What do we wish from the new year?

2018 is around the corner. Here’s what the Edinburgh Foody team is hoping to achieve, foody-wise, in the coming months.

Vegan spinach tart and kombucha. There's a growing trend for plant-based foods.

Vegan spinach tart and kombucha. There’s a growing trend for plant-based foods.


Last year my partner Raymond gave me a gastronomy-at-home kit, where you can make gels, foams, spheres etc, like on MasterChef. I still haven’t used it, and it’s about time I did. I’ll have to think of a special occasion.

In 2018 I’ll also be continuing my focus on eating less meat, not just cooking less meat. Beef, lamb and pork (excluding bacon!) are increasingly easy to say no to; chicken is on the way out. I haven’t cooked any of the above this year. Fish and shellfish are still firm favourites however, when sustainably caught, and I enjoy discovering new species in my monthly Fishbox.

Reducing my packaging consumption will become a greater focus too. I buy almost all veg loose in the supermarket now, but could do better with salad, for example. Hopefully our homegrown veggies do better this year, and I’ll finally make the trip out to Wholefoods to buy my grains in bulk.


Last year I wanted to have a vegan week each month. That didn’t work out. However, we’ve switched our eating patterns increasingly towards vegan. I’d like to continue that trend. I’m never going to go 100% vegan but I’m keen to ensure my meat consumption is sustainable.

I’d like to we eat only good bread which means spending more time – scheduling time – for sourdough. Two loaves a month should do it (we don’t eat a lot of bread). My aim is a chewy, big-bubbly crumb, like the home-made @Enniroc_edi – my saver in dough – makes. It’s beautiful!

Sourdough! Look at the crunchy, blistery gorgeousness of that! (IT tasted as good as it looks.)

Sourdough! Look at the crunchy, blistery gorgeousness of that.
I wish I made it… (It tasted as good as it looks.)

Lastly, my favourite fermentation experiment has been kimchi. I want to get into a habit with kimchi so we always have some. And I want to learn how to pickle various other veg to make our rice bowls the most delicious and interesting bowls possible.


After the amazing cookery course learning to prepare some Middle Eastern mezze with Ghillie Basan, the Original Spice Girl, in her Highlands’ home, I’m on a mission to sign up for some more cookery courses and workshops. I particularly like the look of the ones at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School and Martin Wishart’s Lunch Then Learn and would love one on game. It would pair brilliantly with my latest cook purchase, Tom Kitchen’s Meat and Game.

I’m also making a pledge to cook at least one new recipe a month from all the cook books I’ve bought and to try at least one new dish a month from my Sainsbury’s magazine subscription.


Every year I make myself a promise that I’m going to try and cook a new dish every week, but old habits creep in fast once I return to work. So, this year I’m still going to try and do it but make it more realistic and maybe aim for two recipes a month.

I'm sure we're not the only people who buy cookery books and then forget to use them. We can do better!

I’m sure we’re not the only people who buy cookery books and then forget to use them. We can do better!

Dad and I used to go berry picking every summer and bring home tonnes of raspberries to make jam. Next year I want to take over the family jam making traditions and have a go at making my own. If it comes out as good as Dad’s or Craigies Farm’s, I will be very happy.

Finally, next year I’m going to be super organised and make my own mincemeat and mince pies. My husband and I start buying mini mince pies in September – we love them! But, it’s time to have a go at doing it ourselves and maybe they might be stocking fillers for a select few.

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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