New Year, Same Story – Maybe

Dearest Anne,

I hope your holidays were merry and bright, or at the very least you had enough alcohol to get you through any familial crying episodes.  I spent Christmas up in Vermont where I tried skiing for the first time (and lived to tell the tale), ate some delicious sauteed kale, and tried maple cotton candy. Oh, also, we went on a sleigh ride, and there were fresh cookies and Cabot cheese at snack time.  My favorite part of the trip was sledding on our first night in Vermont. I had never been sledding in the dark before, but it was so much fun. I love sledding.  Now, that Upstate has snow this year, I will be able to do more sledding. Lastly, I kicked butt at Jeopardy.

 

Anne, unfortunately, this holiday season did not allow me much time to do any real cooking or baking.  Since I did not go home for the holidays, I was not able to participate in the annual Comito Family Ravioli-Making Extravaganza.  However, it was confirmed by Uncle Frank that without me quality control has been down the last two years. Picture cavatelli making with more of an assembly line atmosphere.

Now, that we’re through Christmas and New Year’s, I’m planning on spending more time in my kitchen.  I’ve already made a curried butternut squash soup, a seven layer dip, quesadillas, and two kinds of beans.  As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, and I’m nothing if not repetitive, I love the blog Budget Bytes. I love how Beth creates inexpensive recipes that use common ingredients.  The recipe I use most often is her (not) refried beans. So easy. Just toss all the ingredients into your crockpot for 4-6 hours and walk away. I’ve been making these since grad school; they’re good with just about anything.  Lately, I’ve been using the not refried beans as a base for quesadillas I freeze for lunches when I don’t have time to shop and cook.  They’re also good as the base for seven layer dip, which is what I made for New Year’s Eve.  The other beans I made last weekend were some straight up black beans.  I used some of the black beans in the quesadillas, and then froze the rest.

Speaking of New Year’s, I didn’t really make any resolutions for the actual day, but I’ve spent last week thinking about things I’d like to accomplish in the next year.

  1. Write everyday. I bought a “line a day” journal that has a couple lines for you to write everyday for 5 years. At this point, I’m not entirely sure if I’ll make it a lesson in concision, or if I’ll use it just to take note of mundane happenings. I’m excited to see how it evolves. In addition to writing in this line a day journal, I need to keep up with my other journals, this blog, random writings, and my thesis.
  2. Find an answer to the question, “What do you do in your free time?” It is no longer acceptable to say, “I don’t have free time,” because frankly, that’s a cop out and untrue. It’s also not acceptable to say you spend all your free time wearing sweatpants and reading the newspaper, even if that does sound like a great way to spend one’s time.
  3. Stop using my office as a glorified storage room and actually use it as an office. Resolution 1 will probably complete itself if I actually used my office for its intended purpose.
  4. Feelings — accept that I have them and deal with it. Anne, you and I both know how much I dislike having the feelings, but I must accept that I am human, which means I get the feels from time to time and there’s nothing I can do about it.
  5. As cliche as this is, be more present. I am going to make efforts to listen more fully and really participate in conversations and really commit to what’s going on around me rather than experiencing things peripherally or superficially.

So, Annes, now that I’ve told you and all the interwebs about my plans for 2013, I must accomplish them, because everything on the internet is true, and I don’t want to ruin that record.

 

Luff,

Carolyne