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Old 01-16-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
30,221 posts, read 41,318,670 times
Reputation: 68854

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A spin off from another thread, which was funny and this is serious.

Some people not only can't cook, but they don't have the first clue. They don't know what raw food is, or what it turns into, or what to do with it. While I can't even comprehend not knowing how to boil water, I do think that those people should be helped if they are attempting to remedy their ignorance.

It must be intimidating, all the knowledge that is required that is all strange to them. I don't think that ridiculing them or criticizing helps them, and it might discourage them to the point that they give up.

Pay attention tonight as you cook and notice how much knowledge you are using. Cooking is not a simple skill. What type of onion? How did you choose that one from the store? How do you peel it? What knife do you use? Cutting board? How do you clean the cutting board? How do you cook the onion? When do you add it to the recipe? How do you hold the knife? How big to cut the pieces? What do you do about your tearing eyes? How do you sharpen the knife, or clean it? Are you supposed to season the onion? Season it with what?

Plus more and you haven't even opened the can of tomato sauce yet.

You guys here all cook, but you use a lot of knowledge to do that cooking and you have probably accumulated that knowledge over years of experience and experimentation. So, have a little mercy.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
27,605 posts, read 30,419,454 times
Reputation: 67689
I always think about stuff like that when people bring up "food deserts" or how it's not really cheaper to eat junk. Say a hypothetical single mom is working long hours and goes through the KFC drive through to feed her kids dinner. People will say "oh, for that same $15 she could have bought a whole chicken and potatoes and veggies and cooked a healthy meal herself" Okay, sure, but she'd also have to have all the tools and equipment to cook that chicken. She'd have to know what to do to prepare the chicken. She'd have to know how to cook and mash the potatoes, etc. How to time the preparation so that everything is cooked at roughly the same time. All that takes expertise and it takes time. You can walk in and out of KFC and have dinner in 10 minutes.

Last edited by fleetiebelle; 01-16-2014 at 01:10 PM..
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:49 PM
 
537 posts, read 1,155,747 times
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I'm teaching my boyfriend how to cook, and he is extremely intimidated by it. I finally learned in 2011 after years of microwaving and eating at restaurants all the time. It took a long time (at least six months) to have a general understanding of food and how to cook. I was lucky enough to live with my parents, and they had all the utensils I needed. I was also very interested in learning how to cook.

I was teaching my boyfriend how to make chili and after a while, he was a little overwhelmed with all of the ingredients I was putting in. He didn't even know certain spices existed. And at first, I giggled but then I realized that I was in the position in the past as well. Being able to cook is a great skill to have, and he definitely looks up to me (and enjoys all the food I make him).

I'm really horrible at playing video games, but I really enjoy playing them with my boyfriend. I get confused all the time. I don't understand how certain controls work, and I'll constantly die within a game. He said at one point, "You know how you get confused all the time with playing games? That's how I feel with cooking." And then it kind of clicked. Now, I am very patient and understand, just as he is when we're playing. Such a weird comparison, but it makes sense.
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:56 PM
 
Location: On the corner of Grey Street
6,127 posts, read 9,624,772 times
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Maybe...but I don't see how difficult it is to make basic things like spaghetti. A lot of cooking is just following directions. If you can read, you can at least make simple recipes. I've learned a lot by starting with the basics and working my way up. And from trial and error.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 8,585,116 times
Reputation: 13779
Quote:
Originally Posted by strawberrykiki View Post
Maybe...but I don't see how difficult it is to make basic things like spaghetti. A lot of cooking is just following directions. If you can read, you can at least make simple recipes. I've learned a lot by starting with the basics and working my way up. And from trial and error.
QFT. I pretty much learned to cook from following recipes because I was pretty much a tomboy as a kid so I was out helping my dad around the farm rather than helping my mom in the kitchen. A good cookbook -- my first one was Betty Crocker -- will explain the meanings of terms somewhere.

