Culinary Adventures, Our Growing Edge
Comments 27

I’m not done yet

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

For those that have been following this blog for a while, you will know about my seasonal to do lists. Since winter of 2011, every season I have written a to do list of about 10 foodie challenges to push my cooking skills and eating experiences. I am leaps and bounds ahead where I was before I started. I feel confident enough to think “Ok, I can do this” as long as I pay a healthy respect to recipes and the advice I glean from those more experienced than I.

It’s been an amazing ride. There’s immense smugness satisfaction in telling people that I’ve made bacon or ice cream or cheese or tomato sauce or a pavlova. I guess gloating rights is part of the accomplishment. If you own a sweet car, you want to show it off right? (That’s a genuine question, I’ve never owned a car)

Many of the things that went into my lists were foods that I adored but had never tried making. This has opened my eyes up to my favourite flavours and ingredients and given me a better understanding of them. This in turn has made me a better cook.

Crossing things off the list has been the main focus. The list has kept this blog filled with fresh and relevant experiences but I admit, it was grueling. Any week or two that went by without crossing an item off flushed me with guilt.

Hanging up the teatowel

I have undertaken seven seasons now and it’s time to hang up the teatowel to give it a new approach. Bucket lists are great to remind us there are many experiences that we want for ourselves, but it freaks me out that time goes so quickly. Each time I write a summary for the season, I wonder where exactly the previous three months went.

So, I’ve compiled a mega list of the tasks so far plus some extras to push it up to 100 entries. Most of them are feasible but there are some heavy ones that will require months of planning. I’ll still be pushing myself to complete a task regularly, but not at the manic rate of one per week. At minimum, I’ll be trying a new thing each month to submit to Our Growing Edge.

My foodie bucket list
Some big, some small.

  1. Learn to make Chinese soup. A nourishing tonic.
  2. Hold a cheese and wine tasting party. Bitch and wine.
  3. Over eat at a steamboat. Mid-winter with the family.
  4. Send The Koala to work with hot lunches. pending
  5. Make lasagna. Once or twice.
  6. Cook with squid ink. Squid ink pasta.
  7. Hold a mid-winter feast at home.
  8. Glaze a ham. At Christmas and on my birthday.
  9. Make pesto. Macadamia pesto.
  10. Make polenta. Grits.
  11. Make Oysters Kilpatrick. Yum and then a variation.
  12. Cook duck. With sticky cherry sauce.
  13. Eat a flower. Lavender.
  14. Forage something and cook with it. Onion weed dumplings, scrambled eggs and potato cakes.
  15. Make Vietnamese spring rolls. Summer rolls with peanut sauce.
  16. Have a picnic. At a black sand beach.
  17. Make sangria. White and red sangria.
  18. Catch a fish.
  19. Deal to a freshly caught fish.
  20. Visit a new farmers’ market. Parnell and Grey Lynn.
  21. Prepare a raw meal. Two courses.
  22. Grow mint and a lime tree and make mojitos.
  23. Go strawberry picking.
  24. Prepare Ika Mata (raw fish salad). Rich and creamy with tuna.
  25. Make and edible gift for Christmas. Baked puffs of yum.
  26. Join a CSA group. Ooooby.
  27. Roll sushi. Three kinds.
  28. Brew lemon ice tea.
  29. Make ice cream. Russian fudge ice cream.
  30. Cook ribs. Sweet and gingery.
  31. Do something with rhubarb. Hand pies.
  32. Make bacon. Smoked it.
  33. Experience a degustation. An anniversary treat.
  34. Cook a big pot of chili. Yum.
  35. Make cornbread. Yup.
  36. Make Cornish pasties. Not once but twice.
  37. Do something with eggplant. Ew.
  38. Make Tom Yum. In Thailand.
  39. Make a chowder. With fish heads.
  40. Make a feijoa preserve. Curd.
  41. Make Spaghetti alla Puttanesca. Apocalypse spaghetti is for sluts.
  42. Cook curry goat. Warming and full of flavour.
  43. Tame an ugly root. Cook celeriac.
  44. Make French Onion Soup. A warming winter treat.
  45. Host a dumpling wrapping party
  46. Make pork roast with crackling. The hair dryer method works.
  47. Have a fondue party. Cheese and chocolate fondue with tips.
  48. Make biryani. Fragrantly spiced lamb biryani.
  49. Butterscotch. Butterscotch sauce with apple hand pies.
  50. Go to a Korean BBQ. Faro in Auckland.
  51. Try a new fruit. Tamarind in Thailand.
  52. Declutter the kitchen. Pretty before/after shots.
  53. Keep a worm farm. In a bin under the deck.
  54. Build a compost pending
  55. Plant a vegetable garden pending
  56. Live on $2.25NZ per day for 5 days for charity. Yes! I raised $635 for charity.
  57. Make hollandaise sauce. Yup.
  58. Make pâté
  59. Make cheese. Halloumi and mozzarella.
  60. Make a pavlova. A roaring success.
  61. Have a burger party
  62. Create a piece of food art
  63. Make ketchup or BBQ sauce. Tomato sauce win.
  64. Try a new grain. Millet is yum.
  65. Eat fish & chips somewhere glorious. Beachfront on Waitangi.
  66. Make cheesecake. Dark chocolate cheesecake.
  67. Use artichoke in something. Artichoke dip.
  68. Caprese Salad. Made with home made mozzarella.
  69. Make tzatziki.
  70. Make aioli.
  71. Bake tart tartin.
  72. Souffle something.
  73. Make a mousse.
  74. Pull pork.
  75. Make a risotto.
  76. Onigiri.
  77. Crème brûlée.
  78. Make a hawker dish.
  79. Dine out ethically.
  80. Bake a brownie.
  81. Buy meat from a farm.
  82. Review and cook from a cookbook.
  83. Design a cookbook.
  84. Bake a loaf of bread.
  85. Go vegetarian for a week.
  86. Pickle or ferment something.
  87. Eat at a Michelin star restaurant.
  88. Make a dessert from a foreign country.
  89. Cook with offal.
  90. Make Chinese tea eggs.
  91. Try balut.
  92. Gorge on seafood in a coastal village/town.
  93. Ride a bicycle to a fresh food market.
  94. Visit a commercial fish market.
  95. Partake in a progressive dinner.
  96. Smoke fish.
  97. Cook a turkey.
  98. Cook a beast on a spit.
  99. Eat in France.
  100. Eat in New Orleans.

