New Year, No Pressure: Three Why Nots for Home Cooks 

Renée Kashuba in her chef’s whites.

It’s that time again: a New Year, another promise to make a whole new you  

Personally, I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, because I never really believe I will follow through. After a hectic season trying to get everything done for my family, while also meeting clients’ needs for the holidays, I just cannot muster the will to create a new challenge for myself, and on a deadline no less. Dieting, eating more healthfully, and exercising are annual favorites, if studies reported in magazines are to be believed, yet most of us give up on our resolutions before Valentine’s Day.  

This year, I want to try something different. Here are my New Year’s suggestions for home cooks. Let’s just call them things to try out this year, if you get a chance. Why not? No pressure. 

Eat locally — whatever that means to you. Our local businesses continue to struggle, so maybe choose a local restaurant or market to frequent. For the first time ever, the TaSH Farmer’s Market is having a winter session, running on every second and fourth Saturday, beginning January 9 and continuing through April, with a special market on May 8 (for Mother’s Day) in the Tarrytown Recreation Center LotThe Market has implemented a lot of pandemic protocols, and this is a great way to shop outside. Dress warmly! 

Dinner prepared by kids from one of Renee’s group kids’ classes

Learn something new — anything at all, like a favorite recipe, or a technique that’s been intimidating you for years. Get the kids involved, too, and let them make dinner for you. Kate Sonders Solomon, a talented local instructor, offers a range of classes for students of all ages. Some local chefs, like me, offer private and small group classes tailored to exactly what you would like to learn, with individual attention so you master the techniques. 

Find one healthy food you actually like. We all know what’s healthy, but you will persist in eating something you don’t like for only so long. That’s okay; there are many healthy choices. Spend some time in the produce section or looking through whole grains at your local farmer’s market, and try something new to youAnd farmers give great advice on how to prepare their produce. Don’t be shy — just ask! 

I’m a big believer in building on small successes. These three steps are small enough that I really think we can do them this year. Welcome to 2021 — it’s going to be a great year! 

Renée Kashuba is a private chef, baker, and writer in Tarrytown. Find her online at Instagram/foodmadebyrk, Facebook/MadeByRK, and Twitter/MadeByRK. 

foodmadebyrk.com 

tashfarmersmarket.org 

katesonders-solomon.com 

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About the Author: Renee Kashuba