The month of January is the one time of year when we all get a “clean slate” to start over, or at least make some positive changes in our lives. Like many people, I have never been too successful at making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions, with “keeping” being the operative word.
Typically, the top spot on our list of resolutions is occupied by “getting healthier” – changing our eating habits and exercising more. Also high on the list is ridding ourselves of bad habits like smoking, alcohol consumption and other behaviors that can hold us back from living happier, healthier and more productive lives. People also vow to be kinder, help others more and volunteer when possible – we can all do these things.
Through my later years, I have struggled with my weight, and until last year, exercise was not high on my list. Now, to keep from having to walk on all fours due to chronic back issues, daily exercise is a must for me. But even though I feel better, I don’t like to do it.
As for eating more healthfully, there is one thing I will never ever give up: chocolate. I’ve given up enough things in my life and I refuse to let chocolate be one of them! It can be the finest Swiss chocolates from Europe or an inexpensive box of chocolate-covered cherries. If there’s chocolate, I’m in.
This leads me to my new resolution for 2022 … trying ethnic foods I’m not too familiar with. I have always loved Italian, German and Asian dishes, but I’m not too familiar with French or Thai cuisine, for example. I have tried and do enjoy Middle Eastern food, but I’m sure there are many more I would enjoy. This year, I’m going to experiment with as many as possible.
I have at least two good friends who can literally live on Mexican food. I have never been a fan but having said that, my experience with Mexican fare has been limited to tacos and a few other basics, like burritos and enchiladas. I’m sure there is more to like and I need to give it another chance.
In 2020, there were more than 65,000 Mexican eateries in the United States. As of 2019, it was an over $62 billion industry in this country! Yes, I think I will give Mexican food another chance. Not taking a political position on this one way or another, that’s pretty amazing when you consider the wall that was started at the Mexican border. My late husband and I used to laugh and say, “You can’t come in – but before you go, can you drop your family recipes in the big wooden box?”
On January 1, 1892, Ellis Island in the New York Harbor welcomed the first of what would be 20 million new arrivals from other countries until it closed in 1954. Unless you’re a Native American, you’re likely a descendant of immigrants and have eaten meals all your life that originated in a foreign land. And that includes what we consider all-American foods like apple pie, hot dogs and hamburgers.
Happy New Year! Let’s eat!