Eats, Shoots & Reads

Eats, Shoots & Reads

Another year has passed and as we wave goodbye to 2011 and welcome in 2012 it’s a time for reflection and reminiscing about the year just gone – all the good, bad and indifferent experiences that have made us who we are today. Like most people I make and break resolutions with the passing of each year, good intentions just aren’t enough! Well not this year, 2012 will be different!

This year I intend to challenge myself and publicly document each and every step. No hiding, no slacking, no excuses and no changing the goal posts. My challenges for 2012 are: Eats, Shoots & Reads.

Many thanks to Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss for inspiring my challenge title.

Quick Links: Eats, Shoots & Reads


I really enjoy cooking and love watching cooking programmes, whether its Nigella, Jamie, Hugh or Gordon I’ll watch them all. The problem is, despite enjoying cooking, I (like most people) tend to opt for quick and easy rather than challenging and worthwhile.

My first challenge (Eats) will be to attempt a new recipe each week, 52 in total. To make sure each recipe is a challenge I won’t be choosing the recipes myself, instead I’m going to randomly select a page number (thanks iPhone app).

I know this isn’t a new concept and has been done numerous times, most successfully by Julie Powell and the Julie and Julia project but it’s a challenge I’d like to emulate and one that will help me develop in the kitchen.

So which cook book have I chosen? I wanted a cook book that would challenge me but also improve my skills in the kitchen. Something varied, and something that I had a hope of finding the ingredients for. I also needed a cookbook with 1 recipe per page for my random number idea to work so the winner is…

Cook With Jamie

Cook with Jamie, My Guide to Making You a Better Cook.


My second challenge for 2012 is shoots. Like cooking I’ve always wanted to get into photography and to take more photos ā€“ largely to improve my skill but also to document my life, push me, challenge me and perhaps make me do more exciting things that I can share with the world. My goal, take a photo everyday for a year, 366 photos in total (as 2012 is a leap year).

Hopefully I’ll be able to take some exciting photos that document and reflect my life throughout 2012!


My final challenge is to read more. Reading is always one of those things I think I should do, I want it to be listed as one of my passions, my hobbies… but like others, life gets in the way, and I inevitably end up watching something trashy on TV instead. My aim for the “Reads” part of my challenge is to read a book a month, 12 in total, nothing too intense or unrealistic but something that will hopefully spark a passion for reading and give me the opportunity to lose myself in literature.

I could have just chosen the first 12 books from a list of best-sellers, a book club or some random list on the internet but I wanted to make the challenge more interesting so I’m going to be reading books recommended to me by friends. I want to read something they found inspiring, emotional and involving – something that changed their lives and had a profound effect on them.

To make my book selection even more diverse I’m going to use the last letter, of the last word, on the last page to select a friend – so if the last letter, of the last word, on the last page, is an S then I’ll ask a friend whose first name begins with that letter – e.g. Sarah, Sue, Simon.

If the last letter is something obscure like an X, Z, etc then I’ll move to the next word and so on until I find a match.

Hopefully this will give me a varied reading list and will allow me to share an experience with my friends as well as compare my views of the book with their own.

So that’s 366 photos, 52 recipes and 12 books in a year ā€“ something to keep me busy, keep me blogging and challenge me. I hope the process makes for an interesting year and an interesting read. Follow my progress as I go and hopefully enjoy the ride with me as I Eat, Shoot & Read my way through 2012.

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