Likely all our New Year’s resolutions were compromised this spring. Surely all of us didn’t anticipate the shutdown and resulting changes. Certainly impacted mine. Let’s take a look at how I have done, and what needs to happen over the next four months.
More sedentary time allowed me to work on my pictures. I got them and software under better control. A new computer recently has complicated things a bit, however. Lots of editing has happened. Hours of it. Now to solve labeling and retrieving what I want. Progress.
Due to problems with my grill, my warranty kicked in, and with its support, I just got a new one. Last week in fact. The first try worked really well. My neighbors agreed. I look forward to using it more and succeeding with that resolution.
Downtime has allowed me to develop a few new food sources. Really good stuff and the ability to get it here. Local shopping is easier too with excellent service from Instacart and direct delivery from Wright’s Market. Pickup is inconsistent. My experience with local meal delivery was mixed. Service wasn’t that good from the deliverers. Some restaurants have packaging issues too.
Convenience does not rule what we have at home nor does it determine what we do in cooking classes. Quality is the goal – period. That was a strong resolution.
The shutdown greatly improved the service and options from restaurants. But things have changed. The “please, please buy from us any way you wish” has evaporated.
Curbside pickup is here to stay it appears. The once popular family meals are somewhat disappearing. Competitive take out pricing is spotty. Free delivery isn’t free anymore. “Make it at home” offerings are slim. Discounts are mostly gone.
The pizza folks have held true with delivery, plus given us discounts. Works for them. Always has and still does. It’s part of their model.
A few restaurants have opened retail markets. This allows us to purchase items prepared by them or from third-party sources. This includes wine at limited locations. Nice touch but pick up times are very limited.
Restaurants cannot make it on takeout alone or at least not very well. It wasn’t in their resolutions. They aren’t set up for it. For some, it’s almost impossible to get close to the dine-in experience. We want to go back, but it’s still iffy.
At the beginning of the year, I talked about instant pots. We have made friends. Enough that I have a class coming in October. Classes overall have grown after a four-month shutdown.
Obviously, I failed at dining out more. Last time was in February. We did get more delivery, however. Plus, there was pickup. So much easier now.
Italian cuisine and I became much closer. There was a class with two more coming next year. Plus, we just finished a pasta exploration. I made lots of dishes.
Soon age 74 becomes a reality. I am privileged to have the opportunity to share with you in the Opelika-Auburn News plus local “living” magazines, Trip Advisor and on Facebook. My keep on teaching and writing resolutions are in full force.
Not bad I think. In fact, I’m doing better than I thought. Plus, I have four more months to complete some resolves. That’s 112 days to Christmas btw.
Relish life, appreciate the treats and strive for flavor. Battle sameness and chase your goals. All this makes for better eats. If nature allows us and we are smart too, we’ll be able to go out to eat again comfortably - maybe this year.
In the meantime, stay safe. That’s my resolution.
Jim Sikes is an Opelika resident; a food, wine and restaurant consultant; and a columnist for the Opelika-Auburn News. Contact him on Facebook at In the Kitchen with Chef Jim.
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