Last night, at a New Year’s Eve party for which the unintentional theme appeared to be cheese (brie en crout! Hot artichoke parmesan dip! Goat cheese with fig butter!), S. asked each guest if he or she had New Year’s resolutions. When it was my turn, I was filled with bleary uncertainty. The fact that I’m an academic always makes the new year an odd event, because regardless of what the calendar says, my new year starts in September. That’s when I go back to school and to teaching. January 1st happens in the middle of the term break, and though I have a new class of students when I return, it’s still the same school year. So school-related resolutions don’t seem appropriate. I’m not going to resolve to complete my dissertation, though that will get done. It’s not really a resolution because it’s not a decision I’m changing. It’s a set-in-stone-requirement for me, at this point. I’m not going to resolve to get a job, because I’ve done what I can to help that happen, and now it’s out of my hands.
And then the Bittman project drifted into my mind. With the dissertation winding down (amazing what a few afternoons of post-Christmas reading at the in-laws’ will do for brainstorming!) and my on campus schedule quite manageable this term, I feel a slow and only slightly unsteady confidence that I can inject enough regularity into my weeks this term for blogging to take place. That and getting my year end report from WordPress yesterday made me feel a certain hunger to get back to my regular schedule here.
So that’s my resolution: I will finish the Bittman project. The original list of sides was 101 items. Eliminating those I knew N. and I would never eat, we began with 82. Last year I made 39 of those, including one about which I hope to post sometime this week. I know, pitiful. So that leaves 43. Doable, right? Less than one a week, especially if I get my act together and double up occasionally.
It feels a little sad to be resolving to complete my unfinished resolution from last year, but I guess that’s what a lot of people do with these things: lose weight, get in shape, year in and year out. Here I have exact numbers, exact quantities of what must be done. Exact numbers of soups, chutneys, relishes, salads, desserts and breads and sides. And so we’ll plow on!
Happy 2012, everyone. May your resolutions bear fruit.