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Old 11-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #81
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I'm not a professional chef either but I am an enthusiast. I'm not a fan of the word "foodie" as it seems to imply some level of greater than thou so let's just say I really enjoy food, cooking food, eating food, etc...
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:00 PM   #82
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The kids used to run for cover when I announced dinner was ready. No one hated cooking more than me. No one. I hated every single thing about it.

I once blew up a Thanksgiving turkey. The size of the fire ball coming out of that smoker was a sight to behold as I was blown through the dinning room French doors.

Man, I was all black thumbs. If I got one good meal out of 10, it was a good month. Did I mention how skinny my kids were?

...then one day, about a year ago, something miraculous happened. I found an online cooking school that teaches cooking techniques.

Now the first question on every one's lips when they get home? "What's for dinner?!"

I still can't get used to that.

I have a LONG way to go, but getting better by the day. Now that I understand it better, cooking totally fits my personality. I can't sit still for very long, bore easily and crave instant gratification. There's a whole universe full of fun stuff to learn in here.

I'm totally obsessed.

Remember the line in the movie, Julie and Julia? "I was drowning and she rescued me." That's what cooking is for me.

At 51 years old, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up, but I definitely know it has to have something to do with preparing food.

I'd love to go to a "Live" cooking school, but at this age and the price tag!!!??? I'd still be paying off loans in my 70s.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:17 PM   #83
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I am a cooking poseur more than anything else. My cooking ability is probably below average at best but I love quality kitchen gadgets/appliances and don't mind spending money on them.....like a novice golfer with five thousand dollar golf clubs.
Some day I will become a decent cook and will be able to justify my spending.
But according to some family and friends they tell me my bbq's and pizzas are above average, or they're just being nice. I'm happy with that, regardless.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #84
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I'd love to go to a "Live" cooking school, but at this age and the price tag!!!??? I'd still be paying off loans in my 70s.
Gracewriter, that's only true for private cooking schools. Have you looked into what might be offered at your local community college? I know for sure that the local cc here in Jersey City has an award winning culinary program that costs no more than any other of its offerings. Ours may be a bit unusual, but I've spoken to enough folks to know it's far from the only viable option to those overpriced and overhyped programs you're speaking of.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:51 PM   #85
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I am a Pro, but only when talking about the main dishes on my personal menu.

I am slowly expanding that menu, but hardly a professional at creating those dishes or scanning the pantry and throwing something spectacular together when it seems there is nothing to work with.

Unfortunately, hectic and often conflicting schedules with work and school make it difficult for my fiancee and I to actually take a night to make a nice meal. Add in that her family is remodeling their kitchen and that slim chance turns to "which fast food joint tonight?" Though we have been good about getting some reasonably healthy frozen stuff.

@roadfix - I am the same way. We have a plethora of appliances, from a toaster with an egg cooker to a panini press to a 10 cup rice steamer, we've got more then we know what to do with. Although they are all still in their boxes stacked in the basement, we make due with what is at hand. What matters more than anything else is simple. I love the food I make and the only complaint from the Missus is sometimes things are too spicy or too seasoned for her tastes, but she's warming up to flavor.

I think the most important thing is that you and those you are cooking for enjoy the food you make. Encourage constructive criticism and enjoy the feedback. It will only make your food better, unless, of course, they are demanding it be drowned in ketchup.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:55 PM   #86
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Gracewriter, that's only true for private cooking schools. Have you looked into what might be offered at your local community college? I know for sure that the local cc here in Jersey City has an award winning culinary program that costs no more than any other of its offerings. Ours may be a bit unusual, but I've spoken to enough folks to know it's far from the only viable option to those overpriced and overhyped programs you're speaking of.
Sorry for the double post, but I had to add this.

The community college I am attending in Central Jersey has the same basic program and it's much cheaper then going to a cooking based school. Sure, things may be limited, but unless you are looking to be a 5-star chef, you don't need the big school.

The only thing I don't completely understand is the amount of pre-requisites to take some cooking classes, but than again, I am spending the next three years taking a TWO year course and won't begin taking the classes for my major (Mechanical Engineering) until the third year.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:07 PM   #87
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I was a professional chef-owner for 12 years. Closed doors in 2001 and moved to Mexico. I enjoy cooking, not so much cleaning up but it is part of the process and I clean up as I go along. I also teach this practice in my cooking classes. I do not feel confortable cooking in a cluttered kitchen.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:07 PM   #88
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I do not feel comfortable cooking in a cluttered kitchen.
I so know what you mean!!! I can't cook anything ever if there are dirty dishes and stuff on the counters.

It's like my mind is cluttered enough, adding to that with stuff everywhere drives me crazy.

My kitchen is my palette and I need a blank canvass.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:18 PM   #89
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^^^^ Yeah, but it helps to have a big kitchen with lots of counter space. Makes clutter easier to manage and out of your way.
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:29 PM   #90
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^^^^ Yeah, but it helps to have a big kitchen with lots of counter space. Makes clutter easier to manage and out of your way.
God forbid I get a bigger kitchen I'd have to go out and spend major bucks on stuff to fill it. It's just my nature and I've got a wish list a mile long.

Besides, I'm lazy and don't want to walk the extra few feet to grab the Panko as inspiration overcomes my sense of sensibility.

I have the perfect kitchen. It ain't big, it ain't pretty and it ain't pricey, but it is extremely functional.

OK who am I kidding, I'd give my husband's left arm to have one twice as big.
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