PUBLISHED: 12:10 PM on Wednesday, January 4, 2006
A new year, a new list of various resolutions
Like many of you, I'm making a few personal resolutions for 2006. I'm famous for making these lists with the best of intentions, and then sometime around March, I conveniently forget where I put the list.

Let's start with the obvious. I will try to eat, at least once, every one of the items on today's food resolution list: Beets, brussel sprouts, caviar, oysters, foie gras, collard greens, grits, liver and onions.

I will make at least one new recipe every week. This really is too easy. In a year's time I must receive 50 to 70 cookbooks and at least 40 magazines full of recipes.

The cookbooks at the house already sprout little yellow Post-Its. My wife has tagged more than 100 recipes as "make it for me" dishes that I've yet to prepare.

New recipes are fun to make because they add a little adventure to a Wednesday or Saturday night (depending on how much work is involved).

Who can't use a little excitement in their lives?

I resolve to venture out to funkier places to eat. By funkier I mean ethnic, original, and offbeat, and definitely not hoity-toity.

I'm going to listen to more music (blues and jazz) and watch less TV (Seinfeld) while I'm cooking. I find that my wife and I talk more when music is playing than when I am waiting to mime a punch line I've heard 50 times before.

I have a pal, he knows who he is, whom I need to see more often in the coming year. I need to drop by and make him dinner and watch a game.

Whenever I feel low, I think about his positive attitude and I immediately kick myself in the rear and get back on the straight and narrow. I owe you, pal, and it's time I start paying up.

Features staff, remember those Christmas cookies that never materialized this month? They are coming in 2006.

I'm going to clean the oven twice this year. It is way overdue.

The pantry - it will be organized.

All that frozen food will either get tossed or cooked.

The refrigerator will be purged of all the half-empty bottles of salad dressing, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, condiments I'll never use and other junk that is taking up way too much space.

While I'm at it, I'll figure out why the refrigerator light flickers on and off.

I'm finally going to learn to make creme brulee.

I'm going to insist my mother-in-law (really, she is the best) joins us for dinner more often.

While I'm at it, Ma and Pa need to pop over for dinner more often, too.

I'd resolve to lose 20 pounds, but why make a promise I know I won't even try to keep?

Seriously, readers, I hope you plan to make good eating a big part of your 2006.

Friends, family and food - what better way to spend the next year?

Dan Macdonald is a Morris News Service food columnist.