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Old 11-04-2012, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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share with me your stories. 

 

did you grow up with cooking, or is it something you learnt later on?

 

is cooking important to you (apart from nutritious meals) or is it something you do because you have to? do you enjoy cooking?

 

what kind of a cook are you? one who prefers a recipe or not.

 

if i didnt know how to cook, and i came to you for advice what piece of advice would you give me. 

 

what are some basic information a cook just has to know?

 

which website, blog, book would you send a newbie for guidance?


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Old 11-04-2012, 08:51 PM
 
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I learned to cook by helping my mother after school make dinner for the family. I'd tell her all about my day, and she gave me jobs to do. Then when I was 15, she spent one week every three weeks staying at my sister's place. I had to make my breakfast and lunch, and make dinner for my father and I after school. I'd come home to find a note and the main ingredient on the counter or table.

Actually, I enjoy cooking, but love baking. Or I did. With the severity of my food allergies, both got to be more of a chore. And baked goods from altered recipes that didn't work well stole the joy from baking. Maybe, if I could pay someone to do the dishes afterwards, I'd experiment more.

I learned a lot from watching cooking shows, like Alton Brown's Good Eats and Christina Cooks. They taught about *why* certain ingredients are used, making substitutions easier.

Recipes are only guides. A starting point. I've always been that way, modifying for what I like. Sometimes I just throw things together. They usual turn out well, but I never remember what I did, so I can't duplicate it.

If I were advising someone just learning, I'd recommend assisting someone who will teach as you work together.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:02 PM
 
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My mother is a horrible cook. I learned to cook basic meals because it was the best way to enjoy a good meal. However, my cooking was heavy on the canned and boxed foods that my mother favored. I have always enjoyed cooking and I have experimented and got better as time went on. However, I became a truly good cook when my husband was diagnosed with several food allergies. I tried out dozens and dozens of recipes and in that process learned more about what substitutions could be made, what my family liked, and how to cook than I ever knew before.

 

The one piece of advice I'd give is don't be afraid to experiment. Worst case scenario is no one likes it, it's completely inedible, and you throw a frozen pizza in the oven. Cooking isn't a serious thing. Play around and try new things with your cooking. I still have meals that are only edible, but no one wants me to make it again. I have meals that are completely inedible. It's not the end of the world. Sometimes we end up eating PBJ sandwiches for supper after a giant flop. But for the most part I'm a good cook and it's because I'm not terrified to try new things.


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Old 11-05-2012, 02:28 AM
 
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I learned to cook from a combination of mum's teaching, doing Home Ec. at school and experimenting with recipe books. After I moved out of home I also watched cooking shows on TV and, more recently found info on the net.

I guess I'm more of a recipe cook than a random experimenter but I am very happy making substitutions and adapting recipes to suit my needs/tastes/available ingredients. There are some things I make without a recipe but for new things I like some guidance.

I enjoy cooking most of the time although I find it harder at the moment with a toddler. I probably wouldn't call it a hobby or a passion but it certainly isn't a drudgery either.

If you asked me for advice as a beginner I'd probably suggest starting with something fairly simple which you enjoy eating or which you haven't tried but always wanted to.

Important skills I guess would be safe food handling. Anything else is nice and makes life easier but isn't essential.

My favourite food website which I recommend to everyone is www.exclusivelyfood.com I have made many of their recipes and they always turn out well. They have step-by-step imstructions and photos of key stages as well as range of recipes from simple to moderately complicated. I also find the comments from readers useful.

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:31 AM
 
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I learned to cook mostly by looking up recipes for stuff I liked to eat out and making it at home. Stuff like Lasagna, Chicken Parmesan, General Tso's Chicken, Eggplant Parmesan, etc. Some stuff I had recipes from my mother, and I did learn to bake as a kid (cookies, muffins), but mostly I learned by doing. 

 

If I was starting out now, or helping someone else, I'd recommend they go buy "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman (or HTCE:Vegetarian if your veg). It has a ton of basic recipes, many with slight variations to make them a bit different, sometimes with a different type of meat/bean, often a completely different cuisine with just a few ingredient substitutions. It was incredibly enlightening to realize how many cuisines can be made as a stir-fry type dish or a baked dish with sauce or grilled or whatever. 

