Growing up, my mother wanted us to focus on an academic education so badly that she did all the cooking for us through university. Needless to say, I have a great education...but could not cook! Nothing! It was horrible!
Stumbled around in the dark with DH when we first got married...had LOTS of uh-oh's and wasted experiments. We ate out a lot.
Then I had candida, and had to totally overhaul my diet. My naturopath gave me The Talk about food and the effect on your body. I was always fit, with lots of energy, so never bothered to consciously eat healthy or well. That was the first 'turn around'. Sounds stupid, but didn't even occur to me.
THEN I got pregnant, and was *terrified* at the thought of having to cook healthy meals for kids without knowing ANYthing.
I went into research mode. I read everything on nutrition, food, cooking, health, food immunity, etc. I made charts. I took notes.
Then I taught myself to cook. I borrowed every library cooking book. Would spend hours experimenting, making notes in my recipes, adjusting things.
I made my mom and grandma - who are PHENOMENAL cooks - guide me through every single thing they made (cooking it in front of me), and I wrote it down; I made a cookbook (and distributed to family).
Youtube. Blogs. etc. I slogged away at it.
Now...I am a fabulous cook. And I know about food science. And nutrition. Probably moreso (I think) than if I grew up cooking, because I was a blank slate.
I learned that you need to make something at least 3 times to get it perfect. Don't even bother judging it the first time you make it...always needs tweaking.
I learned that a cooking instinct is made, over time.
I learned that no recipe - other than baking (but even then) - needs to be measured exactly - put more in of the taste you love.
Ingredients are now my friend, like paints on a palette.
Youtube, and any video cooking site, are boons! Very very good resources.
I'm becoming a healthy gourmet. I use a pressure cooker and crockpot constantly.
There is hope
My 'go to' basic classic cookbooks, that are so used, old and falling apart (EVERY recipe in these books WORK):
- Joy of Cooking (every single recipe here WORKS)
- America's Test Kitchen - any title (they have a writeup on why they do what they do, which ingredients taste best, and how to do stuff)
- Martha Stewart - website and baking book
Good luck! If I could do it, anyone could!