Now, most things come with directions right on the container, and when something doesn't (like meat), there's always the Internet and Google if you don't want to invest in a cookbook or ten (I've become an inveterate collector).
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:30 PM
Status: "Tired" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
5,210 posts, read 10,906,969 times
Reputation: 8530
I am so thankful that my mom taught me to cook at an early age. When we were kids, the one who cooked didn't have to do dishes, so I learned how to cook everything! At Christmas, my DIL was going to throw away the ham bone, and I said "oh no, that would be great for a pot of beans!" and she said "I don't know how to cook beans". At first I was shocked and then realized not everyone was taught basic cooking skills, and there are so many alternatives today from takeout to frozen meals that you don't have to learn to cook if you don't want to. I suppose it boils down to that. She doesn't really have an interest like I do. I think she'd like to be a better cook, but it takes a lot of time and effort to learn and she'd rather spend her time doing other things. To each his own. We didn't have that option growing up. It was cook or eat sandwiches!
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Yellow cottage, green doors.
16,615 posts, read 15,007,257 times
Reputation: 73984
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
QFT. I pretty much learned to cook from following recipes because I was pretty much a tomboy as a kid so I was out helping my dad around the farm rather than helping my mom in the kitchen. A good cookbook -- my first one was Betty Crocker -- will explain the meanings of terms somewhere.

Now, most things come with directions right on the container, and when something doesn't (like meat), there's always the Internet and Google if you don't want to invest in a cookbook or ten (I've become an inveterate collector).
I can't read this post. What the, is, "QFT"?
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: NJ
1,252 posts, read 3,355,826 times
Reputation: 1023
One winter back in the eighties, I roomed with a friend while I was in between apartments. She loved watching football, while I'm indifferent to it. One Sunday she asked if I could boil the chicken that was in the fridge because it was going to go bad, while she watched the game. Simple enough? Not for me. Boiling chicken was a new concept for me. I kept going to the living room asking stupid questions. Do I boil the water first or do I bring it to a boil with the chicken? Should I take the chicken out of the plastic? After that last question, she went into the kitchen herself.

I do not like to cook and would prefer to do laundry or cleaning, over cooking any day. My hubby does not mind cooking and is able to "whip something up" with a few ingredients. I, on the other hand, need a recipe to follow every time I make the same dish. I do not remember all the ingredients that are needed, or the amount of each ingredient. It's as if every time is the first time. Do I use medium heat, or medium-high? Do I have to cover it? So much time spent on preparation, and then it's all over in 12 minutes of chewing.

I also follow recipes to the letter because I don't have any creativity in the room known as the kitchen. If there's an ingredient I've never heard of, or a task I'm not willing to perform, such as "zesting a lemon," I don't try the recipe. If the recipe states to cook "until done," and it is not spelled out in minutes, I do not try it. You don't want to know how long it took me to find a recipe for soft-boiled eggs. I found several ways of doing it, and I had to examine them all before finding "the one." It's easy enough for me to do without even looking at the recipe.

I'm really horrible at playing video games, too.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:43 PM
 
13,395 posts, read 12,058,974 times
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I don't see how people are intimidated by...food. The basics really aren't that difficult to handle. I think people make it more of a big deal than it really is.

Think of it this way. Early mankind who chased down the animals themselves and started fires from twigs figured out how to cook. I think people today can figure out: take raw chicken out of package, rinse, apply spices, place in pan, cover, and place in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until done. It's done when juices run clear.

I watched my mother in the kitchen and I learned to be very comfortable around the entire kitchen scene. Using the stove is not rocket science. Anyone can do it.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: sumter
12,352 posts, read 8,241,774 times
Reputation: 9454
master the simple things first like hamburger helpers, spaghetti , rice and broccoli . I didn't jump all over the place when I first started cooking, I just got really good at all the simple dishes and meals . I got comfortable with the process of cooking and all the basic things that goes along with it. This helped me out a lot when I went on to bigger and better things. it also helps to plan ahead on what you want to try ,so that you can have all the ingredients and spices on hand. Take notes, I ask a variety of people who know how to cook advice on things, like family members, friends and coworkers. I have taken bits of info from different people and the internet and made some really good dishes. Also I remember how my mom use to make things and she was a super good cook. You will also learn from trial and error so don't be afraid to burn or mess it up a few times before you get it right. happy cooking
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