Skeletons in the Pantry, How to Set Goals, Resolutions

I leaned early on that my great motivator is not a desire for accolades but a fear of having to admit I failed.  Actual failure doesn't bother me in the least.  It's having other people know I failed that I can't abide.

So, many years ago, back in the beginning of time, when I decided to quit smoking, I didn't do it silently.  I intentionally set myself up for a huge embarrassment if I failed. 

Not only did I tell everyone in the office, all of my friends and family, and most strangers; I bought myself a piece of jewelry.  I should say: I ordered a piece of jewelry.  I explained to the store manager that I was quitting smoking, and if successful, I would buy myself a reward.  If not, I would have to pay the penalty and she would have to return my prize.  She agreed. (Foolish woman.)

I choose a sapphire eternity ring.

It took 4 weeks to have it made.  I calculated that not smoking for 6 1/2 years would pay for it.  I told everyone I knew and anyone who would listen about my 'quit-smoking ring'.

Everyday for 4 weeks I talked about that ring….and didn't smoke.  I went into the jewelry store once a week to report my progress.

I still wear the ring everyday.

I never smoked again.

Why am I telling you this? 

Because I am re-writing/designing my website, Thyme for Cooking.  My goal is to have it done by the end of January.  As there are over 1000 pages it's a big job. 

There, I've told you.

Now I have to get it done.Vendor

Stupid woman….. grumble, grumble. grumble…

If you have something that you really want to do but can't seem to get at it, try my method: tell the world and embarrass yourself into accomplishing it!  You could surprise yourself!

One last picture of the market in Strasbourg and we close the book on Christmas, 2007.

On to more important things.

I have no problem with admitting to blunders, bloopers, screw-ups, embarrassing moments and general faux pas.   

They make some of the best stories.  They, also, make good memories and bring family, friends and relatives together. 

SkeletonsHere is the final and complete (I hope – I shall be so embarrassed if I missed someone…let me know if it's you) exposé of our Skeletons in the Pantry!

New entry:  Aaaackkkkk!  I did it:  I missed one two!

Magpie, of Magpie Musing tells a terrifying tale of the Fruitcake that Would Not Die!  Just remembering the story is enough to give me nightmares. It invloves …oozing….  Hint: It is was almost old enough to vote!.

But I found it.  All day I was hungry for pizza and something was just niggling in the back of my mind…
Finally, it came together.  ZaZa, at Writing-Cooking-Life had an unusual way of making pizza in her youth: using an electric frying pan.  I had one of those once.   I never thought of  frying the pizza, though…

Jeanne, of Cook Sister fondly remembers her father's love of convenience food and eating red wallpaper paste as a child.  And she admits to a certain, um, affinity for KFC, dunked in mayo – well, who doesn't go weak in the knees at that?

Meredith, of Poppy Fields, is trying to be the perfect Provencal 'femme du foyer' and make the traditional Buche de Noel.  The best laid plans….as they say….

Núria, of Spanish Recipes, admits to liking meatballs with a little 'je ne sais quois' or should that be: 'yo no sé eso que'? (Sorry, Núria, no Catalan).  A lovely reminisce about her school days in Barcelona, Chickpea Games and Fuzzy Meatballs….eeeewwww…..

Mrs. W, of Mrs. W's Kitchen has a yearning for her version of one of the most famous of all U.S. boarding school and military kitchen staples: SOS.  She tarts it up a bit, throwing in the odd vegetable, using tuna, but, still…  I know I love it!

Kate, of Kate in the Kitchen, is admitting to many secret loves; among them Beef Barley Soup (I'm with you on that), peanut butter and banana sandwiches (No way!), peanut butter and green …. Naw, that one you have to read for yourself!

Father's are being picked on today.  Amy, (she really got into this!) of Knit Think, remembers her father's introduction to her Cranberry Slush.  Let's just say that everyone remembers it….

From Christine, of Christine Cooks, we have the tale of Thanks and Giving, the two turkeys raised for the holidays.  One of them grew to a whopping 37 pounds, and he wasn't the big one.  You might ask how long, and in what, one cooks a turkey that huge.  Christine was asking, and waiting and waiting…

Mimi, of French Kitchen in America, has confessed to something Cheesy, creamy, comforting….and covert.  All I have to say is…I didn't know they made it with cheese!!!!!  I love that stuff!  YUM!!!!!  Oooops!

