Resolution for 2011: Eat More Balls

bourbon chocolate balls.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Who wouldn't want to eat more chocolate balls?
No, silly. I'm not talking about Rocky Mountain oysters or, as tender calf testicles are called in Montana, swinging steaks. Instead, I'm talking about meatballs, specifically the spectacular meatball sandwich at Salumi, the duck balls at Revel, and Nettletown's lemongrass elk meatballs. I need more balls on my plate!

While other people are giving stuff up in their New Year's resolutions, I'm taking a vow to give up nothing . In fact, here are 11 foods I'm going to eat more of in '11.

1. I already covered balls, but neglected to mention bourbon chocolate balls, which I'm in love with after my friend Kim brought them to a New Year's Day party. A candy that gets you buzzed? Can anything be better?

2. Salsify is a weird root nicknamed the oyster plant because of its rich taste and texture. The very first time I tasted it was at The Corson Building, when it first opened and Matt Dillon did something magical with them.

3. Barbecue, but not from around here. I've already booked my flight to Memphis in May for the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest for a fix of the real deal. Sorry, but I've yet to find authentic barbecue in the Northwest (i.e., cooked low and slow over indirect charcoal or a wood-fueled pit, pulled or sliced to order, with a legit smoke ring, and not doused in sauce.) Feel free to try convince me otherwise.

4. Oysters. If you're not eating oysters, you're missing one of the greatest truly local food experiences. I get a real rush every time I eat them, but always realize I do not eat them often enough. Raise your claw if you want an Oyster 101 class, and I'll set you up.

5. Potato salad. It's not just for summer picnics, people! I had some fantastic bacon-spiked German-style spud salad last week from Bavarian Meats at Pike Place Market. Ja!

6 Kimchi. Or as I like to think of it this time of year, Korean penicillin. That fiery condiment will keep those nasal passages clear during cold and flu season.

Oyster Bill and geoduck.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Oyster Bill Whitbeck of Taylor Shellfish would like to introduce you to some geoduck.
7. Geoduck. (See oysters.) Is that a giant clam, or are you just happy to see me? Thanks to chefs like Ethan Stowell, geoduck is finally getting its 15 minutes. It's damn tasty. Try it.

8. Tongue, the new pork belly. OK, that's probably a stretch, but it's fitting to include tongue on a list that also has balls, isn't it?

9. Deviled eggs. Especially those dreamy Dungeness crab deviled eggs at the about-to-blow-up-hugely-hot Madison Park Conservatory.

claire and fried chicken.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
My kiddo loves my chicken, fried in lard.
10. Fried chicken. Maybe this'll finally be the year I score one of those hard-to-get rezzies at Spring Hill for the Monday chicken dinner. I also like to fry my own. In lard.

11. Food from area farmers markets. I'm going to try to find something new every week. Not sure what the hell I'm going to do with that celeriac I picked up yesterday at the West Seattle Farmers Market, but that's part of the adventure of cooking, right?

What are you going to eat more of in 2011?

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