 

At this point, I rarely follow a recipe directly, except for a handful of things like Lasagna which are fairly specific. I tend to make up recipes, often digging through my (quite extensive) coookbook collection and occasionally online, reading recipes. I usually have a general idea of what I want to make in my head and am really browsing for ideas/suggestions on how to go about doing so. For example, tonight I'm going to make goat chops though I'm not sure how just yet. I'll probably go look through books at recipes for lamb chops or pork chops or steak recipes and see what sounds good. Probably I'll end up baking them in the oven with some sort of sauce.

 

For the record, I do like too cook :) Its creative and fun to experiminent with different ingredients/flavors/cuisines/etc to figure out what tastes good together :) Good luck!

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Old 11-05-2012, 07:50 AM
 
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My mother, kind of, and middle school home ec classes, kind of. That's how I learned a few basics. I remember trying a couple of recipes from cookbooks when I was about 10 or so. When I was about 15 or so, I started occasionally cooking dinner for the family if my mother was working. It was usually terrible. 

 

Mostly, though, I owe a huge debt to my first flatmate. She didn't instruct me and usually wasn't even in the kitchen when I was cooking but she had a big influence on me. 

 

My mother relied a lot on processed and packaged food. Things like canned soups and frozen dinners. She is a very good baker and made her own cookies and pies and she also made preserves and jams every summer. Generally though, her day-to-day cooking involved a lot of shortcuts.  

 

When I was 18 and away at university, I moved in with a slightly older woman. I think she was 21 but at the time she seemed infinitely more worldly. She had traveled, lived on a kibbutz, and was already married. She was finishing her degree while her husband started graduate school overseas. Anyway, she cooked and baked almost everything from scratch. She introduced me to the Joy of Cooking cookbook and possibly a few television chefs/cooking shows. I can't recall if she watched them or if she just inspired me to seek out other sources to help me learn to cook better. Her influence changed my life in the kitchen. I started to use mostly fresh ingredients, shop at the farmer's market and study kitchen science to understand the process of cooking. 

 

 

Tip: Don't substitute baking soda for baking powder in a baking powder biscuit recipe. Don't substitute margarine for butter in a shortbread recipe. Ask me how my 10 year old self figured this out. 

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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My mom liked to bake (bread, not treats) but never really liked to cook.  I always used to clip out recipes asking her to make things for me as a kid - cause I loved trying new and different foods (she never really made them for me).  I also always read cookbooks, and as a teenager started trying stuff out from them on my own (partly due to becoming vegetarian, partly because I always loved food).  

 

Later on, having met dh, we cooked a lot together and I also learned a lot from him (he was a sous chef when we met) which really helped me learn new skills and just feel more confident overall.  Now he rarely cooks and it's pretty much all on me.

 

Certain dishes I'm fine to make without a recipe - some I've never had a recipe for (veggie chili, for example), but when I'm trying something new I always follow a recipe almost exactly just to see what something is supposed to be like.  And I've gotten pretty decent of just coming up with something if I need to (like: strange combinations of food on hand, dinner in 15 minutes or else solutions).  

 

 

 

I think one of the most important things to do as a cook is to NOT forget to taste your food while you're making it.  Obviously there are things you can't do that with, but so many times I'll make simple mistakes (ie. forgetting salt & pepper) that I'm sure I'd catch if I remembered to taste it.      

 

 

 

Favorite resources (especially for beginning cooks):

 

Lately I've enjoyed and tried new stuff from pioneer woman - her recipes are very approachable, easy to adjust, and include lots of pictures to help you see what's supposed to be going on.  I love lots of recipe pictures.

I do think Everyday Food magazine is very good - there are a lot of staple recipes I've pulled from there over the years, and it's a good balance of stuff that isn't too fiddly but does include good and interesting ingredients.  

I also recently love this cook without a book meatless meals.  Everything I've made is excellent, nothing too complicated - lots of room for variations.  It would be an excellent new-to-cooking resource for that reason.  Enough room to try out new things, but doesn't really get too far beyond one's abilities.

 

I love Nigella Lawson too, but some of the differences in cooking style that she has, plus ingredient confusion from being in the USA doesn't make a lot of her books great for beginners.  I have gifted several people Domestic Goddess - which is a really great baking-focused book of hers.  (excellent banana bread in that, plus brownies, and I even made a Christmas Pudding out of it too - you know the kind you get to set on fire when you serve it winky.gif, that was awesome).

