What I resolve to do more of in 2013: Read fiction; pickle new stuff (jalapeno eggs, here I come); eat a proper breakfast – or least one that does not consist what is left of Phoebe’s everything bagel with cream cheese; generally make more of an effort to take a moment and appreciate what I have and not be so quick to complain about the dread of this or the nightmare of that, which is usually neither dreadful nor nightmarish; see Monsters University (“I love college”); get a Vitmax blender (see above re: healthy breakfast); deploy the phrase “the information superhighway” in conversation; sleep.
What I resolve to do less of: Edit in bed; be unfun, i.e., get all grumpy with the kids when they a) leave the house dressed like Tanner from Bad News Bears b) roll their new clothes into balls before inserting them into their drawers c) respond when challenged on something that is demonstrably false by saying “you can’t judge my opinion, Dad;” eat five Trader Joe’s fruit jellies every night after eating five handfuls of Trader Joe’s dark-chocolate-with-sea-salt almonds every night; resent things, to no good end; stare catatonically into my phone when the kids are around.
What I resolve not to say to my spouse: “Three-quarters of a pound of chicken for four of us?” And: “Wow, you looked so young back then!”
What I resolve not to say to my children: “Did you brush your teeth yet did you tie your shoes did you put your lunch in your backpack did you put your clothes away did you walk the dog did you put your green jersey in your soccer bag do you remember where you put your gloves the ones we just bought you?” And: “What do you want for your lunch tomorrow?” (Because 2013 is the year I’M GOING TO TEACH THEM TO MAKE THEIR OWN LUNCHES, SO HELP ME.)
What I resolve to eat less of: Raw spinach; the leftover frozen pizza on the kids’ plates; coconut M&Ms, which I really enjoy despite the fact that they taste an awful lot like Hawaiian tropic deep tanning oil; gratuitous pork (i.e. the “just a little bit of bacon” we seem to put in everything).
What I resolve to eat more of: Barley salads; cold, crunchy slaws (Asian red cabbage slaw, apple and fennel slaw with sunflower seeds, etc.); the four giant packages of Benton’s country ham that Jenny bought me for Christmas; gin.
What I resolve to learn how to cook: The seared bluefin tuna with grated radish and ponzu sauce that I ordered recently at Sushi Zen on 44th Street; a real Carbonara sauce that doesn’t taste like a Salmonella Special; a chutney, because I like a chutney, damn it.
What non-required reading I resolve to attend to: Dead Souls, by Gogol; Wild, by Cheryl Strayed; The Signal and the Noise, by Nate Silver; Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson, which is not out yet but which I hear is awesome; Jenny’s new book proposal.
What I resolve to convince my spouse to read: Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson.
Restaurant I want to try: Mission Chinese.
Restaurant I want to return to: Woody’s All-Natural in Cornwall, NY, for the cheddar burger and the hand-cut fries with malt vinegar and the Mr. Pibb; Husk in Charleston, SC, for the ribs with mustard glaze and peanuts; ABC Kitchen in New York City, for literally everything on the menu; Jane in San Francisco, for the coffee and granola; Waffle House in Lumberton, NC, for the egg and cheese biscuit.
I resolve to finally try: To figure out a way – possibly even using some of those power tools that are in our basement, still in their box — to cover the wall behind Abby’s bed with corkboard. For real this time, I swear; to brine a bird; to run a marathon.
I resolve to teach my kids: That the Jets play football and the Yankees play baseball, and that backseats of cars, unlike ovens, are not self-cleaning; to body-surf; that it’s not okay to ask for “a glass of water on the rocks.”
I resolve to spend less money on: Data plans for devices I’m not even sure we have anymore; bourbon; the enrichment of Jeff Bezos.
I resolve to get Zen about: The hoodie and leggings situation. By which I mean, the fact that both daughters now refuse to leave the house in anything other than hoodies and leggings with holes in the knee. Makes me long for the Princess days. [Deeeeep breath.]
What I resolve to accomplish professionally: Have George Saunders recognized as one of America’s Greatest Living Writers. (Oh wait, that just happened!); stay employed; get home in time for dinner.
What I resolve to do in 2013: Have more confidence when using miso; Learn to cook vegetarian entrees that can be described as “enticing”; Make more green juices (related: somehow acquire Huron juicer that I didn’t get for Christmas in spite of heavy hint-dropping); Be a better friend, not get annoyed so easily, start mother-daughter book club, sign up for yoga, master fondant, teach self how to knit or make jam or some hobby that requires patience, sitting still, taking in the moment.
What I resolve to do less of in 2013: Sitting still and not being so lazy — must finish d@#m book proposal already!; think of retweeting Andy as a “romantic gesture;” mindless, time-sucking twitter and facebook trolling; repeating myself; texting instead of calling friends for check-in; shoveling handfuls of Abby’s cinnamon crunch cereal into mouth and justifying action by saying to self “at least it’s organic.”
What I resolve to not say to my spouse: “Are you running in the morning?” (Passive-aggressive married person code for: Are you going to wake me up and rob me of 45 minutes of weekday sleep-in time again?); “Huh. Couldn’t break the 7-minute mile this time?”
What I resolve not to say to my children: “Are you done with those fries?”
What I resolve to eat less of: French fries
What I resolve to eat more of: Water
What I resolve to learn how to cook: Bright, colorful blender sauces; large hunks of meat to perfect doneness; firm yet fluffy barley; a proper lasagna with homemade noodles and béchamel; that crazy-ass Nigella roast chicken with brandy and bacon; authentic Pad Thai; a new go-to showstopper for entertaining (suggestions welcome); brandade.
What non-required reading I resolve to tackle: IQ84, Wild, Wonder, Tenth of December, and The Hobbit, which is currently Phoebe’s favorite book and which I’d earn major Fun Mom points for discussing with her.
Restaurant I want to return to: That seafood shack with the lobster rolls in Block Island right off the Ferry to the left; Prune, if only for the peas with horseradish and honey; Woody’s All-Natural in Cornwall, NY; Husk in Charleston; The plastic picnic table on Maenam Beach in Koh Samui, Thailand where we ate Pad Thai the way it’s supposed to be eaten (I can’t be too precise about the preparation, but I will say that having your toes in the sand ups the authenticity factor tremendously); Joe’s Café in Northampton, Mass with my girls; Oyster Bar counter in Grand Central with my Dad.
I resolve to finally try: Carrying a purse, moisturizing, administering eye make-up and “everyday” lipstick, scheduling regular haircuts instead of waiting until situation has reached dire status, and generally trying to do things that most grown women have been doing since they were 16; pay attention to poundage of meat at the butcher so we don’t end up with one silver dollar-size chicken thigh per diner.
I resolve to teach my kids: To cook one full dinner from start to finish all by themselves; topspin backhands
I resolve to spend less money on: Fancy BPA-free water bottles that I am convinced every time will get me to drink more water. (Ditto the ginger extract and Echinacea that I spent a week eye-dropping into the fancy bottle.)
I resolve to get Zen about: The hoodie and leggings situation.
What I resolve to accomplish professionally: Write another book; create a DALS App; Fill out the rest of that post that has been sitting in my queue for two years titled “One-Sentence Recipes;” Learn how to use more than the “food” setting on my camera (or at least figure out how to make the background of my food shots all blurry and cool looking); Get home in time for dinner.