Cranky Old Witch's profile picture

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Category: Food and Restaurants

Learning to cook

It's no secret by now that I'm a terrible cook.

I make no bones about it.

Mom taught me a bit of sewing, a bit of piano, a bit of art, but as much as she might've liked to teach me how to cook, I just never took to it.

Most of my life, if I HAD to cook something, it was at the level of "Kill animal, add fire."

Anyway, over the last five or so years I've been slowly teaching myself (plus tips and advice from my loving wife who is BRILLIANT at the culinary arts).

But for me, I have to follow a recipe (as simple as I can), and very few tweaks.

But I've learned a few quirks to look out for when finding recipes on-line.

First, skip the intro. Some of these people must be getting paid by the word. I'm hungry, dammit, and I just don't have the time to read your whole back story just to make some egg frittatas!

So, scroll down until your eye hits the ingredients list. Start there!

Second, "Serves 4-6 people". Wow. What sort of skinny-ass people you serving? When I made this it served 2-3, maybe ... MAYBE with a bit of leftovers! Meh, better that way. Less people exposed to my bastardization of otherwise decent food.

Third, "two cloves of garlic" really means you want six cloves of garlic if you want it to actually taste like anything! Period.

Fourth,"trim the fat ..."

*sigh* 'trim the fat'.

When I first encountered this phrase it confused me a bit, but what do I know? So I dutifully did that, but was perplexed as I read on ... At what point during the process do I add the fat back in???

Apparently - for reasons I can not fathom - you're supposed to discard the fat!

"Trim the fat"??? What??? Did we lose a war or something??? The fat is where the flavor is!

Okay, I'm not hunting down extra fatty meats - a girl has her standards after all (and I know if Shell is reading this, this is the point where she's likely to interject :D)

But dang it, I want that food to have a bit of flavor! Or drippings for gravy, or whatever! Aw, heck, my depression-era grandmother would be turning in her grave if I 'discarded' the fat rather than at LEAST saving it to grease pans in future cooking, or render it into tallow for soap making, or whatever!

Fifth: Those recipes from the UK. Well, they're all in metric. Fluid volume, weight, oven temperature, etc. Now, I am of the correct age where the US was about to have the grand switch to the metric system while I was in grade school. So we were DRILLED ENDLESSLY on conversions to be able to face the brave new world! Then, collectively, like stubborn Americans, we said as a nation "FU!" to metric. But I can still do those conversions in my head. Those of you who are older or younger will need a conversion calculator on-line.

Anyway, pleased to announce that I haven't accidentally poisoned my family (yet).

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Leslies_Black_Roses's profile picture

Watch lots of cooking shows too!

Almost any cooking show on PBS will have pretty good info. One of my favorites is definitely America's Test Kitchen. They really get down into the nitty gritty parts of cooking and what makes a recipe work, and how to troubleshoot your process too. In fact, I have an Instant Pot cookbook for Mediterranean foods from them. I've never cooked with a pressure cooker before, so it was nice to have detailed instructions in that cookbook.

I also like Pati's Mexican Table and occasionally Lydia's Italy.

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I might check 'em out :)

by Cranky Old Witch; ; Report

Jon πŸ‡

Jon πŸ‡'s profile picture

Now I'll have to tell the zucchini story... *sigh*

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Lol, yes please :)

by Cranky Old Witch; ; Report


R+C's profile picture

I cook a little. In fact, this week, tired of going out for lunch, I decided to cook my food. It’s not the best, but it’s edible. My girlfriend will stay with me this weekend. As a Sicilian her menus are the best.

Keep at it, my dear lady friend. You know what they say, practice makes perfect ...

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Lol, much the same. If I'm cooking just for me, I have no grand delusions!

In fact, at most, I suffer from delusions of mediocrity :D

Hope you and herself have a wonderful time!

by Cranky Old Witch; ; Report


by R+C; ; Report