For Christmas this year, I gave the Mr. something that I am (somewhat selfishly) very excited about: A Year Of Food. Instead of buying him a gift and putting it under the tree, I wrote him a note that went something like this:
Merry Christmas Sweetheart! You know as much as I do that international travel is not in the cards for us as a family this year. We've got two little ones, and a dog, and a budget. But you know how we've always talked about traveling and living in one place for a few months, taking cooking classes, and learning about regional cuisine? My gift to you this year is somewhat of a spin on that. 2013 is going to be a "Year of Food." I'm going to give you four different ethnic cuisines this year, once a week for 3 months apiece. I'll try to go as authentic as possible by actually following recipes. I'll do some research, shop at the local ethnic stores for supplies, and we'll have ourselves an international culinary experience without the jet lag. [Insert other sweet/kind/loving things here]. Love, The Mrs."
Fun, right? I'm so excited! I decided on cuisines from these four countries: India, France, Ethiopia, and Italy. We had our first Indian meal last week, and I'm not going to lie - it was awesome. We had Indian chicken, spiced broccoli, and simple bread (chapati). We'll get to eat Indian food January through March. I am allowing myself some grace in the learning process - like, I put the main dish in the crockpot since we've got an unpredictable newborn around. You know how much I'm into the crockpot these days ...
I'll post the recipes soon!