Food Talk And Fabulous Finds Recipes, Healthy Cooking, and General Food Topics

View Poll Results: How did you learn/are you learning to cook?
From a parent 22 46.81%
From my spouse 3 6.38%
From a class 4 8.51%
Taught myself with books or television shows 24 51.06%
Taught myself through experimentation 31 65.96%
I can't cook 3 6.38%
Other 2 4.26%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-10-2007, 04:35 PM   #1  
~~Maintainer!~~
Thread Starter
 
jtammy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 2,496

S/C/G: 346/186/186

Height: 5' 9"

Default Do you cook?

Another thread and talking with a friend had me thinking about cooking. Do you know how to cook? How did you learn to cook? Do you enjoy cooking?

My mom taught me how to cook when I was about 10 or 11. From then on, it was my job to cook lunch for my family. We were farmers and lunch (we called it dinner) was our big meal for the day. Supper was much lighter and usually something like sandwiches or leftovers. In high school, we had home economics, where we also learned how to cook. Nowadays, it seems like a lot of people younger than me (I'm 40) have never learned to cook. What about you?
jtammy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 04:44 PM   #2  
Moderating Mama
 
mandalinn82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodland, CA
Posts: 11,712

S/C/G: 295/200/175

Height: 5' 8"

Default

I cook! I LOVE cooking and people tell me I'm pretty good at it. I never had a home ec class, and my mom never really let me cook in the kitchen (she didn't like the associated messes, lol), so I learned by observing and experimentation. I remember always WANTING to cook, though, ever since I was really little.

I remember when I got my first apartment...I gathered up a little book of recipes and tips in a black binder. I never really used them, though...I'd sort of flip through, get an idea, and go with it. I also watch the food network...a LOT...which provides really excellent demos of cooking techniques and ideas for new ways to cook something. If I have a question about how to cook something, I google it, and if I still have a question, I call my mom and ask how she'd do something.

I almost never make a recipe exactly, I always tweak it somehow to make it my own, and usually don't even look for recipes unless its a baking thing (baking is so much more exact...I still improvise off of the recipes I find, though), or if its a completely new thing for me (for example - how to make frozen yogurt - I found a really basic recipe and added/subtracted/modified from that).

I am 24 and I did have to teach myself, but I know how to cook. Everyone loves coming over here for dinner, and I have a set of friends who call me (and usually drag me to the grocery store, lol) when they want to make a special meal or bake something to impress a member of the opposite sex.

Recently, a friend of mine who wants to lose a few pounds asked me to teach him how to cook healthy, tasty foods...then ANOTHER friend asked. I am seriously debating doing a weekend healthy cooking class for the two of them, since they are both younger and have no idea how to cook anything.
mandalinn82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: The Hill Country
Posts: 2,579

S/C/G: 218/175/155

Height: 5'6"

Default

I remember cooking simple things as soon as I could reach the stove. In fact, I distinctly remember making a coffee cake when I was seven all by myself (and it was edible.) I don't specifically remember my parents "teaching" me to cook, but I think I picked it up through observation. I also remember helping in the kitchen a lot. Everyone in the family cooked (including my father) so it was strange for me when I realized that most people can't cook. Most of my friends (I'm 30) have had to teach themselves through books and trial and error.
zenor77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 05:00 PM   #4  
~~Maintainer!~~
Thread Starter
 
jtammy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 2,496

S/C/G: 346/186/186

Height: 5' 9"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandalinn82 View Post
Recently, a friend of mine who wants to lose a few pounds asked me to teach him how to cook healthy, tasty foods...then ANOTHER friend asked. I am seriously debating doing a weekend healthy cooking class for the two of them, since they are both younger and have no idea how to cook anything.
I think that's a great idea! I personally think that with more and more Moms entering the workforce in the 70s and 80s, not as many people learned to cook at home as in previous generations. And to add to that we have so many more prepared foods available and boxed foods available than in the past, that you didn't necessarily HAVE to learn how to cook. And is something like home economics even taught in school anymore? I don't think so, and I feel so old even asking that. It probably hasn't been taught in more than 20 years.

