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Old 01-10-2015, 09:14 AM   #1
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Smile Beginner's guide to cooking

Hey all,

I need your help! My whole life my parents have cooked for me, it's not a spoilt thing... it just become a routine.

Now i'm nearly 25 and have no confidence what so over in the kitchen and I'm due to get married this year!!! My partner tells me that its not important to him and I can learn as i'm going... as nice as that is... i'm not falling for it lol I must learn to cook before we are married and continue to progress during married life.

This is where I need help on this forum... WHERE TO START??? I have no idea what to do first.

I look forward to hearing from many people.


Thank you,


Layla

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Old 01-10-2015, 11:38 AM   #2
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Cooking is actually easy once you get into it. Don't be intimidated.

Buy a cookbook that covers the basics and practice. Don't be discouraged. You will make mistakes, everyone does. Just try again.

Insist your partner be totally honest when critiquing your efforts and be prepared to not take a criticism as a personal attack. Otherwise you will not improve.

When you are cooking and do something different from the written recipe, stop and write it down so you don't forget what you did. After eating the recipe, write down what you thought of it, good and bad, so you won't make the same mistake twice. Write down your partner's criticisms along with yours.

I recommend following a recipe exactly at first before you try changes so you can get the idea of what the writer wanted you to taste. Make changes gradually.

Check out these two books:

"The Joy of Cooking"

How to Cook Everything"

Good Luck. You'll be great!
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:22 PM   #3
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Hi Layla
Welcome to DC

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Old 01-10-2015, 01:33 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC! I agree with Andy's cookbook suggestions. Also, you don't have to cook everything from scratch, there is nothing wrong with using canned cream of mushroom soup or jarred spaghetti sauce for example. You can doctor up cans and packets of stuff and mix it in or pour it over all sorts of foods.
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Old 01-10-2015, 02:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Layla90 View Post
Hey all,

I need your help! My whole life my parents have cooked for me, it's not a spoilt thing... it just become a routine.

Now i'm nearly 25 and have no confidence what so over in the kitchen and I'm due to get married this year!!! My partner tells me that its not important to him and I can learn as i'm going... as nice as that is... i'm not falling for it lol I must learn to cook before we are married and continue to progress during married life.

This is where I need help on this forum... WHERE TO START??? I have no idea what to do first.

I look forward to hearing from many people.


Thank you,


Layla
Andy's comments are really useful.


As for information, I see you are in the UK so we'll start there.

Although not entirely perfect, Delia Smith is excellent for beginners - either the original cookery course or the latest one. She goes into "how to do it" without patronising or belittling the reader. Likewise the older versions of the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book are very good on all aspects of cooking. Don't bother with the newest version - it's carp.


(The "Joy of Cooking" is fascinating bedtime reading as well as a great source of information - I now know how to cook a bear - well, one never knows when one might need to know this :-D :-D:-D)
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:11 PM   #6
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Welcome Layla!

You are so lucky to be learning to cook in today's world! When I was learning to cook, there were just cookbooks as a resource. If you were lucky, someone in your family would teach you, otherwise you just flew into cooking and got it done. Now there's a youtube video for every possible cooking technique there is, and limitless online resources for recipes from very easy to very complicated.

My best advice is to be confident and just jump in with several simple recipes at first. You'll find your confidence bloom when you are able to put together several meals you enjoy eating. Pat yourself on the back when you do it the way that makes you happy because you deserve it. You're going to have so much FUN, I almost I could do it all over again. My very best wishes to you and I hope you'll stick around here.
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:19 PM   #7
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YouTube sure did change the world as far as cooking goes! Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" is also available as an app for Apple and I assume, Android.
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Old 01-10-2015, 03:22 PM   #8
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Hi Layla, welcome to DC.

There is a UK printed edition of the Joy of Cooking. I bought a copy at a used bookstore. Didn't open it until I got home. Everything is in grams and UK measurements. The Joy is one of my favorite cookbooks.

