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Old 01-19-2008, 03:00 PM
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 27,459,376 times
Reputation: 7078


Originally Posted by cynwldkat View Post
Trial and error!!
Ha! Me too!

I grew up in a house with someone who was a terrible cook, and always on the latest fad diet. Then I spent many years on the road, living in hotels and ordering room service.

When I got married my husband expected me to cook. His mother is a chef. We ate a lot of Hamburger Helper back then.

I have only recently begun to learn how to make consistently edible meals that do not involve a box or the microwave.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:07 PM
955 posts, read 1,917,531 times
Reputation: 393
Here's my story. My mom is a, well, she just wan't the best cook. Growing up, fresh seafood at home was Mrs. Pauls fish sticks (no offense to the product, but it's not fresh seafood). Macaroni and cheese came from a green box.

Then I went to school and rented a house with four other guys. We each had to choose a job. Cooking seeming less offensive than cleaning the bathroom, so I lied and said that I knew how to cook. That evening I went to Sears and bought the red checkered cookbook - you know the one!

I found that I loved cooking. On a meager budget, I started doing some pretty good stuff. When we went home at the end of the semester, the guys mom's would say "Boy, you must be dying for some home cooked food". The moms got mad when the response was "Oh, not at all. We had Veal Parmasagina last night with fresh garlic bread".

I love to cook to this day. I have more gadgets and better knives, but the passion is still there.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:54 PM
Location: Piedmont NC
4,597 posts, read 10,227,249 times
Reputation: 9131
I hail from a long line of good cooks. My maternal grandmother was just a good Southern cook -- collards and cornbread, pot roasts, pound cakes -- and she also cooked game that my dad brought home from his Saturdays hunting. I still miss her venison hash, roe with eggs, and the best banana tarts -- never have gotten those anywhere. I think she 'invented' them.

Both of my dad's parents were gourmet cooks, and I learned to appreciate what magic they worked in a kitchen as I got older. As a child, I hated meals in the dining room with them -- too formal, meals too mature for a child's palate. Today, however, I love the cookbooks I got out of the house, some of my grandmother's kitchen and table linens, and tools and utensils.

I was just lucky I liked cooking as my own mother was physically handicapped, and I think I started cooking for our family from the time I could see over the top of the counter, and reach the burners on the stove. I learned to bake pies and cakes for desserts on Sundays, and cookies at holiday time.

Reading a cookbook is actually entertaining and inspiring, and I still cherish the recipes I have written-out on odd scraps of paper -- in one of my grandparents' handwriting. Just recently, one of my sisters and I were arguing over one of the recipes for a pound cake, and I was able to show the copy she had written for me.

My young daughter likes to cook, and it makes me feel wonderful when she'll ask for one of her favorites -- especially if she still calls it by her child's name for it. Quiche is still 'cheese thing' and I guess it will be when she brings her children over for a meal.

Not yet, though.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:29 PM
Location: Weehawken, NJ
2,179 posts, read 5,979,617 times
Reputation: 1150
Italian household originally from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn where everything revolves around food.

You just ate? Well eat some more!
He died? Well let's eat to remember the departed!
You're getting married? Let's eat to that!
You failed a class? Here, eat this, it will make you feel better!

You get the picture...

My mother was in the kitchen constantly and then she passed away so my father took over the duties of cooking.

I have recipes that date back from when my grandparents were in the Old Country, but most of what I learned, I keep stored in my head as there were no recipes for baked cavatell or gnocchi with saltimbocca.
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Old 01-19-2008, 05:41 PM
Location: Where we enjoy all four seasons
20,799 posts, read 8,531,328 times
Reputation: 15883
My MIL was a really good cook....she passed away two years ago and I have all her cookbooks and recipe boxes.....Somedays when the family is missing her we will do a "Gig" (her name) feast. It is fun and is a good way to remember some things. Comforting.
I love having recipes in their handwriting.
If I give a recipe to anyone, I make sure I date it. I have recipe cards that my kids would actually "grade" with their stars and comments on them.
It is so nice to have after all these years.
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Old 01-19-2008, 06:29 PM
2,141 posts, read 7,036,503 times
Reputation: 1245
Spending weekends at my grandma's house when I was a kid and then doing lots of cooking as an adult
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:32 PM
Location: Silver Springs, FL
23,440 posts, read 30,612,660 times
Reputation: 15560
my mom was a formula cook, as long as she had a recipe, she was ok. dad was a killer griller, would even grill in a blizzard! I grew up in a very german village in Mo, with a lot of food traditions, and used to watch my friends moms cook. one of them was italian, learned to make gravy, pasta, and raviolis from here. worked in restaurants in college, annoyed the chefs with a gazillion questions, they taught me a great deal. I experiment, read and play a lot.... cooking is one of my great joys, love to master other countries cuisines, am currently working on India.
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Old 01-20-2008, 11:54 AM
3,704 posts, read 4,142,568 times
Reputation: 2231
My mom and trial and error.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:18 PM
Location: Fruita, CO
849 posts, read 1,707,826 times
Reputation: 1272
My mom and grandma are both really good cooks. They can make anything from scratch. I pretty much learned from watching them and helping them cook. My grandma made mostly traditional Japanese foods, my mom that plus more contemporary dishes. She is more creative and loved to try out things. I was making flan when I was 7 or 8, it was my favorite dessert. My mom is the oldest of eight kids and I had lots of younger cousins who were always at our house and I was making fried rice, spaghetti and baked macaroni with white sauce when I was in middle school. Those were my cousins favorite foods. I still love to cook and bake. I like cooking more than eating...
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:15 PM
Location: Arkansas
1,229 posts, read 2,767,456 times
Reputation: 1550
I can honestly say when I was younger I had zero inclination to want to cook. I hated it and everything about it, so I never tried. Well when I got married I had to learn and I had to learn quick. I know this will sound silly but I started watching Food Network and that is were I picked up a bunch of stuff. For some reason I seem to be good at cooking. I still don't enjoy the stuff that goes along with it, but who does.
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