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Sikes: Resolve to be keep variety alive and well in your food

Sikes: Resolve to be keep variety alive and well in your food

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Sikes: Resolve to be keep variety alive and well in your food

Jim Sikes

For quite some time, I have made some New Year’s resolutions that were mostly food related. So, I am doing it again and letting you know about them. It makes me more accountable.

Not too long ago I talked about the impossibilities of attaining most any prediction made for 2020. That’s certainly true. Some of my resolves for last year didn’t stand a chance.

When I looked back at my columns from last several Januarys, I realized that some of my goals were re-writes with different clothes. They weren’t “new” enough.

For this year, I am making a shorter list. Plus, it’s a somewhat different approach. Here we go.

I’ve always talked about photography. I do it most every day. I’m a touch better at utilizing my camera. But my mobility issues limit many shots. My real improvement is at the editing stage and storage. No more resolutions here.

Also, no more talk about grilling. I don’t do it enough and never will. Again, it’s a mobility thing. Thanks to Mike McGlynn of the Auburn BBQ/Grill Association for his inspiration to keep at it.

How about some successes? Yes. My cooking classes grew significantly overall. COVID-19 took a big bite out of time available, but the other months proved popular. Both fun and a challenge. Come join us this year.

Also, I took Italian cuisine seriously. In classes, I have two. There’s one on Southern Italian dishes this month and one later in the year on Italian-American cooking. Ought to be great fun. I was just as dedicated in my home cooking. Plus, I had some fine takeout from my friend Chef Al at Fratelli’s.

Success with food sourcing. I have expanded both my local sources and what’s available on order. Yay for me. I got one, plus I resolve to keep at it. It costs very little more to get better product and do it right. I need service and that’s important to me.

Local food delivery is another story. I use supermarket delivery and really like it. Some are better than others and you have to learn how to order and give them additional info. The websites are getting better too. This concept is a game changer. There’s no change in my resolve to use this service.

There’s also grocery pickup available. I’ve had mixed results there. All depends on the person picking your order and how willing they are to communicate with you.

Then there’s food delivery from restaurants. Wow what a deal. There’s an explosion of availability. It takes carry out and pick-up to a new level.

The domain of the pizza folks has blown up. Plus, third party delivery services are big now. Several are serving our area now. I resolve to give these a try. Plus, I have a column in the works about how they work.

The last few years, I tried to not let convenience rule what we ate. I want to keep that resolution firm.

A great resolve for all of us needs to be keeping variety alive and well in our foods. Find different techniques, ingredients and dishes.

As I enter my 74th year this month, I must resolve to be thankful. Having the opportunity to share with you is an honor. I’m pleased to be a part of food scene in our area.

As I have said before - no matter your resolves, relish your treats. They are important. Strive for flavor. It makes all the difference. Take care with appearance at every meal. Battle sameness. It drags you down. And chase your goals. Your culinary experiences will be much more fun and the thought of “work” may rarely enter your mind. Bon Appétit.

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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