2014 Culinary Bucket List

What's on your culinary bucket list?

03 Jan 2014 Culinary Bucket List

What's on your culinary bucket list?

For the past couple of years I’ve made a Culinary Bucket list in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions. Resolutions leave me with little but guilt and the vague sense that if I were stronger / more focused / more dedicated / better in every way possible, I’d be blinded by a wall of shiny gold stickers by now. This list is different. It’s just a random jotting down of recipes I’ve never made but would like to try one day. It’s designed to inspire me when the recipe well is dry. It has no priorities, delivers no deadlines and counts no calories. The recipes meet no nutritional or dietary demands. They are there for no other reason than I want to make them myself. At least once.

And if I dont’? The list waits patiently, just in case I need inspiration. And when I do strike an item from it, my reward is not gold stickers or bragging rights or a flour-dusted pat on the back. It’s food. Delicious, homemade food.

Thanks to the list, I’ve churned a homemade Hazelnut Gelato that rivalled the cones I gobbled in Italy. My Onion Bhaji impressed my fussy husband thanks to some tips from my friend Monica Bhide. And if you don’t mind me saying, I’ve become so good at homemade palmiers I no longer drool over the high-priced ones in the pastry shops. Past victories include exotic dishes like preserved lemons and stuffed zucchini blossoms. But I can easily come down to comfort-food earth and bake from-scratch Graham crackers (Canadian style) or hearty granary bread. Alternatively, I can cook up a batch of clotted cream for those times when you want to Keep Calm and Carry On with a good old-fashioned British high tea.

2014 Culinary Bucket List

What’s on tap for this year? Another eclectic range of dishes both sweet and savoury.

  • Homemade Wine Vinegar
  • Croissants (not cronuts!)
  • Portuguese Custard Tarts
  • Dandelion cookies
  • Baba ganoush
  • Brined chicken
  • Pot stickers
  • Homemade paneer
  • Lemon marshmallows
  • Angel food cake
  • A tagine (in my new tagine, which Mom gave me for Christmas)
  • Digestive biscuits
  • Peppermint Stick and Chocolate Crackle Ice Cream (for Laura at Christmas)

Just to keep me on the straight and narrow, below are some items still outstanding from previous years. Can I do it? Can I clear the 2014 list AND the remnants of the previous 2 years? Only time will tell.

Still to do from 2013

  • Ice cream cones
  • Spinach ravioli
  • Candied ginger
  • Moussaka
  • Fried calamari (and have it not be rubbery!)
  • Ciabatta rolls
  • Thai curry paste (red and green)
  • Candied citrus peel
  • Homemade Cream whisky

Still to do from 2012

  • Homemade Pasta
  • Sourdough bread
  • Hot and Sour Soup
  • Tacos shells
  • Vegetable Pakoras
  • Turtle Ice Cream

What’s on your Culinary Bucket List? Do you have a culinary triumph you’d like to share? Leave a link or a comment or suggestions on dishes you’d  like to see me try.

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  • NS Foster
    Posted at 15:28h, 03 January Reply

    I happen to know you love Rouxbe and their All Purpose Brine is great!

    I also adore anything custard so if you master those tarts, I hope you share!

    Personally, I have a molecular gastronomy menu drafted for a future dinner with my cooking club of girls. If I can pull off this 14-course, bite-sized manipulation I will crown myself Queen!!

    PS – Reading the Alinea cookbook was ridiculously inspriing; I would recommend to anyone.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 15:35h, 03 January Reply

      I bow to you and your 14-course menu. You’re already Queen for drafing the idea!

      Thanks for the tip about Rouxbe’s all-purpose brine. I’ll check it out. Their recipes are always solid and once you learn their techniques, you never go back to the packaged version.

      All the best with your meal. Please let me know how it turns out. (And I’ll definitely post the Portuguese custard tart recipe once I get it nailed down.)

      Hope 2014 is full of delicious recipes for you.

  • Teresa
    Posted at 00:30h, 04 January Reply

    I’d like to make croissant as well. Graham crackers sound good too. Any home made crackers! Store bought are so expensive! Have you ever tried to make 5 minute artisan bread? Super easy and impressive to look at! I like your list!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:40h, 04 January Reply

      I agree about the cost of store bought crackers. I also make variations of artisan crackers with dried fruit and nuts. I have tried no-knead bread, which I think is like the 5-minutes artisan style you mention. I liked it a lot. Too much. My granary bread is a variation of it.

      Hope 2014 is full of delicious discoveries!!

  • Maggie
    Posted at 18:54h, 04 January Reply

    I want to justify my shelf of cookbooks by making at least one recipe from each one. Croissants to start with, I hope.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:22h, 07 January Reply

      That’s brilliant! I love that idea. So many of my books are left unused. What a super challenge you’ve set. I’d love to hear how it goes!

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    Posted at 13:51h, 05 January Reply

    There are things on that list that I would never dream of tackling. Good luck! I look forward to seeing and hearing how it goes.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 16:24h, 07 January Reply

      Some of the items are very easy. Some are a total mystery to me, but I guess I’ll find out once I try them. If I keep my wits about me, I’ll update the list as I go. Regardless, I’ll definitely post the results of any bucket list recipe I tackle — successfully or otherwise.

  • Ilan
    Posted at 14:35h, 29 January Reply

    Your culinary bucket list sure is adventurous! Croissants are one of my favourite treats to bake :)

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