The thing I love most about adulthood and January is that none of us believe that we will keep our resolutions – but we all still continue to make them. There’s simply something in the air that lends itself to drawing up lists and plans.

Of all my schemes, there’s only one I feel confident about keeping, and that’s because I’ve already started it: in 2011, I will become a better gluten-free cook.
don't forget
It’s the same resolution I had going into 2010, and 2009, and 2008. I’ll be using it again next year, and the year after that too (assuming the world doesn’t end in 2012).

The beauty of a gluten intolerance is that it forces us to reevaluate our food and our kitchen. Being able to feed ourselves well takes on new significance, whether we’re adapting recipes to cut out the wheat or just throwing a salad together.

Here’s the list of kitchen skills I want to perfect (or at least attempt) in 2011. As I learn (whether via success or failure) you can expect to see news right here on the blog:

1. Breakfast timing. This year I will coordinate the serving of gluten-free pancakes, eggs over-easy, and gluten-free chicken sausage for at least two people. The sausage will not get cold while I cook the eggs, and the pancakes will not be eaten one-by-one as they come off the griddle.

2. Bird roasting. I will put a chicken into the oven and remove it when it is cooked. I will not continually cut little pieces into it to check for doneness.

3. Mayonnaise. I will make my own, probably according to this how-to video from Gluten-free Girl and the Chef. Not sure what I’ll do with it once I’ve got it….

4. Risotto. Once upon a time I bragged to an Italian friend that I could make risotto as good as he could. I was wrong; mine is good but it’s not poetry – yet. This is the year.

5. Lentils. These are such a great, gluten-free source of protein. Lentils are cheap, they take to flavors from all over the world, can be served hot or cold, when they’re dried they will sit in your cupboard until you’re ready for them…but I’ve barely ever used them.

6. Spices. It’s easy to find gluten-free spices, and the right combination can transform a dish into something truly memorable. For some reason, I tend to shy away from adding them to my food – fear of ruining the dish, perhaps. In 2011 I’m going to learn my way around the spice rack.

You’ll note that none of these has to do with recreating a favorite traditionally gluten-containing food: I tend to leave that to the professionals (and my mother). Still, these are the goals that I’m getting excited about – and if you can look forward to starting your resolutions, you’ve already taken a great step towards keeping them.

What kitchen skills do you plan to work on in 2011?