2009 began as the year of lists for me. Since January I’ve been jotting down in my diary “to-do”s, “to-read”s, “to-drink”s and so on. I have 2 diary pages full of wines to try already and an even larger list of books to read. Albums to listen to, restaurants to try (listed according to suburb) and the odd recipe have nearly all but filled the unused dates left behind in January.
Shortly I’m going to have to start a “recipes to cook” list too. I’ve always had a folder of clippings which I like to try before they are transferred to a more permanent collection, but now my delicious magazines are starting to stack up. The new edition arrived yesterday before I’d cooked anything from the last month’s. This is in part due to our trip to Perth and to S-bo playing a greater role in the kitchen while I partake in extra-curricular activities (sailing, pilates, tennis, touch football…how good is summer). I’m very thankful and fortunately he’s really enjoying it.
I’ve heard of people who cook practically everything in the magazine before the month is up and I wonder how I could justify buying such a range of ingredients, often exotic, every month. And this brings me back to my lists above. It’s all very well to have these lists, but they do tend to clash with my conservative spending tactics. I don’t deliberately set out to save money, I just can’t escape the values instilled from an early age by my bank manager father. Compared to my parents’ generation I live an extravagant lifestyle, however I think that by “Gen-Y” standards I really don’t spend much at all. I don’t buy new clothes every week and, more importantly, I really struggle to treat myself to dinner at a top restaurant for anything other than a very special occasion. Let alone order three courses. What kind of foodie am I? I love Melbourne’s liberal licensing laws and the great venues it fosters, but I miss Sydney’s BYO trend and the ability to have a great bottle of wine over dinner for half the price. I cling to restaurants in my area that do BYO every night of the week, as they are rare in my immediate surroundings.
Still, I think I will clutch these lists all year. I’ll know exactly what to pick up in the bottle shop on the way to a friend’s house for dinner and I’ll have perfect book ideas for birthday presents. What’s more, I’ll have ready access to restaurant ideas for those nights when you find yourself in the city, or a little-explored suburb, and can’t decide where to eat. Slowly, very slowly I’ll tick great restaurants off my list, only to have more added by the continuing life-cycle of Melbourne openings.