Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The birth of a challenge

I have been searching out a personal challenge for 2009. The Challenge has to meet a few criteria:

1. It has to be something fun and lighthearted
2. It has to be something challenging
3. It has to be something that will help me to explore the city where I live and allow me to explore the places where I travel
4. It has to be something I can engage friends and family in, whether they now it or not
5. It has to be something that I can take lots of pictures of (as I have a secret love of photography!)

So where did my 5 objectives leave me??? Looking at my personal interests; volunteer work, art, reading, shopping, food..... aha food. As a relatively big foodie living in Toronto, I love to eat and share food and drink with friends and family. It is the basis for most social interaction and I enjoy that. I enjoy spoiling people by cooking for them and entertaining. There is nothing like enjoying a good meal, great wine and fantastic conversation with new and old friends.

It wasn't a week before I was in my local super Bookstore, Chapters, and I came across the book 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die. Can you imagine a book with 1001 different foods that are recommended for everyone to taste. How many had I tried? How many had I liked? Were they exotic enough to be interesting and challenging to be a good challenge?

The first page that I opened the book to listed the Corryvreckan Langoustine and the Audresselles Lobster. Intrigued to see two very specific types of fish, a picture of each, a description and most intriguingly a two-three sentence description on the "Taste" of the item that has been described. I think that I am in love. I also really loved the fact that I didn't know if I had eaten either of them and that it would be a real search to find them in the Toronto.

I think that this book might be the source and birth of my challenge. I could commit to tasting all of the items in the book that I hadn't tried. I could engage family and friends in the search. If I was looking for Portuguese cheese, I could call my friend RC and ask her to help me source it. I could also see having a bi-weekly or monthly gathering of friends or family to join me in a "tasting" to try the newest things on the list. It would also let me use many of the cookbooks that I have and collect and really expand my cooking repertoire.

I've now been thinking about it for two weeks and I am committed to doing it. The book has been on my coffee table for the two weeks and I have chatting to many foodie friends about their willingness to help. Everyone I talk to loves the idea and wants to be engaged and a part of it. I am so excited to get started. I can't wait. I guess that this post is the first step. Wish me luck!

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