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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I’m a pretty good cook, I mostly enjoy it.  I do it because I have to, but if I have to do it, I might as well make good, nutritious meals, right?

 

My mother is a competent home cook, a product of 1950s home-ec classes and a father who worked in public health his whole life.    We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, and I’m old enough that I remember when eating out was expensive and people in my blue-collar town did it mostly as a treat, not even a weekly thing.

 

I started cooking some things at home – cookies and treats first, and then some simple meals (hot dogs and tacos, by the time I was in Jr. High).

 

My  Jr. High home ec classes were actually useful:  We had a few months in 6th grade and then a whole year in 7th and 8th, and we learned a lot of good basic techniques and were given the rudiments of meal planning.

 

My mother was a big meal planner, too.  She was very big on balancing meals by color and nutrition.  If there wasn’t a colored veggie on the plate, she’d chide herself, saying “Oh, this is a really beige meal.  We need some color” and then she’d quickly add something – sometimes as simple as opening a jar of pickled beets or a can of cranberry sauce or grabbing some frozen peas from the fridge.

 

I taught myself a lot more in college, when I had tastes in food that I couldn’t afford to indulge.  Specifically, I loved indian food and later thai food, but I couldn’t afford to eat out all the time.  So I bought Mahdur Jaffrey’s first cookbook (a very simple paperback with no pictures) and a very simple thai cookbook, and I … figured out my favorite foods. 

 

Meal planning came when I graduated from college and moved with DH to his grad school city.  I was working full time, he was in school full time, we were still pretty poor and now responsible for everything.    We struggled to get into a routine of having decent food in the house, knowing what we could make when we got home from work, and not going shopping all the time and impulse buying things we couldn’t afford.  

 

My mother got me a cookbook called “The Monday to Friday Cookbook.”   It was as much a simple text in *thinking* about cooking as it was a cookbook.  It talked about meal planning – about looking at your schedule and figuring out when you could cook and when you wouldn’t have time, as well as about thinking how you could cook in the time you had – ways to use pantry staples and quick-cooking ingredients, etc.    It had recipes sorted by time, ease, and use of certain pantry staples you could keep on hand, and at the same time I was focused on health (while being more moderate about what was “healthy” than most late 80’s-early 90s cookbooks with their low-fat fake-fat emphasis). 

 

Another thing I learned a LOT from was watching  Food TV – but not the elaborate shows with rich food, or the restaurant emulations.  Early on in Food TV’s history, there were shows by David Rosengarten and Sarah Someone, who just make good food in a home-style kitchen.   They’d talk about timing and techniques.   Alton Brown’s Good Eats was really important to my growth as a cook too.     Nowadays, I know a lot of people don’t like Rachael Ray, but the way she breaks down what she’s doing is really good for the starting home cook, I think.  A lot of TV cooks do the “everything all laid out in little dishes” style of cooking.  They’ll pretend to chop an onion or mince a pepper, but it’s all been done in advance, and often they *recommend* doing all the prep in advance.  Which is fine if you’ve got all day, or a prep cook, but in reality it’s often a big stumbling bpoint.  Fact is, if you get the prep in the right order, you can multitask, and Rachael Ray demonstrates that well – you con’t have to chop all your veggies before beginning to sauté, for instance.  You chop the onions and get them in the pan, then chop the carrot while the onion is softening, and throw it in, and then chop the celery….etc.    It saves LOADS of time.

 

While I got my start with recipe books and learned a lot from them, I’ve hit the point where I don’t really need a recipe most of the time.  I know how dishes go together, I know about how much of different ingredients you need to balance flavors.    So unless I’m making a specific, new, dish – or baking, where it matters – I tend to root around in the fridge, grab my ingredients, and start putting something together.   That’s a skill that really only comes with practice and experience, by doing it according to more formal instructions and seeing how it comes out.


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by meemee View Post

share with me your stories. 

 

did you grow up with cooking, or is it something you learnt later on?

 

is cooking important to you (apart from nutritious meals) or is it something you do because you have to? do you enjoy cooking?

 

what kind of a cook are you? one who prefers a recipe or not.

 

if i didnt know how to cook, and i came to you for advice what piece of advice would you give me. 

 

what are some basic information a cook just has to know?

 

which website, blog, book would you send a newbie for guidance?