Tanna, of My Kitchen in Half Cups, that fabulous Daring Baker, reminds us that anything left on the counter when making catch-all foods (like turkey dressing) is fair game.  I'll admit to tossing a few strange things into the soup but….doughnuts?  Well, why not?  How else are new things developed? 

Valerie, of More Than Burnt Toast, has a favorite potato dish that she dare not make herself for communal gatherings (Her contributions must be time-consuming, complicated fare), but, she does happen to have the recipe….and she does happen to make certain that someone always makes it.  Sneaky!

Amy, of Knit Think, has revealed one of my own little secrets: I agree that it must be a Midwestern thing but if it wasn't on the holiday table, someone was in trouble.  Can you say "spray cheese"?  What does one do with 'spray cheese'?  Read and learn!

Have you ever forgotten what food is in which container in the freezer?  Need to have the importance of proper labeling reinforced..the hard way?  How do you feel about fish in your turkey?  Maggie, of Magpie Musing has the answer to all of these questions; some revealed for the very first time!

Nora, of Life's Smörgåsbord, discovered that one does, in fact, use that awful math stuff we learn in school in real life; or at least, one should.  She also learned why one is supposed to measure carefully when baking.  So many lessons in one little Volcano Cake!

Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast, has also found comfort in a box. For as good of a cook as she is, it's a true skeleton coming out to learn that her family's favorite stuffing, (for HOW many years???) comes not from hours of work but from a, you-know….  (I can't type it twice)

Laurie, meet Nora.  The two of you can discuss the merits of measuring.   The kitchen of Tastes Like Home – Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska must have been getting a little warm that day.  Spoon Sweets are meant to be, well, you know, spooned.  She does get high marks for recovery!

Champaign Taste?  Hmmmm…..  I love Lisa's confessions! I mean I love them – the food!  I do have to disagree slightly, though.  I prefer fried Spam with Miracle Whip!  Try it, Lisa, then let me know!  We can do side by side, across the pond, taste tests!

To close: SPAM

No, not the bad, computer kind; the good, pink kind.

She did not 'officially' enter this.  But anyone who does such a perfect 'Ode to Spam' deserves to have it shouted from the rooftops…if the blogosphere had rooftops. 
Jaden, of Steamy Kitchen, has a love close to my own heart.  I fondly remember Spam, Miracle Whip and WonderBread sandwiches as a teenager.  Could there be a more perfect food?  Well, maybe SOS…. Wait…SOS with Spam??????  OMG!
Thankfully, I'm tall enough to reach the cans myself, which I do on every trip back to the U.S.
They don't call Hawaii paradise just for the flowers, you know!

Happy New Year, Everyone!

May your 2008 be filled with good food, good wine, good friends, and whatever else your little heart desires!

35 thoughts on “Skeletons in the Pantry, How to Set Goals, Resolutions”

  1. OK so I’ll keep track on your progress! What a great roundup, I’m bookmarking it for a day soon when I have the time to read through the enries! Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Fun reading about everyone’s embarassing moments. Looking forward to seeing the new look for your blog! Happy New Year!

  3. What a great round-up! I’m having such fun reading about everyone’s skeletons…. happy new year to you, Katie, and I’m looking forward to another year of wonderful posts from France!

  4. Love the event–love the roundup even more! Thanks for the giggles, everyone!
    (And knowing I’m not the only one is comforting.)
    What a great method to quit smoking. And to reach your goals.

  5. Love this post. I agree that the best way to deal with vices is to tell the world that you are going to try and conquer them. The fear of a very public let down generally ensures eventual success. 🙂

  6. Thanks, DD. Apparently I can be easily bribed…
    Steamy Kitchen, Spam rocks!
    Ilva, thanks. Now that I’ve publicly committed I had better get busy. I got the books from Amazon last week!
    Kalyn, thanks – and a happy one to you!
    Lydia, thanks. Everyone I read brought out more of my own. I have a very full pantry!
    Amanda, confession is good for the soul…and chocolate. Chocolate is also good!
    Jerry, it works for me! The more public the more I’m likely to succeed.
    Thanks, Margot.
    Sam, I’ll think about it…..
    Amanda, thanks…it will be the whole month in the making, I think.
    Pam, and to you! Wow, I really did commit here….sigh…

  7. Congrats on quitting smoking. I smoked on and off for 10 years and was down to only one or two (sorely needed) a day before something I can only refer to as grace stepped in and made me quit for good.
    LOVE the roundup!! I can’t wait to read about everyone’s secret food pleasures!

