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Show ALL Forums  > Recipes and Cooking  > How did you learn to cook?      Home login  
Joined: 5/4/2012
Msg: 1
How did you learn to cook?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
I started by watching cooking shows on PBS. I would even watch show when I did not like the chef/ Limited choices then. I have been a food network junky and will watch almost anyone if they have good cooking skills/knowledge.

My favorite from the old days is Yan Can Cook with Martin Yan. Funny and smart.

From the present it would be Alton Brown(I love knowing the why) and Emeril Lagasse more from the beginning when he actually prepared food.

My mom could not cook well and we didn't know it. When they started making packages food she jumped on the band wagon. The only fresh meal was Thanksgiving. Then she would use the Turkey to death. So I ended up hating Tday, but was luck a friend guiltted me into make Tday dinner for him and some lonely friends. I agreed as long as he took all the leftovers.

Now Tday is my cooking showcase. The only packaged item is the canned jellied cranberries for the teenage son. I do make fresh cranberries but he insists on the canned version. I even make my own bread for the stuffing using cornbread, pumpernickel and whole grain.
Joined: 5/24/2012
Msg: 2
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 11:44:47 AM
I started cooking for myself when I was 12. I guess I learned from helping in the kitchen as a kid although I can't say my Mom was a good cook. I have never considered basic cooking to be a particularity difficult task and I rarely follow recipes I usually just throw things together and rarely is it not worth eating - most women I have had relationships with prefer my cooking to thiers.
 Irish Eyez
Joined: 12/30/2008
Msg: 3
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 11:45:33 AM
I learned to cook from the best; my grandmother. I was a very young age, about 8.

In school back then in Ireland, girls were taught to cook and bake at a very young age. ( about 8 )

I have won many blue ribbons from county fairs, etc., for my baking too! Great days!

I always make breads from scratch, will never use a bread making machine. It's therapeutic anyway, all that kneading!
 Lint Spotter
Joined: 8/27/2009
Msg: 4
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 12:24:27 PM
I was around 12 when I truly started to cook... before that I could follow a recipe, but at that age I was gathering ingredients and putting them together by what was on hand rather than having made purchases for that specific reason.

It was a few years later that I started having foods in restaurants and trying to recreate them at home...
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 5
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 1:27:25 PM
My mother is a horrible cook, really horrible, so she taught me nothing because she had no skills to pass on. But I left home at 16 and as you might image, after covering my rent and utilities, I didn't have a whole lot of money left over. So I learned through needing to eat.

I'm not the greatest cook now but I'm capable and most recipes are easy enough to follow and learn to tweak to your liking. I doubt, like some, cooking will ever bring me great pleasure, it's merely something which has to be done. I don't understand the science behind cooking well enough to know why some ingredients can't be swapped out for something else, although I am fine at swapping like for like to tailor things. I'm sure if I applied myself, I could get an understanding of it but I'm not interested in cooking sufficiently to invest the time in doing so.

I simply keep to good quality ingredients which are natural foods and I always manage to provide a meal which is tasty. I don't buy anything in a box, with the exception of cereal and then I'm careful to read the label and avoid things which have an ingredient on the label which is man-made.

As far as recreating something I've had in a restaurant and succeeding to identify the individual seasonings and methods, no - that's beyond my capabilities.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 6
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 1:55:13 PM
How did I learn to cook?

Via trial and error.

Now Alton Brow is a fabulous way to learn
I really enjoy his shows.
Joined: 10/2/2006
Msg: 7
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 6:39:27 PM
initially from my mother, who was an absolutely excellent cook.
then from a fabulous chef at a restaurant/bar I managed....
then the Indiana Art Institute Culinary School.

I'd say I use my mother's skills far more than the "trained" skills!!
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 8
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/18/2012 7:26:37 PM
pretty much in boy scouts....i was about the only one who didnt burn everything
mom taught me a lot........just by too
plus.......i like to i just started cooking
Joined: 8/9/2010
Msg: 9
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/19/2012 1:48:06 AM
watching my mom and grandmother at first. i started making my own school lunches at 7- 8 years old.

then at 16 i worked for a greek at the best pizza place in town. learned to cook by feel from him.

then i did some time at the canadian culinary institute which did nothing but made me realize i didn't want to cook for a living.

Joined: 2/15/2006
Msg: 10
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/19/2012 6:39:44 AM
My mother taught me the basics, but I really learned to cook after I left home in the restaurant business, then more from cooking shows, and books, dozens of books!
Joined: 7/2/2011
Msg: 11
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/19/2012 9:17:34 AM
Earliest I remember was barbequeing on an old copper boiler, mom would hand me the tongs and say," I gotta go make the salad, so make sure it don't burn kid,or you'll be eating the burned part!!! "
 Molly Maude
Joined: 9/11/2008
Msg: 12
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/19/2012 5:30:24 PM
initially, I just WATCHED the pros in my family cook ... my Aunt Myrtie cooked green beans with onions, mushrooms and bacon ... her blackberry cobblers were awesome ... my Aunt Grace made wonderful potato salads, macaroni salads ... I watched Aunt Veda make her famous chicken stew with dumplings ... both grandmothers were excellent cooks ... one baked all her own breads, made all her own jams ... the others was more into baked desserts ... my Mom made basics, not well but she held her own! fried chicken! fried fish! grease seemed to play a big role in Mom's meals, even though she was striving for healthful!!

I longed to take classes and signed up for Cooking at every chance ... EVERY TIME, I was relegated to Sewing classes which I had no interest in! eventually, I decided it was up to me and just read many cookbooks and experimented! the first meal I ever created was horrible! it was fried hot dogs and potatoes with green beans! my parents loved it!

