I come to you off an eventful and fun, though not particularly restful holiday season; however, I am good and ready to tackle some more Junior League cookbooks, and meet some culinary goals in the New Year.

In 2009, I cooked, baked, and/or canned meals or dishes from 37 Junior League cookbooks, which leaves a scant 14 to go in my year (and change) of Junior League cookery.  During that time, I want to:

  1. Successfully roast a chicken.  I’ve attempted two this year, and both have been abject disasters, though I did at least get some decent chicken stock out of them.
  2. Make at least one or two more things that involve seafood.  Even though I’ve done it a few times, cooking with the fishies is always scary for me.
  3. Make a King Cake for Mardi Gras.
  4. Make at least one meal that is sort of healthy, or at least doesn’t involve multiple sticks of butter.
  5. Cook something that looks insanely difficult or terrifying.

I think this is doable, especially since my in-laws got me a gift certificate to the New School of Cooking for Christmas, and I plan to use it to take either a class on Roasting or Fish Basics.

Oh, and in case you wondered how the Christmas Cake from the Junior League of Dayton turned out, let me just say that it will make you change your tune about fruit cake, and leave you begging for another whiskey-marinated slice.

Christmas Cake, aged 4 weeks

Though the recipe yields 32 slices, it does kind of take the pressure off on what to bring to the party.  I brought 3 trays of it various holiday gatherings (and one to work, since I figured that my poor fellow colleagues who had to work the day after Christmas could use a little, um, holiday cheer), and they were, for the most part, picked clean.

And now, for my first cookbook of 2010, on to Wichita!