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Old 09-26-2013, 09:13 AM   #1
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Teaching yourself - any book recommendations?

Afternoon everyone,

First post on this forum!

My name is Samuel and I am eager to learn how to cook from scratch. I like cooking but I don't like the fact that some left over ingredients which I buy to follow a recipe inevitably get wasted :( and would love to learn how to cook with what I have, as opposed to having to go out to find lots of needed ingredients which I will rarely use again.

So I was wondering if anyone could recommend the following:

- Books where I can learn/teach myself the basics of cooking (the foundations etc)
- Books where I can learn how to make use of left over food to create tasty meals and
- Books where I can learn how to whip up nice food using up any gluts of produce (e.g. cucumbers, tomatoes) from my newly acquired allotment site (I already have preservation books but if I can use up the produce which is fresh that would be fab).

Also any good TV/youtube series reconmendtions which will help me learn in the above area will also be most appreciated!

Thank you for your help,

Samuel

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Old 09-26-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
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Welcome to DC, Samuel.

I've found this book useful. Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques: Jacques Pépin, Léon Perer: 0768821216597: Amazon.com: Books

It covers just about every aspect of cooking processes and techniques.

If you want to find recipes which use specific ingredients (wither leftover ingredients and your garden's output) your best bet may be to search using Google. e.g. "recipes with rosemary"
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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Howdy!
Welcome to D.C.!
I would also recommend America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.
And you have already discovered a wonderful resource here at D.C.
There are mighty few questions asked here that don't receive excellent answers and advice.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel1988 View Post
Afternoon everyone,

First post on this forum!

My name is Samuel and I am eager to learn how to cook from scratch. I like cooking but I don't like the fact that some left over ingredients which I buy to follow a recipe inevitably get wasted :( and would love to learn how to cook with what I have, as opposed to having to go out to find lots of needed ingredients which I will rarely use again.

So I was wondering if anyone could recommend the following:

- Books where I can learn/teach myself the basics of cooking (the foundations etc)
- Books where I can learn how to make use of left over food to create tasty meals and
- Books where I can learn how to whip up nice food using up any gluts of produce (e.g. cucumbers, tomatoes) from my newly acquired allotment site (I already have preservation books but if I can use up the produce which is fresh that would be fab).

Also any good TV/youtube series reconmendtions which will help me learn in the above area will also be most appreciated!

Thank you for your help,

Samuel
For the basics in the UK you can't beat "The Good Housekeeping Cookery Book". It tells you exactly how to do the basics from hors d'oeuvres to dessert, baking both cakes and bread, making jams, marmalade and pickles and chutney - absolutely everything you need to know.

Also Delia Smith's Cookery Course is a good one to have - everything from how to boil an egg to how to make a wedding cake.

Both of these will help you learn how to deal with left-overs if you look out for the recipes. Jamie Oliver has a book out at the moment "Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less" which might help.

Keep an eye on the book shelves in you local charity shops. You can pick up some cookery book gems there for peanuts (you can also find some dreadful cookery books so be discriminating!).
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
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My first cookbook was Joy of Cooking. It was solid, with recipes and techniques that taught me some important basics. I Still turn to it now and again.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
My first cookbook was Joy of Cooking. It was solid, with recipes and techniques that taught me some important basics. I Still turn to it now and again.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Had a quiet giggle to myself when I read this. Anyone else remember "The Joy of S*x" (replace the asterisk with an "e") by Dr Alex Comfort? It was the subject of much hilarity when I was a student (because, of course, we knew we'd invented it and knew SO much more about it than an old fuddie-duddie like Dr Alex could possibly know).

OK, ok, I'm off topic - I'm going now.
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Old 10-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Cook View Post
Had a quiet giggle to myself when I read this. Anyone else remember "The Joy of S*x" (replace the asterisk with an "e") by Dr Alex Comfort? It was the subject of much hilarity when I was a student (because, of course, we knew we'd invented it and knew SO much more about it than an old fuddie-duddie like Dr Alex could possibly know).

OK, ok, I'm off topic - I'm going now.
I had a copy years ago
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:06 AM   #8
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This is a very good cookbook to help change your thinking and become more creative with everyday basic inexpensive foods.

More-with-Less - A Mennonite Community Cookbook It is available new and used all over the web.

More and more I rely on UTube for cooking lessons. I always do a couple of google searches to see if I can find what I need before I purchase another cookbook. Some of the videos do an amazing job of simplifying things for me and its free!

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:08 AM   #9
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Also, before buying a cookbook, read the online reviews from people who already bought it and then judge for yourself if it is going to provide the information you want. Most people who are not satisfied with a purchase will be very vocal about what they didn't like about it. I also like to look in bookstores for the book and look through it before buying. Most time it can be purchased cheaper online, either new or used.
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:36 AM   #10
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There are 47, 135 members on this board, so you can expect at least 42,375 different answers.

I always suggest the original 1865 Boston Cooking School cookbook by Fannie Farmer, or any revision by Marion Cunningham (No, not Richie's mom!). This book provides a wealth of information on cooking and basic, easy to follow recipes that are still relevant, even after 150 years.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #11
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Many years ago, there was a TV show called "The Galloping Gourmet" and then after that another show came on called "The Frugal Gourmet"

As a kid I watched the "Galloping Gourmet" every chance I got. I learned many basics and was able to prepare meals for the family at 12-13 years of age.

I practiced and got pretty good. Learned about using a knife and how to do the basic cooking functions.

Some years later in my 20's the Frugal Gourmet came on and I watched it intently. Here I learned even more. Much more.

I must say TV cooking shows taught me the basics and even helped me to understand what it took, to be a good cook.
These shows came long before the "Food Network" and others like it.
I took these basic functions and applied them to more complicated dishes. I got pretty good. I do not use recipes often. I cook from scratch or use help from the store. I have not opened a cookbook in many years. I do have a book on BBQ sauces and I sometimes refer to it. But that is the extent of my book knowledge and use.

I'm in my late 50's now and I am still learning. However, I do not cook nearly as much as I used to.
If you like to cook and you are picky about doing things the way they are supposed to be done, you are half way there.
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