Think of things either you or your boyfriend like to eat and learn to cook those dishes.

If you go to You Tube and type in "how to cook __" there are cooking videos on many types of dishes.

And, you may always ask here on DC for advice about a dish you are cooking + check the Search box ( upper right hand corner) of this page on DC for members comments and previous advice as well.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:44 PM   #9
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I grew up with my mother cooking for me. I wasn't even interested in helping her in the kitchen. I even had a boyfriend who liked to cook. I was lazy as can be when it came to cooking. Heck, I even cooked a piece of chicken in the microwave using the instructions for the oven. My mother wasn't too happy.

I lived at home until I was 27. I wasn't in a rush and my parents were not rushing me out. I was working, paying for some of my own things, going to college. When I had a good job that allowed me to live on my own I finally ventured out. I really don't remember being interested in cooking prior to moving out.

That was the beginning of my cooking experiences. I'm 44 now so I can't remember exactly how I started. Just little by little. Following recipes, trying some things on my own, learning from friends, learning from this site. Cooking practice, making dinners for family, friends, holidays and so on. Beside my late brother, I'm now considered one of the best cooks in my family. It's a constant learning process and I'm not perfect by no means. I'm more of a recipe follower cook, but do venture on my own at times.

You have to pretty much just start. Ask Questions, practice, follow recipes and so on.

oh and I forgot...to give my late brother who would be 52 this coming April, once he figured out that I was interested in cooking, I visited him in California a few times and he gave me some tips. One of his favorites was homemade pizza dough, he just loved making dough!

legend_018
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legend_018 View Post
I grew up with my mother cooking for me. I wasn't even interested in helping her in the kitchen. I even had a boyfriend who liked to cook. I was lazy as can be when it came to cooking. Heck, I even cooked a piece of chicken in the microwave using the instructions for the oven. My mother wasn't too happy.

I lived at home until I was 27. I wasn't in a rush and my parents were not rushing me out. I was working, paying for some of my own things, going to college. When I had a good job that allowed me to live on my own I finally ventured out. I really don't remember being interested in cooking prior to moving out.

That was the beginning of my cooking experiences. I'm 44 now so I can't remember exactly how I started. Just little by little. Following recipes, trying some things on my own, learning from friends, learning from this site. Cooking practice, making dinners for family, friends, holidays and so on. Beside my late brother, I'm now considered one of the best cooks in my family. It's a constant learning process and I'm not perfect by no means. I'm more of a recipe follower cook, but do venture on my own at times.

You have to pretty much just start. Ask Questions, practice, follow recipes and so on.

oh and I forgot...to give my late brother who would be 52 this coming April, once he figured out that I was interested in cooking, I visited him in California a few times and he gave me some tips. One of his favorites was homemade pizza dough, he just loved making dough!

legend_018
Mary P.
I started, as many people do, at my other's knee". Aged 3 or 4 when mother was baking she used to give me a piece of left-over
pastry and some jam and I made some little jam tarts "for daddy" who manfully ate them with a great show of delight - regardless of the pastry being grey and hard with handling by my little fingers.

Later, my paternal grandmother who was a great baker but a rather bored cook of anything else, let me bake with her and taught me to make jam.

By nine years old I was capable of cooking a dinner but oddly, when we started cookery classes at school, I hated it and everything I made at school was horrible despite the fact that I could do well at home with mothers well-thumbed old cookery book!

Baking taught me to tell the time, too. Mother would send me to the clock to see what time it was and I'd come back and say "The big hand is on 12 and the little hand is on 4" and mother would say "That's 4 o'clock", etc. And she'd tell me how long the cake would take to bake and ask me to watch the clock until the big hand was on 6 and that would be half past 4. And gradually I came to know the time. I learned to read through the same absorption method, too, with the result that when I started school Mother was told off because she'd committed the (then, in 1953) sin of teaching her child to read and tell the time!
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