Where do you learn about food and cooking?

  1. So, I'm just starting to get into cooking a little more- I know next to nothing, so I'm starting slow and simple :smile: Where does everyone pick up cooking tips and such? I use better.tv for food shopping tips and how-to instructions, which is helpful. I also love watching the food network, but I don't have a tv in my kitchen, so I can't really follow it while I cook.

    So how does everyone know how to cook- did you learn from someone, take classes, read books, etc? Any tips for a beginner would be appreciated!
  2. I learned all the basics from my mom. Other than that, I occasionally watch cooking shows, get recipes from magazines, or find recipes on the Internet. As long as you can follow directions, cooking's really not that hard. As far as no TV in the kitchen, I remember back in my pre-computer days trying to frantically write everything down quickly as it was made on a cooking show. Now I just go to the website and print out the recipe later so that I can actually watch the show instead of worrying about writing.
  3. I was raised by my father who didn't cook anything more than a sandwich...lol We went out to restaurants EVERY night of my childhood (including Thanksgiving and Christmas) so I was clueless when I was on my own. As a teenager living alone I couldn't afford to eat out everynight and as much as I adore mac and cheese I couldn't eat it everynight.

    I found myself hanging the kitchen with my friend's moms that I liked their cooking. I watched and asked questions. Most of these women were true cooks who never used recipes. I would ask "How long do you cook that?" and they'd reply "Until it's done." I used to watch public television cooking shows like Julia Child long before the days of Food Network. I would also check out cookbooks at the library (I couldn't afford to actually buy them) and hand copy recipes that interested me. I relied on Julia Child's The Way to Cook to teach me the basics like how to carve a Thanksgiving turkey, boil an egg, or bake a potato.

    There's a wealth of cooking knowledge on Food TV, the internet, and in magazines now a days. I do suggest purchasing Julia Child's The Way to Cook. It's a great resource for just about any question you may have. I prefer it to The Joy of Cooking which I consider overrated.

    All you can do is keep trying. Make adjustments to recipes you can omit some things or add others if you want/need to. There's no cooking police out to fine you if you change a recipe. I'm sure you'll have some awful dishes (I still do) but if you keep playing with it you'll have some great recipes that you love.

    And remember try to use fresh ingrediants whenever possible for the best results. Happy cooking. I look forward to hearing some of your successes soon!!!
  4. I call my mom when I have questions.
    Other than that it's trial and error!
  5. My Dad and Mom taught me all the basics; the fancy stuff I learned on my own. I collect cookbooks and spend too much time on food blogs/food sites! I taught myself how to make mozzarella and ricotta last night, and both turned out perfectly!
  6. The Food Network inspired me the most. I've been cooking/baking using Giada De Laurentis, Paula Deen, & Ina Garten recipes. Before this, my cooking is limited to baking & frying. Once I got used to the recipes, I just eyeball measurements & sometimes I incorporate other ingredients. My DH is very surprised that I can make a great dinner from scratch. Love the food network.
  7. My husband laughs that when we got married I could ruin water...except I could make spagehetti.

    Then we had dinner at my aunts one night, and she showed my how to make pasta alfredo, I couldn't believe how simple it was; 1 pound of pasta, 1 stick of butter, 1 pint of heavy cream and 1 cup of parmesan...I was :wtf:, really that's all there is to it.

    I started watching the PBS shows, and reading cook books. I realized, like Tammy said, if you can follow directions you can cook.

    Now I love the food network and love geting ideas and experimenting.
  8. I learned some from my mom, some from tv and cookbooks and a LOT from eating and experimenting...
  9. I also learned some of my basic dishes from my dear mom! After that, I look into cook books and some online cooking sites. Good luck to you!
  10. I learned from watching my mother cook as a young child..she mostly was infamous for her pastries (which are my weaknesses)..and lately through my SO..who loves to cook! He's a great instructor. :smile:
  11. I learned from my mother and grandmothers when I was little so I could help them, I could cook a family dinner at nine. When I became engaged to my husband I had to learn how to cook Italian from books and his relatives. Foodnetwork is a great place to pick up some skills and I love Lidia Bastianich who is on American TV.
  12. I learned from my mom in the kitchen, and dad outside for barbeque techniques. I ask questions at restaurants if I like a particular dish. People are enthusiastic to share how to make it.

    We cook with friends and talk about food a lot! We share recipes and some friends have taken cooking classes and enjoy those. I do best with cookbooks WITH pictures! Show me what it's going to look like, don't just tell me how to do it.

    Have fun, most importantly!
  13. my gran taught me how to bake when i was very young, i can remember making scones with her when i was a bout 4.
    other things i got from tv and cookerry magazines. when i find a recipe i like i right it in a notebook so that they are all in one place.
    delia smith has cult following in the UK, you can get her books on Amazon and they start with the most basic of things like boiling an egg and progress to making stock and things. nigella lawson is also good.
    i have an ancient bero book which is full of pastry recipes and things like that.
    its really just trial and error.
  14. When I was growing up, my mother did not cook at all! My father cooked occasionally (really well), but only for dinner parties and because he doesn't cook by recipe, it made it hard to ever ask questions. When I moved out and went away to university, I was far from home and tired of eating cereal and sandwiches. At the time, I was dating a man whose mother was Portuguese and an amazing cook. We got along very well and I spent time with her in the kitchen and became very inspired. She was a loving woman and that came through in how she cooked. So, I went to a used bookstore, purchased a cook book that outlined the basics (see cooking with Pomiane - great read and very instructional), and then just played around. That was a very long time ago. Since then, I've taken a few cooking classes here and there, and come to love epicurious.com I also really enjoy food memoirs (see any writing by Ruth Riehle "Comfort me with Apples" "Garlic and Sapphires" "Tender at the Bone" are written in a memoir style, but have peppering of recipes, tips and the like and are just really wonderful reading). But my best advise is to have fun in the kitchen, don't be afraid to experiment and make mistakes, and share the time with your friends. It makes it so much fun!
  15. I used to watch my mom make cakes and pastries, so I have been into baking since I was a kid. My favorite baking book is "Classic Home Desserts" by Richard Sax. I really got into cooking in school when I would invite friends over to try my stuff. There's nothing better than sharing food with friends! I started off with a few basic cookbooks and now have hundreds of cookbooks (an addiction--in addition to my handbag obsession). I like reading food/culinary arts magazines. The recipes in Cooking Light and Vegetarian Times are quick and easy. For a beginner, it may be good to start with food magazines because they often have photos which cooks may find helpful.