I like to cook too and have used some of the same resources you mention. It is definitely an ongoing process and something you have to keep doing. I'm proud to say I'm still experimenting and still manage to make something that we don't want to eat at least once every couple of months.
jtammy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 05:12 PM   #5  
Moderating Mama
 
mandalinn82's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodland, CA
Posts: 11,712

S/C/G: 295/200/175

Height: 5' 8"

Default

I have never made anything that was truly inedible (look, now I jinxed it)...but we have a sliding scale. Sarah rates things on how often she'd like to eat them again. So there are "once a week" meals (really tasty and satisfying) and "once was enough" meals (ick), but she refuses to actually call them icky...she considers it disrespectful because I do all of the shopping/cooking/dishes around here and she knows it is a lot of work.

Home ec was an optional elective in my middle school...it was discontinued shortly thereafter, and I was in middle school in the early to mid-nineties.
mandalinn82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 05:20 PM   #6  
Onward and Downward
 
meowee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 8,485

S/C/G: 285/215/1??

Height: 5'2"

Default

I love to cook and I collect cookbooks (well over 300 now and still counting). Guess my Mother first got me started, but she only really cooked because she had to (hey I'm talking the 50's and 60's here). I soon outstripped her old standbys and began experimenting on my own.

Even with all those cookbooks, I seldom actually follow a recipe. I just go for the idea and something always ends up being changed before the meal is accomplished. Love soups and casseroles for that very reason.
meowee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 05:58 PM   #7  
Just Me
 
nelie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 14,707

S/C/G: 364/--/182

Height: 5'6"

Default

I cook and I enjoy it most of the time. I really learned how to cook from experimentation. I have a number of cookbooks but I don't really care for following recipes. I kind of use recipes as a general guideline in my cooking.

I have never made anything bad but in trying to make things lower calorie/lower fat I have been disappointed by a couple of dishes. It is sometimes difficult to make a high calorie/high fat dish with the same flavor and texture in a low calorie/low fat dish.

My mom has always cooked and sometimes I'd help her out but I don't remember getting any instruction. My mom is an awesome baker and can cook any baked good you can imagine. I never cared much for baking myself because I always found it to require exactness which I don't like to adhere to. I have made a few baked items in the past such as cookies, brownies and bread but I just never enjoyed it much so I never did it much. I'm also not talking about box mixes but rather recipes that use individual ingredients. When I do cook or bake, I like to do it from scratch although sometimes I take short cuts such as using canned diced tomatoes.

I personally don't think cooking is very hard. Just get a recipe and go. I like to keep things simple on a daily basis though so I use a recipe maybe once every couple months just to try something new.
nelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 06:11 PM   #8  
3 + years maintaining
 
rockinrobin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12,070

S/C/G: 287/120's

Height: 5 foot nuthin'

Default

I absolutely love to cook. I think it's because I absolutely love to eat good food though.

Anyway, I DO love cooking. And I'm pretty darn good at it. I love entertaining as well and have been known to throw some great dinner parties as well as some pretty good all out parties.

I have a few cookbooks. Mostly they give me ideas. I hate having to stick to and follow a recipe. That's probably why I never enjoyed baking as much. Baking is so much more precise then cooking. I love adapting recipes from cookbooks and making them more to my family's liking. I can easily switch things up to make it more suitable for us. Since my weightloss journey begun I've come up with many, many of my own recipes. It's amazing how truly delicious one can make things using totally and completely heatlhy foods and keeping them at a low calorie level.