 

I rambled on and forgot to answer your other questions! 

 

I usually enjoy cooking but sometimes I get tired of the daily grind of getting a complete nutritious dinner on the table with food that everyone likes. 

 

I use a lot of recipes but often change them up as I go along. I like to read different cookbooks and websites and get new ideas. 

 

General Advice: 

- know your ingredients well; choose fresh, good quality (but not necessarily the best, priciest gourmet ingredients) and understand substitutes

- read about cooking - learn about kitchen chemistry and understand what happens during various steps in the process 

- open yourself up to new ideas and don't be afraid to try something different

 

Books and websites 

- Joy of Cooking 

- On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen - Harold McGee

- Epicurious.com - search specific recipes and then read the comments - incredible amounts of good advice in the comments section

- 101cookbooks.com

- Everyday Food (Martha Stewart magazine) - I agree with mumkimum, it's a good, approachable, not-too-fussy cooking magazine with lots of reliable information

- Cook's Illustrated - lots of great tips, information and thoroughly tested recipes 

- search Youtube and you will probably find an instructional video for just about any technique. Watch at least 3 or 4, though, because there's lots of inept cooks and bad advice out there. 

 

Finally, thinking about it, I taught myself a huge amount about cooking by reading a huge variety of cookbooks and watching television chefs. That was really how I learned information about cooking and specific technique. These days, with the internet, I think it's that much easier. 

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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I learned to cook from my dad. He was a "stay-at-home" dad in the 80's...definitely one of a kind, and he cooked from scratch. I learned to bake bread and make pizza, soak beans and all that. He bought our food in bulk, made his own yogurt, etc.

 

I also learn from my husband who is sort of a mad scientist. He makes our soap and liquors and all kinds of things. We cook vegetarian, often vegan, and now that I have a gluten sensitivity, we do everything GF.  Major adjustment because my husband is an awesome baker who was cultivating his own sourdough starters and what not. 

 

With that said, even with a pretty strong background and knowledge of technique, I don't consider myself a very good, intuitive cook. Mostly I master a couple of recipes and can adapt them to what we have in the house. But I like to follow directions. 

 

Food is really important to me, and I love to eat. I guess I'm lucky that I'm surrounded by good cooks and that we have access to really good, fresh produce and high quality beans and grains in a bulk section at our grocery store. It's still a struggle to get food on the table every night and we basically cook big batches of things and then eat them for 2-3 days in a row. 

 

If you didn't know how to cook, I would probably be a good teacher! I say, to get started find a recipe and learn to make it really well. Once it turns out well a bunch of times and you start to feel like you know what you are doing, then work on making variations of it. Subbing out one kind of vegetable for another or whatever. I have perfected a blueberry lemon muffin, an apple strudel cake, vegetarian GF lasagna, and all kinds of vegan "cream of" soups. These are my go-to items when I have company or need to take something somewhere. 

 

I like the recipes on http://thestonesoup.com/blog/ because they are simple and you can adapt them all different ways. 

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Old 11-05-2012, 10:04 AM
 
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I learned how to cook in 7th and 8th grade home ec. class, and then took a cooking class in high school.  My mom was never a great cook, and she never taught me anything.

 

I like to cook sometimes, and consider myself a fairly good cook when I do it, but I don't cook as often as I should.  My kids are pretty picky, which limits what I even consider making.

 

I work with recipes and can also throw things together successfully without a recipe.  

 

One of the first cookbooks I ever learned from was an super old-school Betty Crocker cookbook - it's probably from the 1950s.  It was my grandmother's.  Some of the recipes are laughable, and it uses illustrations of the stereotypical 50s housewife, cooking in heels and pearls, but it has great, basic cooking tips about everything - different cuts of meat and how to cook them, how to measure for baking, etc.  I would recommend it to a beginner.


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Old 11-05-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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share with me your stories. 

 

did you grow up with cooking, or is it something you learnt later on?

 

Nope.  Without going into too many details, I didn't care for many of the foods that were being served to me growing up, and I flat-out refused to learn how to prepare them.  I learned how to cook when I moved away from home.  I learned by watching TV shows about cooking at first, and then after a while I knew what foodstuffs would do under certain circumstances, had a good idea of flavors, and just started really going in the kitchen and going nuts.

