In 2011, I undertook a project for myself in an effort to keep my posts regular and interesting: cook everything most things from a list Mark Bittman put together to help folks negotiate oven space during the Thanksgiving holiday.His list included everything from salad to dessert (or soup to nuts, if you prefer), and topped out at 101 options. After careful consideration and cautious elimination (some dishes would just never fly in my kitchen), I created a slightly scaled down version of the list that was 82 items long. During the next two years, I leaped, plodded, meandered, ignored, remembered, fought, raced, and panicked my way through that list, finally achieving completion on none other than the last possible moment: New Year’s Eve of 2012.
I learned a lotfrom this project, and I think it improved me as a cook because it made me more confident, forced me to estimate, and taught me some things about how flavors go together. It took me through the last year or so of graduate school, a move from Oregon to Los Angeles, and the mental move from full-time graduate student to part-time faculty member.
What follows is my list. Some of the titles are Bittman’s, some are mine (many of the original dishes did not have names). In the next month or so (I hope), I’d like to fill in the appropriate links so you can easily access the recipes I constructed from Bittman’s descriptions and see how everything turned out!