"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-08-2009, 09:10 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 15
How do you learn to cook?

Where do you start? Cooking is so confusing.... I look at some recipes online and there's a whole bunch of ingredients I never heard of. Can I really find everything at Lucky or Safeway?

Imma be so screwed when I move out alone and don't know how to cook good food....SCREWED!!!!!! I can make eggs and instant noodles. (And I hear cooking gets the ladies )

Seriously...this whole thing is so unnatural...where do you begin to learn to start cooking?

__________________

__________________
1StarRestaurant is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 09:13 PM   #2
Head Chef
 
Toots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 1,580
How old are you? Does your mom cook? Start helping out in the kitchen if she does. I learned a little from my mom and grandma but when I got out on my own, I started cooking for real.

The only way to get good at cooking is by trial and error - just find a basic recipe you want to try, buy all the ingredients, read the recipe like ten times and go for it.

You can do it - but it may take a few errors, do not give up, just keep trying.

Discuss Cooking has alot of people here who can answer your questions - welcome to DC, btw.
__________________

__________________
Toots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 09:22 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 3,102
First, Welcome to DC. I can tell from the stores you listed you're in California. Most likely someone north of Bakersfield because Lucky is only in Cali.

Now, on to business. Yes, with the exception of some rare ingredients, generally of certain ethnic origins, you can find all that you are looking for at Lucky or Safeway. Start by searching recipes that have an EASY rating, things that use some premade ingredients. Once you are comfortable using premade ingredients, you can move on to making those premade ingredients yourself.

Learn measurements. Read about ingredients and start tasting things. See what you like and maybe find a friend that knows how to cook show you some basics. Cooking is very visual so start watching the Food Network or other cooking shows. You can learn a lot from those shows, at least IMO you can.
__________________
Callisto in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 10:15 PM   #4
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1StarRestaurant View Post
Where do you start? Cooking is so confusing.... I look at some recipes online and there's a whole bunch of ingredients I never heard of. Can I really find everything at Lucky or Safeway?

Imma be so screwed when I move out alone and don't know how to cook good food....SCREWED!!!!!! I can make eggs and instant noodles. (And I hear cooking gets the ladies )

Seriously...this whole thing is so unnatural...where do you begin to learn to start cooking?
heh. Starting from scratch (rimshot) can be a bit daunting.

I'm not a "good cook" by any stretch of the imagination, but I like what I make, and so have the others who have eaten it.

My basic approach: start with "mixture" types of things. Curries, casseroles, and so on. With things like that, you can usually put in more or less what you like, and the result will be good. Such dishes also make it easy to experiment. And with girls, you can wisely say things like "hmm... I should have put ginger in that", and look like a genius (who cares if you don't know what ginger is).

Outside of mixture items, get good at a couple of things, and common variants of them. Cook up some steaks in a frying pan. Then broil them. Then grill them. Etc.

Pick a vegetable you like. Fry/saute it. Steam it. wrap it in foil and broil/grill it. Put some garlic in it. Rule #1 of cooking: garlic and butter are pretty much always winners. They're sorta like bacon, in that way. :)

Look at different recipes for the same thing, and see how they're the same, and how they're different. Then either make one of them, or mishmash the two together. I've got a mishmash recipe of ribs in the slowcooker right now. (pissin me off because they smell so good). I've never made ribs before, and this is the 2nd time I've used a slowcooker. I'm just playing with the food, basically.

From what I understand about breads/baking, I would save that for last, since it seems like it's the least forgiving when you screw up ingredients or timing.

But have fun.

Also for girls, it's fun to cook together. And that way, you can sponge knowledge off of her. Unless it's the blind leading the blind, in which case you can laugh later about how much you two suck at cooking. And then you can go take a cooking class together.

Have fun.

And use butter and garlic. (if you *both* have been eating garlic, then kissing is no big deal ;) ).
__________________
sherifffruitfly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 10:24 PM   #5
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 3,102
Be careful with garlic until you really learn to cook. It can go bitter quick and ruin an entire dish. When in doubt, jump in here and ask how to use the garlic in whatever dish you might be cooking. You can crush it, slice it, chop it, rough chop it, buy store bought, so many different ways to use it. As much as I love garlic, I have learned you have to make it your friend before you use it and never abuse it, it will turn on you if you do. :)
__________________
Callisto in NC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2009, 10:25 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kitchenelf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
Get a basic cookbook. Go to a bookstore and browse. A basic cookbook will have basic ingredients and nothing will be too fussy. Look for some old standards like Betty Crocker, Joy of Cooking, etc.

Pick a recipe and just follow the directions. If it calls for chopping or measuring have all that done ahead of time. Keep things in bowls that you have measured and chopped. When you get to it in the recipe you will be ready to add it. It will also be a safeguard to make sure you have everything on hand. That's the best advice I can give you and it's how I started cooking...just follow the recipe.
__________________
kitchenelf

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 11:31 AM   #7
Cook
 
Fearless Kitchen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Greater Boston, MA
Posts: 80
I was lucky enough to get to learn a little from my grandmother before she passed away, but really, most of what I know I learned from experimentation and practice. Don't be afraid to try new things and to make emergency changes if you need to.
__________________
Fearless Kitchen
www.fearlesskitchen.com
Fearless Kitchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 12:56 PM   #8
Master Chef
 
jabbur's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 5,481
I learned how to cook from my grandmothers and my mom. I also learned quite a bit more in junior high school home economics class. We spent a semester in the kitchen and a semester sewing. These days, they don't spend much time teaching the kids really how to cook. My boys never had a cooking class but I've taught them a few things. Find someone who will let you in their kitchen and help. By working with someone who knows what they are doing, you will learn more than you can by reading a cookbook. If there is a term you don't understand or any questions, you can always come here. I've been cooking for over 30 years and still have questions about some things and the folks here have been gracious and answered without making me feel stupid for not knowing. Good luck!
__________________
I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
jabbur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 01:07 PM   #9
Cook
 
LaurenG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: California
Posts: 53
I think we're kind of in the same boat. I am about half way through my first year at Davis and living on campus. Of course this means that they provide three meals a day at the dinning commons also on campus, but in order to save a little money I only bought 9-10 meals per week. This means that I cook 1-2 meals a day on my own. Fortunately I love cooking and have been doing it for the majority of my life, but something else I love is the Food Network. I watch it everyday and have learned soooooo much! Most of the time when I cook now I don't even use a recipe, unless I'm baking. I guess I owe many of my cooking successes to Food Network.
__________________
LaurenG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2009, 03:30 PM   #10
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 11
I think you start by copying a dish you like. For me it was baked ziti that got me going. Then I wanted to try bread because I love fresh bread. Then that got me to different kinds of breads, and then to cookies and pastries a bit.

I liked what someone said about the cooking network. I watch, and love that station. The best program in my opinion is Good Eats with Alton somebody. I tape everything he does and try out what he says.
__________________

__________________
Greg Woulf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.