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Old 07-10-2006, 01:14 AM   #1
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Exclamation ClosetChef!

I live in a household where we have our jobs...the dad brings home the bacon, the mom cooks, and we teenagers do what we're told (most of the time...). But in terms of foods, we've always been in a box. Don't get me wrong, my mother knows how to cook traditional Puerto Rican dishes that are EXCELLENT. But those dishes, along with fast foods, fried foods, etc. are done over and over again in our house...Whenever I flip the tube to the food channel, I feel like we're in the dark in terms of the variety of food that we could be eating. Because of this limited scope, I have always been a picky eater when it comes to trying new things (or maybe the other way around?). But, secretly (or not), I have wanted to seriously start cooking and branching out into new foods (hence the name: ClosetChef).

My parents have noticed that I have started helping my mother when she cooks dinner more often (making the fries and keeping the food from burning). My father doesn't think that it is important for men to learn how to cook. He's even said that I should just find a woman who will cook for me .

Why do I want to learn how to cook you ask? Recently, I have discovered that my nutrition, because of my limited scope of foods, is greatly subpar. Also, I recently found out that French Fries and other Fried Foods have been linked to cancer and other health problems as well. On a recent trip to a Japanese Restaurant with my family (one of the few times when we have broken out of the food box), the entree to our meal was a soup with Shiitake mushroom slices. I couldn't believe how tasty it was! Until that point, I had never had mushrooms before! I was ecstatic to learn that my brother didn't want his (he didn't even try it), and I ate his Shiitake soup too! When I ate at subway yesterday (and inadvertantly topped it with everything) I actually liked the vegetables on sauces on it! (I didn't think I liked vegetables!). These reasons, on top of watching the food channel and seeing some of the creations of talented chefs are why I want to learn how to cook and branch into new foods.

I start working this week, and eventually, I will probably buy a mini-fridge for my room to keep my secret nutritional foods. I also plan on buying a juicer, new pots and pans (all of my mother's pans are years old, scratched, warped, and flaky, which can't be good ), and maybe one of those all-purpose cookers you see on the late-night ads...

If you have read this far, you read too much! Seriously though, all future input will greatly be appreciated. I have read some posts here, and it is obvious that most of you are very talented cooks! Hopefully, I can learn from you cooks on these forums, and break out of my food shell! (I have recently started considering taking chef's classes on the side when I go to college next year...)

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Old 07-10-2006, 07:44 AM   #2
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Good luck Closet Chef. My son likes to cook occasionally. He enjoys trying new Asian and Mexican recipes the best. He's found some good ones on the net that he's made for us.
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:51 AM   #3
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Welcome to the site ClosetChef. I love reading about your enthusiasm. You are on the right path to start discovering all sorts of amazing culinary things.

Do you live in Puerto Rico?
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:49 AM   #4
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Ciao from Rome and welcome to DC, Closetchef!! I really enjoyed your story and the enthusiasm exuding from it.
You have come to a right place, you will get not only all the helpful information but also wonderful friendship and encouragement from fellow foodies from around the world!! I am glad you have found us, as well as the ever exciting world of food and cooking!! Don't be shy and jump right in the fun, I assure you, you will be made very welcome here
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:54 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 07-10-2006, 10:20 AM   #6
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Hello ClosetChef. How exciting it's all going to be. I'm a self-taught cook, but lots of the people here are fabulous experts. There's lots to be learned here and just about everyone here is really friendly and helpful. I'm almost jealous that I'm not you, starting all over again. Hope you have fun; even the occasional disaster will be a learning experience. Your first good knife and your first good pan will give you so much pleasure!
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies! I've always liked eating food (maybe too much, but luckily, I have a fast metabolism ), so I thought that learning how to cook would be beneficial. I start my first job later this week or early next week ($6.00 an hour!) and there will be alot of stuff that I can finally do without my parents' hard-earned cash: this will eventually include cooking supplies.

To answer GB's question, I do not live in Puerto Rico. However, my father and three of my grandparents were born there. Both of my parents are of Puerto Rican descent, and my mother was taught many recipes by her mother (who was probably taught by her mother, and so on). My father's in the army and we move around a lot. Because of this, I was born when my parents were stationed in Alaska! I've lived in Alaska (Fairbanks), New York (Fort Drum, New York City), Tennesee (Fort Campbell), Italy (Vicenza), and Georgia (Fort Benning, Columbus).

Another reason I want to learn how to cook is because I want to make healthy versions of the foods I eat and have them almost taste the same, like french fries and potato chips.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:47 PM   #8
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Welcome to DC and I think it's fantastic that you want to learn to cook!! My youngest helps me sometimes. I wish my oldest had helped more. He cooks on the grill just fine, but, doesn't know jack about the stove and oven. LOL
I bet your mother is proud of you. Your dad sounds like he very into the old traditional life style. There isn't a thing wrong with that, but, this day and age, kids aren't getting married straight out of school and need to be independent and be able to cook and clean on their own. Good for you!!!
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:53 PM   #9
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And you can tell you dad that woman LOVE a guy who can cook. Just ask the ladies here
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Old 07-10-2006, 07:30 PM   #10
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Welcome to DC!
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