 

is cooking important to you (apart from nutritious meals) or is it something you do because you have to? do you enjoy cooking?

 

It's my opinion that humans, humanity at large, communicate, intentionally or otherwise, very important concepts about ourselves, our cultures and our relationships through food.  So yes, cooking is important to me.  I have been known to give my husband his plate of food and announce:  "Here's my love for you." or something cheesy like that.  I sometimes cook because I have to - if I don't cook, we tend to eat some bread and a can of soup - but I usually enjoy myself.

 

what kind of a cook are you? one who prefers a recipe or not.

 

I'd like to think I'm a good cook.  I don't usually use recipes any more, I'll frequently look at a few recipes for inspiration and then just get in the kitchen and do whatever the food tells me to do.

 

if i didnt know how to cook, and i came to you for advice what piece of advice would you give me. 

 

I would tell you that cooking is a great way to express yourself.  I think this would be the best encouragement possible.

 

what are some basic information a cook just has to know?

 

How the stove works.  Ha.  I would say a basic understanding of the vegetables, meats and starches, and how they'll respond to methods, and what they taste like would be a good place to start.  I really don't know.  I taught myself, but I doubt I could teach anyone else.

 

which website, blog, book would you send a newbie for guidance?

 

I just started watching Cooking channel.  You'll soon find which shows leave you in the dust, and which shows make sense.  You know, I learned to cook at about 19, and most of the shows required me to take copious notes from the recording (Forget live, I couldn't keep up!), and then get online and look up the terms used and the methods described.  It was really laborious and my finished product was still not all that reliably great.  I'm in my 30s now, and I watch the advanced cooking shows, get the idea, and then go off on my own.  I have been practicing all this time, because I like to cook.  I can't tell you which blog or show you might like.  If you're determined to learn, start doing.  You'll find what speaks to you. 


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Old 11-05-2012, 11:31 AM
 
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share with me your stories. 

 

did you grow up with cooking, or is it something you learnt later on?

 

I grew up with cooking. Mom didn't get us to cook much when we were younger, but we helped her bake, can and make root beer, and we knew our way around a kitchen a bit. When I was in my late teens, I was put on the rotation to make dinner one night a week (almost always mac and cheese, from scratch, because it was my favourite). I also did two years of Foods in high school (had wanted to do shop, but bumped my head against the "girls don't do this" harassment one too many times, and went "screw this" - shop wasn't a driving goal, anyway - just something I was mildly interested in). I wasn't a great or super experienced cook when I moved out with my ex, but I had a good handle on the basics.

 

is cooking important to you (apart from nutritious meals) or is it something you do because you have to? do you enjoy cooking?

 

I enjoy cooking okay. I don't enjoy figuring out what to cook. And, I dno't care enjoy the daily grind of meal prep...mostly because I'm very, very slow in the kitchen (a touch OCD about choping, mixing, etc. and it makes me slow). I enjoy making some meals more than others. I do love to bake, but don't do a lot of it, because I'd weigh 400 pounds.

 

what kind of a cook are you? one who prefers a recipe or not.

 

I like to have a recipe the first couple of times I make something. I like to know what it tastes/looks like when done "properly", and then I'll modify. I don't tend to make up my own recipes (except my kale/quinoa salad), but once I have a recipe down, I tend to be pretty casual about measuring (except for baking). I'm a "to taste" kind of cook.

 

if i didnt know how to cook, and i came to you for advice what piece of advice would you give me. 

 

hmm..."don't panic". Find a good basic cookbook (eg. the old Five Roses book, or James Beard, or whatever - I don't know the newer ones), and start simple.

 

what are some basic information a cook just has to know?

 

I honestly wouldn't know where to start. I'm sure I know a lot about cooking (not as much as many people - it's not a big hobby or anything), but I've known most of it for so long that I don't really think about it as knowledge, yk?

 

which website, blog, book would you send a newbie for guidance?

 

As I said, I'd recommend a basic cookbook, such as James Beard. It has a wide variety of recipes, but also lots of definitions of terms, tips on measurements, etc.


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Old 11-05-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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I always wanted to cook. I was probably a pest to my mom. I remember trying to cook popcorn on the stove before I could lift the heavy pan by myself. I grew up watching cooking shows on TV as well.

I took home economic classes every year in junior high and high school.

