient as we strive to be.  So my goal is to get back to doing this!  In that spirit I planned most of our dinners this past week and they were:

  1. Bulgar bowls with veggies and marinated veggies (from the newest issue of Cooks Illustrated)
  2. Potato Leek Gratin and Cole Slaw
  3. Beef Bulgogi (also from Cooks Illustrated)
  4. Thai Millet Cakes and a Sesame Cole Slaw

The other thing that I find is really important for regular cooking is that I work with tools that are in good shape.  In other words, I need sharp knives!  A few years ago I took my chef’s knife down to STOP restaurant supply on Victoria St in Kitchener. That was a good experience although it’s a bit far from my house.  A few weeks ago I got contacted by Sharp My Knife to review their knife sharpening services in exchange for a free sharpening.  They are a local company that comes to your house by appointment to sharpen your knives (and anything else that needs sharpening).  It was hard to pass up this convenience!

Sharp My Knife 1

Jeff came by on a recent morning and sharpened my chef’s knife, meat knife, paring knife, and my pocket knife (or my EDC).  It took about 20 minutes or so and then my knives were all ready to go. 

Sharp My Knife 2

 I’ve been using all of them this week and am very happy to once again have super-efficient knives to use. Yes, sharp knives mean that you need to be a bit more careful but ultimately they end up being safer and more comfortable to use.  The difference is especially noticeable when cutting more difficult foods. 

Sharp My Knife 3

I’m trying to make sure that I maintain them in the best state possible by honing them with my steel before or after every use. This helps to correct small flaws on the cutting edge. But I’m realizing that ultimately all knives will reach a point where they need to be sharpened (this can be checked with the paper test).  Then it’s nice to know that if I don’t want to make the trip down Victoria St. then I can just book an appointment with Sharp My Knife and get them done quickly and easily. 

Sharp My Knife 4

 So as far as goals go for this new year we’ll see how I do on meal planning.  At least I’m in good shape as far as having good sharp tools to work with!

Sharp My Knife 5