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Old 01-13-2011, 06:46 PM
Location: right here
4,121 posts, read 4,611,206 times
Reputation: 4836


Having my dad say "you are cooking dinner on Thursday, got it?" That pretty much started the road to cooking for me....
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:33 PM
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,236 posts, read 13,562,641 times
Reputation: 25856
I learned from my first husband. He was a Texan, and he introduced me to grilled foods and Tex-Mex and other southern style cookery. Modest on spices. It was all new to me. I was raised on a lot of Portuguese dishes, which were spicier than his cooking.

Meeting my second husband prompted me to learn other foods. But he, too, is a great cook and took over the cooking a long time ago. He's much more into spices, and I would almost call him a grill-master.

I was lucky to have good cooks for husbands!
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:39 AM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,542 posts, read 20,110,113 times
Reputation: 22565
A combination of factors propelled me into cooking: adventure, risk-taking, sheer laziness, being disappointed one too many times at a restaurant, being a tightwad and an intensity over the passing of time.

Clock the time spent getting dressed, driving, wait to be seated, wait for the food, wait for the tab at a restaurant, and the time spent getting home and you could have a great meal fixed in less the time. And you don't have to tip the waiter, just give yourself a generous tip! Double the recipe, freeze it, and lots of yummy leftovers for days!

Living in Las Vegas, I occasionally shock myself speechless at looking at the prices of the menus of some of these high-class restaurants here and out comes my calculator, what I could fix in my kitchen for the price of one meal. Why pay $40 for an a la carte steak, when I can buy 4-5 for that price!

My mother & father were never much for cooking, so I certainly didn't learn it from them. Lots of curiosity which I'm never short of!

Last edited by tijlover; 01-14-2011 at 01:40 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 01-15-2011, 06:43 PM
1,811 posts, read 4,603,270 times
Reputation: 1529
Opened a cookbook when I got married and read it! It worked.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:54 PM
Location: The Jar
20,071 posts, read 13,803,816 times
Reputation: 36713
Thumbs up Food, Glorious Food!

Self taught- for the most part.

Bottomless pit appetite made/makes it necessary.

I have a Blood Hound nose and tongue.

I can get a whiff of a dish, then go home and create it.
It will usually be spot on.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:10 PM
Location: Great Plains
25,584 posts, read 30,618,479 times
Reputation: 22713
I got married...

She was a worse cook than me. By trial and error and reading cookbooks. Studying the old school chefs. Not the rachael rays sandra lees or paula deans. None of that ilk. But classically trained chefs.
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:21 AM
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 35,094,896 times
Reputation: 42377
Growing up, I helped make dinner at my grandma's house. One of the first things I learned to make by myself was skillet-browned pork chops layered in a dish with sliced potatoes and onion, smothered in cream of mushroom soup. (Yes, my family IS from the Midwest. ) I made spaghetti and cookies and things like that.

When I was in high school, my mom worked in the afternoons so I would help with dinner. I started having ideas and trying recipes. In college, I still lived at home, so I continued to cook and shopped for groceries. My mom had a big cookbook collection, and I would browse through them for things to make. I became more daring and tried things like paella and pork chops stuffed with gorgonzola and fresh bread crumbs.

After I got married, it was just more reading and practice. Like SD4020 said, it was trial and error and reading cookbooks. Learning how to time a meal so everything is done at the same time. Knowing how to adapt a recipe to feed more people or have different ingredients. We were also on a much tighter budget, so I learned how to cook more economically. No more paella for a while!

I love cooking. One of my favorite compliments is when people tell me I am a good cook.
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Old 01-18-2011, 05:29 PM
Location: Oakland, CA
26,926 posts, read 28,291,242 times
Reputation: 26123
I learned 30% from Mom, 70% from experimening/eating out/cooking shows/reading recipes

I cannot follow a recipe at all. I do not like to bother with all of the measurements and I like to experiment. I can't bake, or more accurately, I have limited baking experience.

I have decent taste buds/palate, so I can pick up flavors pretty well and identify ingredients. This helps me to recreate dishes I have tasted elsewhere.

I also like to read cook books and recipes for ideas of new combos. I figure if a combo is in enough recipes, I can safely experiment with that idea!

My parents are southern, but I grew up in California. They also like curry. So I am a picky/not picky eater. All spices are fair game, but there are plenty of meats and ingredients I don't like. (typically items with a chewy texture cross me out. Oh and creamy. Creamy outside of dessert.)

All in all, I am a pretty good cook. Some members of my family claim I am too "fancy" mostly because I am happy to use a random ingredient that we did not grow up eating. These days, I'd just say I have california inspired-american food.

I think there are 2 ways to become a good cook
1. practice
2. experiment
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:35 PM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,829 posts, read 42,971,317 times
Reputation: 57635
When I was 12 my mother died. I felt as if it was up to me, as the oldest daughter to cook. My Grandmother moved in with us, and she was a good cook. It was partly learning from her, but also my enjoyment of the creative part of cooking which prompted me to learn to cook.
I think there are some people who do not care about cooking, but those who do, do so for the creative outlet. After all, if you can read a cookbook, you can cook, but that won't help if you just don't care about it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:28 AM
10,996 posts, read 11,164,360 times
Reputation: 8355
I notice when people say that they like to experiment with the measurements and that's exactly the opposite of me. I like to follow a recipe exactly and am pretty much lost without measurements. Yet for some reason, the food just doesn't look the same as when they do it.
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