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Old 08-22-2007, 06:16 AM   #41
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Ha! How about when everyone wants to eat at your house? Seriously, sometimes that just means that no one wants to clean up the mess. I think I'm a good cook, and most of my freinds do, and all of my family does, but really, sometimes it is just that they don't want to do it!

BTW, I work out a lot and am still overweight. One of my sisters has the same affliction -- she's an exercise instructor teaching 7 classes a week. I also walk anywhere under a mile. So, yes, a lot of it is simply genetics. I simply love to cook and love to eat. When I make my annual visit to family and friends, the first thing they ask is what are you cooking? I guess that is a sign that you're a pretty decent cook.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:45 AM   #42
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For me it's like that old adage concerning intelligence and wisdom.

The more experience you gain, the more imperfections you find in your ability, and the more you discover that you don't know squat.

I have a few things I cook "well", a bunch of things I'm "okay" at making, and shelves upon shelves of books/notes describing dishes, cuisines, and techniques I haven't even attempted. Not to mention a little list of things that were complete disasters that nag at me for another attempt.

But usually the only things I make for other people are the dishes I cook "well" - which generally throws an image of me being a great cook... if only they tried my homemade bread...
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:24 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef View Post
Consistency is a part of it, but you can't disregard everything else and say that only consistency makes someone a good cook.

No, of course not. That is why I said food should taste good.
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:17 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook View Post
I think a bog part of it is technique. The best and most exciting flavors in the world won't help you out if you don't know how to properly bring them out. I think a test of a good cook is being able to make simple dishes taste great. Pan-roasted chicken breast with white rice. If you can make that good, then I'd say you're a good cook.

It is more than that, but it's hard to define. I'd say the moment I knew I was a good homecook was when my fiancee's co-workers requested that I cook Thanksgiving dinner for them annually, and they volunteered to pick up the bill. The moment I knew I was a good restaurant cook was probably when Chef told me he was very happy with the quality of my food and work. This meant alot, especially from him, since he's not the type of guy to talk too much, and when he does, it's almost never to hand out compliments.
I also believe technique is important if you know how to do it properly thats half the battle.Jaques Pepin's book Complete Techniques is an excellant book to learn from.In fact many years ago that book taught me to master merinques including how to make perfect dried merinques.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Ha! How about when everyone wants to eat at your house? Seriously, sometimes that just means that no one wants to clean up the mess. I think I'm a good cook, and most of my freinds do, and all of my family does, but really, sometimes it is just that they don't want to do it!

BTW, I work out a lot and am still overweight. One of my sisters has the same affliction -- she's an exercise instructor teaching 7 classes a week. I also walk anywhere under a mile. So, yes, a lot of it is simply genetics. I simply love to cook and love to eat. When I make my annual visit to family and friends, the first thing they ask is what are you cooking? I guess that is a sign that you're a pretty decent cook.

Ha ha, that's a very good point (about everyone wanting to eat at your house because they don't want to cook!). Maybe that's why my and my DH's families always want me to host the big holidays and family events. They always do a fantastic job cleaning up afterward, though, so I can't complain.

As far as the weight issue goes, I've been where you are, working out regularly and still not losing any weight. It was frustrating. That was when I decided to consult and then contract with a professional fitness counselor (trainer and nutritionist). For me, it made all the difference in the world. Maybe you've already tried that, but if not, it's something to consider IF the weight is bothersome to you--if it isn't, that's great, too.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:34 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Ha! How about when everyone wants to eat at your house? Seriously, sometimes that just means that no one wants to clean up the mess. I think I'm a good cook, and most of my freinds do, and all of my family does, but really, sometimes it is just that they don't want to do it!
Claire, I know you're right about this happening because it does to me and I know it's not because I'm a fabulous cook! No kidding, besides my own kids, there is almost always 2 to 4 extra kids here for dinner and I'm pretty sure it's because there's always a lot of food and anyone around is welcome. Believe it or not, before we started homeschooling, I was always the "mom who bakes" at the kids' schools! Of course, it was cupcakes from a package mix or cookies from a "yard-o-dough" or Rice Crispy Treats - never anything truly home made because I didn't know how. But I was always willing to make stuff for class parties, etc and I always made more than enough so that if someone dropped or spilled or had a little brother at home or whatever, nobody did without. I was amazed at how much the teachers valued this! I mean, honestly, my cupcakes were not good! And I always had to make 10 dz cookies to get 5 dz edible ones. But if you're willing to do it, you are granted the title "mom who bakes".
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:16 PM   #47
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It was good to read all the different responses. For me this skill came early when my grandmother would ask me to roll tortillas. It was a lot of fun but I quickly learned making a perfect round was much harder than I thought.

Growing up I made a ton of mistakes and tried to learn from all of them. I lived for several years with my uncle and aunt. My uncle was a chef and an extremely tough critic. I have seen my cooked food go down the drain. I think this is when I started to equate output (your end product) with the effort you put (passion).

I started to focus more when I cooked and I cooked with mostly boys (most of my cousins were boys). We had a lot of fun experimenting and then relaxing and enjoying fruits of our hard labor. We baked bread, roasted turkey for thanksgiving, prepared casseroles and it was all so much fun. I started to look at food as something that was creative and fun and an true break from all my college work.

Now my husband and my two boys are my toughest critics. They don't cook but are excellent at keeping things real. I still continue to use cooking time as my escape from my regular 9-5 job.

I think just like foodstorm and claire I notice people always accept my invitation. I am asked to help people out when they throw large parties by helping them prepare a dish or two and I host most of the big events in my home. I guess I got the hint :-)
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:52 PM   #48
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Hmmm, I think the sign you're a good cook is either when your father-in-law says your meat loaf is the best he's ever tasted (in front of your mother-in-law who glares at you..again). Or when a coworker says the bean soup you've taken to work as a treat for the office is the best he's ever eaten (and his mom has won awards for her baking).

But....even though those things happen, you're not a good cook until your kids DON'T tell you what you're allowed to bring to family dinners! THAT has not happened to me yet. It's a story...sad but true. Sighhhhh.
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