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May 4, 2009 09:40 PM

When was the first time you cooked using a recipe?

Mine probably was when I took a job as a baker at a local restaurant/deli in high school. First day in, I was handed a neat little stack of laminated index cards for things like muffins, cookies, tarts, etc.

Before that, I had simply cooked by watching others (mostly my parents), or just by trial and error.

Up until then, the thought of using a recipe to cook something was completely foreign to me.

Even to this day, I find recipes to be more of an impediment than a resource, much less a necessity.

You? When did you first use a recipe to cook something? And do you find recipes all that necessary in your cooking?

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  1. I had the Betty Crocker Cookbook for Kids. I remember making egg nog from that book. My Dad and I would make it at night for a snack. Great memories!

    The first ambitious thing I made was a banana cream pie which I think came from the Betty Crocker cookbook.

    My mother did cook a lot and I learned from her. But I think I loved reading cook books and that's where I really learned.

    1 Reply
    1. re: karykat

      I had something called "Patty Pans". I made baked potatoes. I think I was 7 years old.

    2. I remember making "space stix" from a kids' recipe when I was in the first or second grade. Chocolate chip cookies too, from Mom's recipe card, was a regular as a kid. For baking and for cooking professionally (consisitency) I think they're necessary, for cooking at home, I almost never use them. That said, I love cookbooks and reading recipes is always a source of inspiration.

      1. I remember reading my mom's old Amy Vanderbilt cookbook and teaching myself to make scrambled eggs from it when I was about 10. My mom wasn't a great cook, or interested in cooking, so I didn't learn from anyone other than cookbooks.

        This has been to my detriment, I think, because I rely too heavily on recipes now rather than my own cooking intuition.

        1. I was about 6 or 7 and I made peanut butter cookies from a kids baking book. I wrote down a shopping list and picked out the ingredients in the supermarket.

          My mom stood over my shoulder and made sure to intervene when the book said "parental supervision required"

          1. While I cannot remember the first time I cooked using a recipe because I loved to cook and started at an early age,, I do recall a memorable time. I was about 11 - 12 - 13, somewhere around there, and the recipe was for Parker House rolls in the then must have teenage fashion magazine Seventeen. I read through the recipe, thought they'd be easy, and since my mother was having a dinner party that very night I thought the rolls would be a nice addition. Mother was less than pleased, shall we say, since I took up the whole downstairs kitchen all afternoon. We had two kitchens so she had to use the upstairs one but the dinner was going to be served in our downstairs "summer" dining room. Nevertheless, the rolls were perfect for a first time use of yeast and her guests, who included the president of the Borden Company and his wife, couldn't believe I had made them. I'm still bursting with pride.

            4 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Thanks Sam. It was quite a coup, I tell you, since Mother and I were always at odds with each other.....

              2. re: Gio

                I am guessing that even though your mom was annoyed, she too was bursting with pride.

                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  Thanks Sal. She probably was.... at least I hope.