My mom was a pretty good cook. But my grandmother - she was phenomenal. Unfortunately she passed away when I was 13, but I clearly remember her being an outrageous cook and baker. We cooked quite a few things together back in the day. I got married not knowing an awful lot of things about cooking, but enough. Mom helped me with some basic stuff. But I've gone waaay beyond her in the kitchen.
rockinrobin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 06:21 PM   #9  
Midwesterner
 
murphmitch's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 13,284

S/C/G: 152/116/120

Height: 5' 3"

Default

Mandalinn- I have cooked things that are inedible! Forgot to put an ingredient in the breadmaker & bread turned out flat and inedible. Put baking soda in a stir-fry sauce intead of cornstarch. I knew something was wrong when it started to foam. Bleck!! I once baked homemade rolls for my husband and didn't realize you didn't leave them in as long as a loaf of bread. They were sooo hard they were inedible!
My mom taught me to cook at an early age but I always liked to peruse cookbook to try new things. Started making pies, cookies, cakes at an early age. Took cooking classes as an adult, Breadmaking, International cuisine, Oriental food. Not too good for the waistline but lots of fun.
murphmitch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 06:52 PM   #10  
Constant Vigilance
 
BlueToBlue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Fremont, CA
Posts: 2,818

S/C/G: 150/132/<130

Height: just under 5'4"

Default

This is a sort of sad topic for me. I know that my mom intended to teach me to cook (there were specific dishes she made that had been passed down through the family that I know she intended to pass on to me) but unfortunately she died of cancer, somewhat unexpectedly, before she got the chance. I was very close to her and I really regret not having that time together.

So I learned to cook mostly though cookbooks and cooking magazines. I'm more into magazines than cookbooks. I do a lot of experimentation but I do sometimes make a recipe exactly the way it's called for. I'm not very good at making recipes up; I usually have to start with some instruction. I used to be into baking as well but now it's too hard to fit baked goods into my calorie restriction so I've mostly given it up (except for the Fiber One Muffins that I make every week).

My newest thing is canning and preserving. Because we have a garden and because I want to exercise portion control, canning and preserving is the perfect thing for me. We have a guava tree and every year I make guava jelly. Last year I made around 60 half-pints. Flavors included regular guava, guava cinnamon, raspberry guava, guava ginger, guava cinnamon ginger, and rasberry cinnamon guava. During the height of guava season, I have quite the production system going. Mostly we end up giving the jelly way (really, how much jelly can two people eat?) but it makes a great gift and most people request more. Over the past year, I've also canned green tomato salsa, green tomato sauce, dill bean pickles, lemon rosemary been pickles, and lemon rosemary asparagus pickles. If I get enough eggplant, I'll be making eggplant pickles this year. My mom was big into canning; she canned tomatoes every year and even though I don't have any of her recipes, it is still a nice connection to her.

And I've definitely made things that were inedible. There were the salisbury steaks that actually caught on fire and a turkey chili that I put way way way too much chili powder in (I didn't realize chipotle chili powder was so much stronger than regular chili powder). Also, a sauted fennel and chard over polenta dish that I accidently dumped half the salt shaker into . In fact, the green tomato sauce didn't come out so well. The recipe annoyingly did not give any clue as to how much salt to add and I over-estimated, based on the quantity of salt required for the salsa, which came out fantastic. Since I was canning it and salt was the only preservative going into it, I didn't want to underestimate but erred too far in the opposite direction. And there have definitely been a couple batches of guava jelly that reached the jujubee stage (e.g., way too hard).
BlueToBlue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 07:27 PM   #11  
~~Maintainer!~~
Thread Starter
 
jtammy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 2,496

S/C/G: 346/186/186

Height: 5' 9"

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenor77 View Post
I remember cooking simple things as soon as I could reach the stove. In fact, I distinctly remember making a coffee cake when I was seven all by myself (and it was edible.) I don't specifically remember my parents "teaching" me to cook, but I think I picked it up through observation. I also remember helping in the kitchen a lot. Everyone in the family cooked (including my father) so it was strange for me when I realized that most people can't cook. Most of my friends (I'm 30) have had to teach themselves through books and trial and error.
We always had to help too, and I make my kids help now. Growing up, lots of our foods were things we had canned or frozen, and living in rural Mississippi in the 70s, it was a 25 minute drive to even a cafe, and further to fast food places, so there was really no choice but to cook.

