I wrote a menu with a variety of goals for myself in 2017. At the time, I liked the idea of having many things from which to choose to do. As the year progressed, the amount of goals felt daunting—even though I never set out to accomplish all of them. It’s nice to have options but I think next year I want to focus on one or two big goals per category.
2017: My Year in ETC
2017 Household and Food Goals
The list below is the original list I wrote in 2016. I crossed off items throughout 2017 as I decided I no longer wanted to work on them.
- Explore the Twin Cities: Mark and I are making a list of (mostly free) things to do and will be making more of a concerted effort to do them. So far, we visited the MIA and quite a few restaurants and parks on our list.
Travel outside of the United States$$$ I guess I could get a passport and drive the 8 hours to Winnepeg. 🙂 Travel somewhere new (to me) for a weekend$$$ Unless we go somewhere new to us that’s cheap (like in Minnesota). Portland San Fransisco New York to visit friends Louisiana to visit friends Dallas to visit friends Boston to visit friends Florida to visit friends
Finish quilts and give them away$$$ Plan gallery wall ($$$ will do when we move)
- Finish (or trash) painting ✅ (for now)
Frame artwork ($$$ will do when we move) Stretch wedding painting ($$$ will do when we move) Hang art ($$$ will do when we move)
- Make a green marinara / pizza sauce with tomatillos. ✅
- Maybe try tomatoes again. ✅
- Make a couple of difficult / high-quantity of ingredient recipes from our cookbooks. ✅
- Keep working on meal planning and grocery shopping. ✅
- Be better at planning my lunches. ✅ And I even got Mark into meal planning!
- Continue the random vegetarian trend. ✅
- Eat more green things. ✅
- Limit my sugar intake. ✅ This is an ongoing battle (sugar is EVERYWHERE).
What I accomplished in 2017
- We explored more of the Twin Cities. We went to the mia a few times, we discovered tons of new restaurants and breweries, I figured out how to drive to many neighborhoods we frequent without GPS, and we visited favorite haunts multiple times (Surly and Blue Door Pub, I’m looking at you).
- Although we didn’t travel much this year, we made plans to do a few trips in the next couple of years, including a trip to the Islay in Scotland (where all our favorite scotches are made). This year we plan to go to Dallas to visit a friend (flights from here to Dallas are hella cheap), which might lead to an impromptu New Orleans trip. I keep suggesting we go to LA and stay in Malibu…so we’ll see. 🙂
- Art-wise we haven’t done anything because it costs money and planning to hang art. We have ideas for where and what we want to hang but we are thinking about painting (the basement, anyway) first. This year I at least want to get the wedding painting out of my in-laws’ basement and into ours.
- Mark figured out how to make a green marinara sauce with tomatillos. Sadly, Muir Glen halted production on tomatillos and I have to find a new source. I found canned tomatillos in multiple places, but none that I will eat (whoaaaa sodium). I also am a little worried that these aren’t tomatillos and are green tomatoes, which I definitely can’t eat. Some of these tomatillos are also labeled as “green tomatoes”. So I haven’t had our faux-tomato stuff for a while. I continue to use Target’s Archer Farms brand of salsa verde because it is safe for me, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they either add tomato or quit making it.
- Mark makes a ton of difficult recipes and I try to make stuff out of our cookbooks often. We haven’t done either of these things for a while (outside of holiday baking), so I want to try to pick new recipe at least once every few weeks this year.
- I kick ass at meal planning (and Mark at grocery shopping). I plan the meals and he shops the deals. I still want to write a post about meal planning using Evernote because I think this is why we are so successful at nearly eliminating food waste. I think this year we threw out less than 20 things and most were because I’m extremely picky about when things go bad (4 day throwaway!) and forgot to put these things in the freezer. Normal people probably would have eaten these things (and got sick, thank you).
- We are so on board with the random vegetarian trend I started out of cheapness. Our meals aren’t wholly vegetarian because we use EVERY part of meat we buy to make other things. I make bone broth and we save bacon fat to make other things. I also save the pork fat from carnitas and use that to start or flavor other recipes that probably otherwise would be vegetarian. We don’t buy a ton of meat (1-2 things per month?) but when we do buy it, it lasts a LONG time.
- I try to eat at least one green thing a day, but I think I can do better. If I had a resolution for 2018 it would be to eat more salads. I haven’t had as many problems with digesting raw food lately as I used to have, so I have toyed with the idea of eating more salads. My worry is this will lead to more food waste because leafy things turn bad fast. So I’m still thinking about how to do this without creating waste (my ideal is starting a garden but the wildlife in our yard have other plans for this idea).
- Finally, I was doing GREAT at limiting my sugar intake but then the holidays happened. I know I didn’t eat as much sugar during the holidays as I used to (more than once I took down an entire platter of peanut clusters, which prompted my mom to hide them). I still ate enough to make me feel like crap. I’m not talking about guilt. I’m talking about physically feeling like crap. When I eat a ton of sugar my depression and anxiety ramp up. My body hurts. I get cranky and I don’t sleep well. So I will continue to try to cut down sugar (especially added sugars). Good thing we already ate the rest of our holiday goodies. 😉
Whew, that was a much longer post than I anticipated writing. Cramming these goals into one post was probably not the best idea. Oops!