My mom started working when I was 13 or 14 and I started cooking dinner for my family. I think my mom only cooked because she had to. She cooked the same foods and relied on convenience foods. I received my first cookbook on my 13th birthday- The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook and it was a good general cookbook that would work for a beginner.

I have been cooking full meals for over 20 years. I messed up some things when I was young but I got better with experience. I feel pretty confident about my cooking now.

Cooking is fun to me. I feel connected to other people when I cook. I like trying new methods and ingredients. It is the only way I can get to eat some foods from other cultures because there isn't an Indian or Greek restaurant in my small town.

 

I helped my mom put together a cookbook of family recipes in 2000 and that was a lot of fun. I enjoy collecting and using recipes but I can also throw something edible together without a recipe at this point.

 

If someone doesn't know how to cook anything at all I suppose I would advise them to get with someone who does, take a class or choose a few simple items they like to learn to make and practice. It can be helpful if the recipe has a photo or you've had the dish before so you know what it is supposed to look and taste like. They might find a video of someone making the dish on the internet.

 

I suppose absolute basics are knowing how/when to use what tools/equipment and knowing basic cooking terms and abbreviations so you can understand the directions of a recipe. Learn how to properly measure different types of ingredients. Follow directions carefully until you get the hang of it. Don't be afraid to mess up.

 

Choose one recipe to master at least. Become awesome at making muffins or grilling steaks for example.

 

I don't think cooking most things is particularly hard. Some things need to be more precise like cookies or bread where a good result comes from having a proper balance of ingredients or very proper timing- more like chemistry. Making something like soup or a casserole is more forgiving if you leave out an ingredient or cook it a bit longer so may be an easier place to start for a beginner. Maybe things like pancakes, eggs, rice, baked potatoes, a grilled cheese sandwich or a roast chicken are also good basics.

 

 

http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/technic.htm

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-helpful-online-resources-beginner-cook/

http://www.food.com/recipes/beginner-cook


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 11-05-2012, 01:45 PM
 
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I grew up with the good examples of watching people cook from scratch a lot... my grandfather was an awesome cook (not like he ever let me help him) and my mother was great too.  I didn't really get to hang out with them and learn how to do it, but I just grew up assuming that cooking was a normal part of life.  I can't even compare to how awesome my grandfather was, but I'm pretty good now at cooking.  DH says that when we got together I was terrible, and as a joke he got me a few cookbooks for our first Christmas together.  I don't really use cookbooks too much although I do visit food blogs a lot.  Sometimes I roll my eyes at the pretentiousness of some of them, but then other times I get lightbulb moments and get inspired.

 

We have just recently (as in within the last week or so) discovered we need to go gluten free which makes me die a little inside, but another part of me is OK with it, since there are still plenty of recipes I can make.  I have a list of staples that I grew up with - basic simple comfort food types of things, and then some favorites that DH has introduced me to (like anything Italian), and then some recipes that I guess are all my "own" - not like I reinvented the wheel, but things that have worked out.  Like my own chicken soup recipe, my own roast recipe, stuff like that.  It just came with time and feedback from DH.  (The kids will eat pretty much anything, thankfully.)

 

My advice would not be to try to recreate boxed food/restaurant food/foodie blog food as your inspiration.  I mean, if you can, great.  But I think it's more important to make good food with simple ingredients that you don't have to search up and down for or use in small amounts.  Another piece of advice would be to do the meal plan of the week - like pasta Mondays, chicken Tuesdays, soup Weds, etc.  That way you can perfect a couple of recipes, keep things switched up to not be too boring, not struggle with finding new recipes all the time, etc.  (Or else, if you're finding you are eating the same soup every Weds, you can look online for some recipes to inspire you.)

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Old 11-08-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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My mom never wanted us messing up her kitchen. We had home ec in school, ya Im old. I wish my mom had fostered my interest in cooking, which Im passionate about today, my life might have gone a better way. But i did learn and Im really good at it. Thanks to Rachel Ray and the food network.. i was a childcare provider for 30 yrs and taught my own children and the ones in my care how to love cooking. Today my grown children are great cooks but more they eat healthy and cook healthy for their kids.

