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Old 01-10-2009, 07:12 AM   #21
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Hey, girl........relax.........learn like I did and "poison" your roomie while you're at it........jest kidding........you've gotten some great advice here.....unfortunately when I was learning to cook I had 3 stations on tv to watch (none were cooking shows) and there was no internet......I basically relied on trial and error like what has been suggested (pie dough did go flying across the room a few times until I got the hang of it) and an old Betty Crocker paperback cookbook that my mother-in-law gave me was always opened....the fact that you want to learn how to improve your culinary skills will get you thru anything.......I was the same way ........so you'll do just fine.......and then with time you'll find a couple of recipes that are keepers and you'll whip them out when you have guests or outlaws descending upon you.....you'll look like the cook you want to be.......go for it.!!!!
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:25 AM   #22
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I forgot to add that you should really check out "Allrecipes and Recipezaar" online.....both give user responses as well as star ratings and if I can I always refer to them for alternate ideas and some of their recipes are great!!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:27 PM   #23
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Thanks again everyone. I've not been able to start yet as I'm still poor from Christmas, but come payday I'm ordering a new tojiro knife set, dining set, a coursebook or two and some nice fresh produce to work on. I've also been keeping an eye out for Good Eats and other instructional shows. Fingers crossed.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:54 PM   #24
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Welcome to DC, elo!

As one who has taught cooking to adults for more than 25 years, the biggest deficiency I have found in experienced home cooks is poor knife skills.

If you have never taken a knife skills class, I strongly suggest you find a local adult ed center or cooking school and register for such a class. There ARE videos available on the subject, but they range from excellent to worse than not knowing, so unless you can get your hands on the one made by Jacques Pepin, I recommend a hands-on class over a video. plus, in a class, you can ask questions.

Oh! and take the knife class BEFORE you purchase any more knives.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:03 PM   #25
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Thanks ChefJune, that makes a lot of sense. The course I was interested in taking at the end of the year does cover knife skills but there's no others in the mean time unfortunately. I have a week or so before I crack on so I think I'll try to put together a list of online instructional videos on things like knife skills, as well as the other tricky bits.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:06 PM   #26
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Quote:
Oh! and take the knife class BEFORE you purchase any more knives.
Elo, the reason I said that is that after you have refined your knife skills, you may find that you are better suited to a completely different knife, or even type of knife.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:22 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
Elo, the reason I said that is that after you have refined your knife skills, you may find that you are better suited to a completely different knife, or even type of knife.
That makes perfect sense, but I don't have much of a choice unfortunately. :( The chefs knife looks quite similar to what I'm used to so hopefully it won't feel too unusual.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:11 PM   #28
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Quote:
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There ARE videos available on the subject, but they range from excellent to worse than not knowing, so unless you can get your hands on the one made by Jacques Pepin, I recommend a hands-on class over a video. plus, in a class, you can ask questions.
Hey! I've got that Video! It was part of the boxed set of cooking videos that Jacques had! I posted about that set earlier in this thread.

I watched it over and over.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:04 PM   #29
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This is a good book.
How to Cook Everything (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition): 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food (Hardcover) by Mark Bittman
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:20 PM   #30
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There are a few books that I think can really be helpful. I'd recommend Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks by Linda Carucci for general skill development. For a good start in baking, I really like Baking with Julia. James Peterson's books - Sauces, Vegetables, Splendid Soups, etc. are mini-cooking courses all in themselves and very well written. Good luck to you! Formidable and admirable task you've chosen.
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