I spent YEARS perfecting my apple pie recipe ... now, I haven't made an apple pie in probably 40 years! what a waste of time!
 Irish Eyez
Joined: 12/30/2008
Msg: 13
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/21/2012 10:24:05 AM

May I have your recipe for your potato/leek soup? Thank you!
Joined: 9/19/2009
Msg: 14
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/21/2012 12:29:22 PM
My mom's never really been a good cook and my dad can barely make toast.
After my folks split up my mom would leave a ten spot on the table for dinner for my brother and I while she was working job #2. At first it was frozen pizza and instant box dinners.
Then I got the job at the grocery store and a deli lady showed me some basics (sauteing, cooking breakfast foods like omlettes, and basic baking skills).
After that I started buying my own food with my own money and adding utensils to mom's kitchen.
It was experiment after experiment, failures and more failures until about 16 when some stuff actually started tasting good.
Then in college I had a job at a gourmet catering place that taught me some even though I was just a line cook.
Even today, I hardly use recipes, I pretty much just cook and try to make it turn out well!

Next thing I want to make well is souffle. Tried and had an epic failure but I'll get it eventually.
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 15
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 1:40:46 AM
Not sure really. My mum was and still is a basic cook. We ate a lot of chicken and fish while I grew up. She made good casseroles and slow cooked stuff but nothing outstanding. She also jumped on the frozen food bandwagon as a hard working mother and got even less creative!! I suppose I learned by trial and error, and by wanting to try more adventurous flavours than I was used to. My Ex husband was a good cook and I picked up a lot from him too. These days, I am a competent cook and can come up with the odd original dish (or at least, a dish I haven't had before! Probably nothing new under the sun) and can recreate recipes, tweak etc. It helps to have an appreciative SO who enjoys meals made from scratch. I am not a fan of ready made food, unless I am totally pushed for time and ingredients. My parents enjoy my food and my mum often asks for recipes. I enjoy feeding people and maybe that has helped me develop too :D
Joined: 2/2/2011
Msg: 16
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 3:43:07 AM
I come from a large Italian family.
That being said I will tell you my favorite simple pasta dish.
Thick angel hair pasta boiled until cooked.
Get a frying pan heated on low temperature and get some extra virgin olive oil simmering in the pan.
Transfer the boiled and drained pasta to the frying pan. Remember to keep the heat low. Work the pasta around in the olive oil for a good 3-5 minutes. Remove the pasta and add fresh GROUND pepper and a little parmesan and you have yourself a delicious meal that is fastand simple.
Try it and let me know what you think!
Joined: 2/2/2011
Msg: 17
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 3:45:59 AM
*CRACKED pepper rather.
Joined: 11/29/2008
Msg: 18
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 12:09:23 PM
Mostly my grandmother, and my mom. When I was about 9 or so, they'd let me make a cake, from a recipe, not a box, or cookies while they closely supervised with the measuring. Grandma didn't believe in electric mixers, she thought all food should be mixed by hand.....both of mine, so she could keep hers clean.

I remember my mom showing me how to make hamburgers and frying them in a skillet, as well as fried potatoes, slicing them on a metal slicer. Mom rarely measured anything, but Grandma was more meticulous about that. So I learned both methods, lol.

Other than that, I don't remember specific lessons, just something I picked up over the years.
Joined: 9/26/2008
Msg: 19
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 2:21:06 PM
I learned from my mother,and then a lot of trial and error. For many years I had supper on the table when my parents got home from work so there was lots of time to perfect it.
Joined: 12/31/2009
Msg: 20
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 5:45:34 PM
I grew up cooking when I was at home, I remember being 6 and putting the chair against the stove and making eggs, Im a very good cook and like creating new recipes, I just inventing a new recipe, italian pork chops. I love art, so I treat cooking as an art, I cook with passion.
My mom taught me a lot, we passed it on from generation to generation.
Im on this Italian cooking kick now, trying to embrace my Italian roots in my family.
Joined: 12/31/2009
Msg: 21
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/22/2012 5:48:35 PM
I love Giada De Laurentiis
She is helping embrace my Italian roots thru cooking
Joined: 2/19/2011
Msg: 22
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/24/2012 10:07:41 AM
PBS- Earlyweekend mornings in front of the boobtube as an only child watching Julia child, Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet), Martin Yan, and Jacques Pepin.
Then there were mom's meat and potatoes meals with a dessert practically after every meal. I married soon after high school but mom had already passed so naturally with recipes in hand, I had used memory from all that I've seen and all that I've tasted to recreate.
Been over twenty years now. I've served exes and their family and now my kids and friends. I can say I can cook.
After working for an organic food company a few years ago, my ingredients have evolved.
Joined: 7/21/2012
Msg: 23
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How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/27/2012 12:44:26 PM
Both of my grandmothers taught me traditional cooking and baking very young. They taught me all about baking pies and cooking good wholesome (and butter rich) comfort food. They both believed that if you had the time to sit in the kitchen then you should be put to work. My stepfather taught me everything I know about BBQing low and slow.

If you want to get into it yourself just learn from a friend who loves to cook. If you don't have that just experiment in the kitchen with recipes that you like.
Joined: 9/19/2009
Msg: 24
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 7/31/2012 8:37:47 PM

what do yours do when they fail?

They don't seem to be "airy" enough. More like custard. I will take your tips and try them out when the weather cools a bit; too hot to run the oven!
Joined: 8/11/2012
Msg: 25
How did you learn to cook?
Posted: 8/27/2012 5:31:35 AM
I come from a family where the men were the cooks. My grandfather cooked for the army as one of the lead chefs and my dad has been in the kitchen for over 30 years. So I learned my skill from my father. One day I plan on opening my own Restaurant.
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