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Old 05-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #1
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Learning to cook stories

Our darling daughter (DD) was never interested in cooking when she lived with us but had to learn to cook at least a few things once she was out on her own. Quite honestly, she can be a bit of a ditz but even more so about cooking. No, she's not blonde.

When she and her first real boyfriend cooked, their idea of a good meal to cook together when neither mom was around was minute rice and browned hamburger with some mojo thrown in. They even tried mac-n-cheese from scratch one time (no recipe, just winging it) because they didn't have "the box mix" and were hungry.

Phone call:
DD: Mommm (in a very distressed tone), the mac-n-cheese is all lumpy and the cheese won't melt and be smooth like it should.
ME: What did you do?
DD: Cooked the pasta like the box said, drained it, tore up some cheese (meaning the sliced/plastic wrapped stuff), put the cheese in the pasta and stirred.
ME: Laughter but trying my best not to fall on the floor. You have to make a white sauce like I do when I make the cheese sauce for your broccoli and put the cheese in that.
DD: How do I do that?
ME: Like the cheese sauce I make for your broccoli. I know you've watched me make it because you are always standing there tasting it and telling me to put in more cheese. (She likes a little broccoli with her cheese sauce).
DD: Oh in kind of a dejected tone.

They ate it anyway as is....

Fast forward 7 years or so, she's now married. She gave full disclosure about her lack of skill and disinterest in cooking to her fiance before marriage. He's an okay cook mostly, though he tends to overcook things and tries to far overreach his skill set at times. They decide to make fudge from scratch and he's doing the cooking. Another phone call..

DD: Mom, J made fudge but it's runny.
ME: Okay, what recipe did he use?
DD: Gives me the recipe.
ME: That sounds okay, did he follow the directions?
DD: Yes but it came out wrong.
ME: Are you sure he followed the directions and measured everything right?
DD: Yes.
ME: Then I don't know what happened. Sounds like it should have worked. Are you sure he used everything called for in the recipe and followed the directions?
DD: Oh, when we got home I saw the can of milk and it said evaporated instead of condensed like the recipe said but J said they were the same thing and it would be okay.
ME: Um no, they aren't the same thing and that's what wrong. I then go on to explain the difference.

I have no idea what they did with their concoction. Probably would have been good ice cream sauce though from her description.

Anymore good stories?


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Old 05-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
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That is pretty good. I reckon the only time I was called on to help a real newbie, was my nephew in California. He is near thirty years old and took it into his head to cook and old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. He called me first for information about the turkey and from then on the phone was ringing so often, I nearly ran out of time to finish my thanksgiving dinner!!
It was great!! His dinner turned out pretty good and it made me feel good when he called to tell me it was a success.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:28 AM   #3
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My son's first recipe, which he wrote down, and I still have in my recipe box, went like this.

"put hot dog in the microwave. cook til it wiggles. the end."
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.
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Old 05-16-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
My son's first recipe, which he wrote down, and I still have in my recipe box, went like this.

"put hot dog in the microwave. cook til it wiggles. the end."

That's adorable.
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
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Old 05-16-2011, 03:35 PM   #5
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lol, sparrowgrass. wiggly food? is he part klingon, by chance?

i remember the first thing i ever cooked in my very first apartment in the city when i was about 18 or so. it was saint pat's day, so i decided to make corned beef and cabbage. i put them in a pot with some spuds and boiled them to death.

i eventually called my mom and asked why the potatoes were disintegrating and the meat falling apart into shredded bits, but the cabbage was still rock hard.

she figured it out, asking if i put the giant cabbage whole.

no one ever said the cabbage was quartered before it went into the pot, lol.
in nomine patri, et fili, et spiritus sancti.
beidh ar la linn.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #6
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Well, we grew up cooking with mom, and could follow a recipe. However, my first non recipe solo very alone dish was an Italian beef mac and mozzarella bake. It was ok but suffered form lack of seasoning. Never have I forgotten since to season in stages as I cook and to taste at every point. It was a very inexpensive lesson in the long run. A dash of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of oregano doesn't cut it for a 2 qt dish of food! It was truly tasteless. Adding seasoning at the table helped a bit, but it was not what my eyes and mouth had expected.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
... He's an okay cook mostly, though he tends to overcook things and tries to far overreach his skill set at times...
I've made some of my most memorable foods by overreaching my "skill set". Isn't that how we all learn? It can certainly get frustrating at the time, especially when there's no one but the printed recipe to fall back on, but in the end it is so worth it.
Give us this day our daily bacon.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
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this story is about a former co-worker of mine, and is a bit like bucky's. Now Brenda never claimed to be the domestic type...at all. One week into her marriage she wanted to invite her new husbands parents over for dinner. She thought she could handle spagetti with meatballs. She pots on a pot of water to boil, then adds the pasta...then opens a package of hamburger and starts shaping meatballs and puts them in the boiling water....then she finally pours in a jar of spaghetti sauce into the pot....and starts to get worried, it just does not look right....the in-laws were very gracious and tried to eat some of it.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #9
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Sounds like that would work. If simmered for eight hours

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