  8. I love the eternity ring story, but I do have to say that on my non-foodblog, I swore I’d lose 50 pounds by a particular date and was doing fairly well for a couple of months and then…nothing. Of course my buddy bailed on me and she whines about being overweight more than I do. We both LOVE food. Sigh. I need to rework one of my blogs, too, and know how much work it is. Good luck to you!

  9. Very entertaining round-up Katie — I’ve started reading through the posts and everyone seems to have risen to the occasion with mostly funny stories. Love your ring one too! Happy New Year and looking forward to seeing whatever in the world you are planning for your blog!

  10. OK Katy I’ll hold you to it. That should help you. Really funny but often times when Gorn asks me to do something and I’ve forgotten it, I’ll tell him it’s done because then I know it’ll get done. I think that’s something of a variation on your technique.
    Happy New Year to you!!

  11. Happy New Year Katie!
    This is a terrific round up and I will also be hounding you about your resolution about your blog. My new year resolution is to be less grumpy. Luckly for you, only my partner and family see this side of me, my friends and patients are somehow spared.
    Thanks for your support, it was a great year to be blogging because I met such nice bloggers and you are definite one of my favourites.
    x Nora

  12. Kate, quitting was not easy… Not starting again wasn’t too bad, though. As I said, I bribe easily.
    Thanks, kellypea. I think quitting smoking is easier than loosing weight, BTW. Good luck with your blog!
    Thanks, Laurie. But I’m not redoing my blog (though it well could stand a facelift) I’m redoing my website – much bigger project, sigh….
    Tanna, I’ve used that trick myself… and tried not to get caught…
    Thanks, Colleen, and Happy New Year to you!
    Thank you Nora, that is so sweet! You’re one of mine, as well. Have a nice holiday!
    Thanks, Deb – me too!

  13. Happy New Year and Good Luck on the site! Beautiful photo of the Christmas market…all the snowglobes and the Christmas village. Can never have enough snowglobes!
    I have a recipe for your electric skillet pizza hunt, an old post from my blog: It’s my fiancé’s perfected recipe. Cooking pizza in this style is actually quite common in this area, and are affectionately referred to as Old Forge pizzas (either white or red).

  14. Cymry, Electric skillet pizza – twice in one week. If I still had one I’d try it (it got left with all the rest of the little electrical stuff when we moved) Those snow globes were fun!
    Thanks, Ulrike – Happy New Year to you!
    And to you Riana, one of these days we are going to drive south…be warned….
    Thanks Meredith – and to you!

  15. Kate, a very happy new year to you! Your method of achieving your goals is quite courageous, actually. Best of luck with your blog design – I will have fun reading all these entries!

  16. I meant to contribute to this!! I really did! But I was so busy creating skeletons for the closet that I didn’t manage to post anything. Great stories from all you others though!
    P.S. The bread I made that was supposed to be showcasing my talent (cough) at breadmaking was such a disaster the few days before Christmas that we were forced to buy bread to go with our pate. (Augh!!! We haven’t had to buy bread for about 4 years….)

  17. Katie, Katie, Katie!!!!!! I’m sure you will make it with the new design! We must be almas gemelas somehow, because when I first quit smoking I used the same method… Bravo for us… it’s only that I failed again… but when I knew I was pregnant I quit again and up to now!
    Thanks for linking my meatballs story, Katie. Can’t wait to see your web design.

  18. ejm, don’t you hate it when that happens? When something I can do blindfolded becomes a disaster for a big meal, well, that shoots down my arrogance, doesn’t it?
    Nuria, I tried to smoke once after quitting, – but it was such a disaster I never again had the urge…I should write about that… I bribe easily!

  19. What a brilliant motivator to quit smoking! The husband and I have been talking about a reward for dropping some of the excess pounds we both seem to have acquired over the last few years… I’ll use this as part of my proof that bribery works! 🙂

  20. Michelle, Bribery always works for me…I’m so easy… But you have to make it really worth your while and then really stick to it!

  21. Love the frying pan pizza idea. I do similar on the barbecue. Delicious.
    I totally agree with your tactics too. Tell the world and you’ll get it done. Good luck with the revamp.

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