My suggestion to parents : make, buy or borrow a play kitchen set as soon as they can stand. Put a kitchen chair at the sink and help them learn how to wash vegies. Let them help pour measured ingredients into a bowl and stir. I had my granddughter in her highchair at 8 months old with a measure cup and spoon teaching her to stir. She loved doing that and now at 5 she loves helping her dad cook. We 're still working on getting her mom to learn how to cook.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:58 AM
 
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I moved out of the house at 17 and at 28 I consider myself a very good cook and I am still learning. The first few years I made lots of calls to my mothers best friend who is an amazing cook.   The one book I would recomend is The Joy Of Cooking,  It goes into detail how to do basics and beyond.  You could probaby pick it up at a thrift store or on amazon.  Happy cooking

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Old 11-08-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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Also if you have a good thrift store in the area, you might want to be on the lookout for vintage cookbooks.  Find one without the fads in it - like the gelatin salads etc, or the ones that relied heavily on the "canned food" craze they had going on.  Often they were written for housewives starting out and not only give you TONS of recipes from simple ingredients but also have extensive how-to sections on cooking methods, how to pick the perfect produce, etc.  Nowadays most cookbooks are either niche ones (like, paleo cooking, or soups, or something) or are more coffee-table books with lots of pretty pictures.  Back then they were, imo, more practical.  They have a few recipes that seem totally outdated but generally the info is SO helpful. 

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Old 11-09-2012, 06:04 PM
 
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I grew up with a mish-mash - a lot of home made food cooked at home, and some convenience things - so we ate home made meatloaf and lasagna and coffee cake. We did home made egg noodles and rosettes and pies with crusts made from scratch. But we also had a lot of Little Debbies, and Kraft dinners and Prego pasta sauce. My mother cooked, and my grandmother was a formidable force in the kitchen. I observed everything, since I was a very curious child and I always liked to eat. But no one ever really sat down and taught me anything, per se. But I think a lot of cooking is intuition and confidence, and that's something that you just pick up over time. 

 

I really came into my own in the kitchen when I lived alone for the first time in college. That's when I started collecting cookbooks and just getting into the kitchen and trying to make things. I had some epic failures - like a rock-hard strawberry shortcake - but for the most part, most of what I cooked turned out to be really good. And that just inspires the additional confidence to try the next thing. Now I consider myself to be an excellent cook, and it's something I really enjoy doing. But it's something I've definitely worked to get good at over the course of the last fifteen years or so. 


Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things. 

 

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Old 11-10-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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Growing up, my mother made a lot from scratch. We had store bought bread, as a staple, but she also baked bread. She had a couple things she would never try, though. Cakes and pasta sauce. The cakes were from box mixes. The pasta sauce was Preggo, I think. I always thought the cake mix was odd, since her pie crusts were *always* from scratch.

My problem with cooking and baking nowadays is that I'm trying to start an income of my own, from home, and that has top priority in my mind.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:33 PM
 
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My mom. I would cook with her or try cooking things on my own when she worked late. 


Me(33), Mama to a crazy DD (6), Wife to a wonderful mountain man(32) BF my babe for 2 years
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

share with me your stories. 

 

did you grow up with cooking, or is it something you learnt later on?

 

is cooking important to you (apart from nutritious meals) or is it something you do because you have to? do you enjoy cooking?

 

what kind of a cook are you? one who prefers a recipe or not.

 

if i didnt know how to cook, and i came to you for advice what piece of advice would you give me. 

 

what are some basic information a cook just has to know?

 

which website, blog, book would you send a newbie for guidance?


My MIL taught me how to cook. I'm sad it wasn't my mom.

I didn't cook when I grew up, my mom used to do everything for us, our only job was to do well in school.

A Master's degree and half a PhD later, I still wasn't able to fry an egg properly.

 

Cooking is very important to me, I must do it, and I enjoy doing it when I don't have a kid or two clinging to me for attention.

Home-cooked food tastes differently. I don't care much about it being "nutritious".

 

There are small things that you can't find in a recipe that you must know, and if no one shares them with you, your food looks / tastes like crap.

My first cooking lesson: heat oil in the pan before you make French fries. duh.gif

My last cooking lesson (still from MIL): with fish sauces, make the sauce, then place the fish in the pot. You won't be able to season and stir properly once the fish is in.

 

Basic info: you can make a yummy stew with 1 vegetable (such as peas or beans or potatoes),1 onion, 3 tbs of tomato paste, salt, pepper and paprika.


Ds 9 and dd 5
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