Raghavan Iyer

Cooking up a Resolution

Last year I decided to approach New Year’s Resolutions in a different way: I would make a list of things to accomplish and to learn. I focused on just a few things that I enjoy, but seldom approach in a dedicated way: crafting, writing and cooking. My list included things I knew I could easily skate through the entire year without actually doing, unless I had something prodding me…like my pride. I printed out my list – in a big colored font nonetheless – and posted it around the house. That list lived above the sewing machine, by my desk and inside a kitchen cabinet door. 

My list looked something like this:

Dye sock yarn with Kool-Aid. Cook one new recipe a week. 52 recipes. Write more. Read more.Finish four unfinished projects. 


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Paneer and Other Magic Tricks You Can Do in North Dakota*

I’ve learned that when you have to go around a room and introduce yourself by name and an interesting fact about yourself, it helps to be able to say, very casually, “I make paneer.” If you go on to explain that paneer is an Indian cheese, and you make it to use in some of your favorite curries, you will quickly see the room divide into two camps. One camp thinks you are crazy. The other wants to come to dinner.

In summer of 2008, at our neighborhood farmers' market, a man was beginning a cooking demonstration to promote his new cookbook, and the scent of sautéing garlic, ginger, and onion filled the air. My daughter, Cora, then two-years-old, was done with the market, having exhausted the thrill of buying her own carrot and tasting the cabbage leaves. We left, but I noted the book’s title.

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