I will be updating this bucket list over here at it’s permanent home.


  1. Impybat says

    I love making pulled pork, but I fail miserably every last time with brownies. Great list and accomplishments so far!

  2. Great list. I love trying new things too, but I am too lazy to write about them all! 🙂 For instance, I tried cooking plantain for the first time today, and loofah / silk melon / si gua a few days ago, and a fruit custard tart last weekend, but writing about them would take time away from trying other things…

  3. Awesome list! I’ve never thought to write a food specific list goal…I usually just remember them from time to time that I want to make this or that. Time to make a new list me thinks.

  4. What an incredibly ambitious list Genie; I have no doubt you will get through it! I really enjoyed New Orleans, we were there a year or so before Katrina hit; France will always be a favourite. Why would you want to cook with offal? I was so ill from it when we were in Lyon last year. I’m off to google a couple of things on your list.

    • Thanks Eva. I would love to have ticked off New Orleans before Katrina but it was not to be. Your French eating adventure was super inspirational! Offal can extend to any organ really and I have my eye on heart and liver rather than the um…more pungent kind you came across in Lyon.

  5. Genie, you are AMAZING!!!! Your bucket lists have always left me in awe and to consolidate them like this is a visualization of a tremendous accomplishment. BRAVO!!!!

    I also can understand the tremendous commitment it takes. There is nothing wrong with change and I look forward to the future 😉

  6. You are braver than I. #91! This is the one dish I have yet to be able to wrap my head around. I will try anything once, but Balut….still on the fence and leaning towards the ‘not going to happen side’. Kudos on your bravery!

    • Hi Chandler! I haven’t got there yet and who knows when I’m face to face with a duck embryo. But I figure, I love eggs and I love duck. What’s the big deal with an unhatched egg?

      • I don’t know why it irks me so… perhaps it has to do with the whole way you are supposed to eat it. Just in case though you should know that there are 2 different kinds, the Filipino version and the Vietnamese version and they vary in how old the embryo is, which from what I have read provides different textural experience. I look forward to reading about your exploit, balut or not. 🙂

        • I only knew of the Filipino version. I have never been to the Philapines though. I have been to Vietnam but I didn’t know. Nevermind, I got to eat snake and grasshoppers in Vietnam so it wasn’t a loss.

I love your comments! Your comments are like extra melted cheese on top.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s