2014’s Going to Be Different, Starting With My Kitchen

Learning to feed yourself can be one of the most terrifying things. Am I about to give myself food poisoning? If I eat this too often will I end up with scurvy? How can I get the most nutritional bang for my buck? Why does this still taste like ass?

With Ode to My Pantry, learn to navigate a grocery store without having a meltdown in aisle three. Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a queer to cook and stave off malnutrition for another semester.

I realize that it looks like I'm celebrating 2012. I meant for it to be 12 months. I know what year it is...

I realize that it looks like I’m celebrating 2012. I meant for this to represent the next 12 months. I know what year it is…

It’s almost new years and all that jazz! Like most of you folks I’m more apt to break a resolution than make a resolution this year. Jogging? Saving money? Calling my mom on a regular basis? I’m going to try, but, to be brutally honest, I’ll probably fail before I have a chance to turn my calendar page. But hey, while I can’t promise I’ll go to the gym,  I can promise that I’ll go to my kitchen! While some people can confidently say, THIS IS THE YEAR I GO VEGETARIAN, THIS IS THE YEAR I EAT LOCAL or I’M GOING TO PLANT A GARDEN I’m going to try for 14 attainable goals for 2014.

  1. I will remember to buy more Nutella before it’s too late and I’m only left with heady memories of chocolate-hazelnut goodness and knife streaks at the bottom of the jar.
  2. I will start labelling all of my leftovers, sauces and other Citizens of Chill Chest with their opened dates. Accidental soy cheese? Never again.
  3. One way or another, I’m going to discover what the fuck a cronut is and maybe try a ramen burger while I’m at it.
  4. I promise to eat a banana this year to see if they’ve stopped tasting like plaque and regret.
  5. I will limit take out thalis to once a month fortnight week, no matter how cheap they are. Um, unless I’m really effing hungry.
  6. will buy a kilogram of discounted Cadbury Mini Eggs on Easter Monday! And I will not eat them within a week.
  7. I will clear my freezer of all of my vegetable and animals carcasses and make some fucking delicious stock.
  8. I will take the extra 10 seconds to grab my goddamn splatter screen when I’m sauteing to avoid 15 minutes of cleanup.
  9. I will turn some of my pumpkins into Edible Things instead of Decorative Mold Globes.
  10. I will figure out how to cook the broad beans, navy beans and kidney beans that have been glaring at me from my pantry for the past two years.
  11. I will unpack my waffle iron, use my waffle iron, write an Ode about my waffle iron or just donate the ol’ dust collector.
  12. I will grow a plot of tomatoes, bat my eyelashes and pilfer all of my retired neighbours’ secrets to their Gardens of Eden.
  13. I will get off my ass on a Saturday morning and start making my own bread again.
  14. I will floss. I know, not exactly food-related, but I should probably do it so I can continue having food resolutions in 2054 that aren’t exclusively “Learn to puree better.”
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Hailing from Vancouver, Kristen's still trying to figure out how to survive Montreal's Real Legitimate Canadian Winter. So far she's discovered that warm socks, giant toques and Tabby kittens all play a role in her survival. Her ultimate goal is to rank higher than KStew in the "Kristen + Autostraddle" Google Search competition.

Kristen has written 139 articles for us.


  1. I have a lot of food-related goals for this year too. A big one is going completely vegetarian (3 days strong so far!), and also I’m trying to cut out dairy. I also want to learn to like eating kale.

    • Learn to like eating kale? Becoming an astronaut might be a more attainable goal.

      But seriously it’s actually not bad in soups so if you haven’t tried it that way maybe give it a go?

    • I’m not particularly fond of kale or quinoa, but oddly, when they’re cooked together, I enjoy the combination.

    • I have two favorite ways to eat kale:

      1. Sauté it in a frying pan with a little oil (whatever you prefer to cook with) and red wine vinegar. Add garlic powder and salt. Boom, you have healthy deliciousness on your plate. Sautéing the kale makes it much more palatable compared to the thick dark green leaves of raw kale.

      2. In a bacon Caesar salad. Since you’re going vegetarian and dropping dairy, perhaps you could try a modified caesar with vegan dressing (I know that Annie’s makes a good vegan caesar-like dressing). The trick is to massage the kale with the dressing. I know that sounds weird, but it helps soften and break down those yucky raw leaves. Wash your hands, spend a good couple minutes massaging the dressing into the kale, and then eat. The difference is noticeable.

      3. I don’t like kale chips (I’m not a huge chip person in general), but lots of people swear by them: http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/cripsy-baked-kale-chips/

      Best wishes on your kale-eating journey :)

    • Last year I wrote a post about kale and readers had a bunch of awesome recc’s. Italian Wedding Soup and salad with a hearty dressing are my favs. If the texture feels weird, you massage the leaves to make them less fibrous!

  2. I am literally in the middle of a cook-from-dried bean cooking session to create a how to cook beans photoset for a friend of mine. He was super curious to know how to make them tasty and creamy and assumed I would know as I’m married to woman with Hispanic heritage. Spoiler alert, I had to teach her!

  3. I relate so much to number 8. When I last went kitchenware shopping, I told myself that splatter screens are a non-essential luxury and that I was only allowed to purchase kitchen basics. Wrong. That thing is definitely a kitchen basic. I’ve splattered both myself and my kitchen with hot oil and fat one too many times this week. 2014: Buy a damn splatter screen.

  4. I pledge that only 50% of my meals will be frozen next year and that i will no longer buy value mince aka mince pellets. That is all.

  5. Love this! But Bananas are wrong, don’t do it, you can get potassium elsewhere, I have accidentally eaten them twice in the last 7 years and have pledged to never let it happen again. I too will dust off my waffle iron. I will…I must. Also use that splatter guard I had an unfortunate shallow fried thumb incident resulting in a week in burns bandages and a thumb that looked like a cocktail sausage…until the skin fell off…now it’s super heat sensitive. Hooray for kitchen resolutions :)

  6. I’m so glad someone else uses the phrase ‘dust-collector’! It’s my nana’s favourite term for her numerous possessions. Her life is somewhere between Hoarders and Extreme Couponing.

    • ha! my girlfriend and i were looking at random kitschy stores in berkeley that sell things you usually give as gifts or like, put on mantels, and i was like, everything in this store is what my mother would call “a dust collector.” she wouldn’t buy or let us buy anything that didn’t have a function which was really sad because i wanted a precious moments doll

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