My Mom isn't a great cook, but she is certainly capable. Everything my grandmother cooked was always so good, but she made fairly simple dishes, things that she had been taught to cook since she was a young girl. She never read very well and she never cooked from a recipe due to that.
jtammy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 07:54 PM   #12  
Member
 
sarah44's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 93

S/C/G: 194/177/?

Height: 5' 4"

Default

My mom always cooked, and I learned a lot from her. Then when I was 18, I cooked for a year and a half in a restaurant, and that's where I learned many basics - how to make stocks, soups, bread, desserts, how to put menus together, etc. After that first restaurant, where the menus focused on whole foods, I had a a bunch of cooking jobs, but the quality of the restaurants steadily declined, so I stopped learning as much.

Now I learn through cookbooks, the NYT food section, sharing recipes with my family, and websites... Last year my Mom and I took a fabulous Tuscan cooking class together.

It's funny that this thread was started today, because I was just thiinking about posting an explanation of how to make home-made chicken soup on one of the "cooking on a budget" threads...
sarah44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 03:50 AM   #13  
Nicole
 
nicolen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 987

S/C/G: 261/226/140

Default

My sister and I started being responsible for dinner once my mother went back to work full time. From memory, she was 13 and I was either 14 or 15. Before then we'd helped prepare meals or bake under her strict supervision.

At first we'd follow her instructions to the letter but after a few months we started experimenting with her cook books, TV recipes, that kind of thing. Some things didn't work too well, but other things we tried worked out wonderfully. As we went on, we both learned to recognise recipes that the family would like from the ingredients and cooking methods and go from there.

Today, we're both excellent cooks. I love cooking, but admit that it can be a hassle when I come home after a long day at work. I try and have a couple of choices in the deep freeze that I can just reheat on those days...
nicolen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 10:04 AM   #14  
lilybelle
 
lilybelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: rural Oklahoma
Posts: 6,619

S/C/G: 234/142/145

Height: 5'7

Default

I love cooking and I'm always told that I'm great at it. My mom was a great cook (although it was fattening stuff). I learned from her. I have learned how to make our favorite recipes with less fat and calories. I rarely use a cookbook unless it's for a baked good. I just don't hardly ever bake and it was never my passion.

Growing up, we always had a large garden and all 6 of us kids were responsible in helping with the gardening. My mom always did a lot of canning. This yr. I planted my first garden here at home and it turned out really well. My MIL plans to help me do some canning.

We live in the middle of nowhere. No restaurants close by only a Sonic and a Pizza place. Which I don't eat either. So, I cook every day. I don't particularly like all the cleanup but I now have teenagers that help some (especially if there is money involved). LOL

BTW, my son is 21 yrs. old and he now has been taught how to make all our family favorites. My DD is 15 and she is learning to cook. My SD's have learned to cook from me. (Their own Mother does Not cook).
lilybelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2007, 12:44 PM   #15  
Senior Member
 
baffled111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,986

S/C/G: 209/209/160

Height: 5'9

Default

I'm the child of one of those working mothers from the 70s and 80s who never really taught her kids to cook. My sister and I had to help out with the cooking a little, but the emphasis was on convenience for the most part. My mum is actually a great cook but I didn't learn from her. My boyfriend taught me how to cook! He used to be a sous chef in some upscale restaurants and is a really excellent cook. Before I met him, my skills were really pretty basic (except for baking--I've always loved to bake), but he showed me all the techniques and got me interested in cooking. Since then, I've really grown to love it. I love cookbooks and I especially love experimenting with different ethnic cuisines (all the more so now that we live in a rural area with no ethnic restaurants anywhere nearby).
baffled111 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:40 AM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.