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How Old Were You When You Began to Cook? What Was Your Starter Dish?

I was probably 12 when I concocted a spaghetti sauce recipe and began preparing spaghetti with meatballs and sausage for my family. This would have been '79 or '80.

PS--By cooking I exclude preparing processed, prepackaged foods (Kraft Mac, Campbell's Soup, canned biscuits, etc.)

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  1. When I was around 8 I would sometimes get up early on Saturday mornings (think 6-7) and make pancakes for everyone and watch Looney Tunes (which were shown on Cartoon Network in the early 2000s/late 90s). I'm guessing pancakes will be a common theme since they're so easy.

    1. Pre teens breakfast, egg, oatmeal etc. Later on, pasta, burgers, hot dogs.

      1. 1st things I remember cooking on my own were baking things like cakes and pies. I wasn't very good, but I began reading cookbooks a lot when I was about 10. I still don't bake much, but my cooking has vastly improved.

        **note** I had to help w/dinner when I got home usually. That was not fun. By the time I was 14, I was the prep cook all the time i.e. peeling potatoes, making salads, etc. Boy, did I ruin liver & onions.!!!!!!

        1. I think lamb is going to be correct. I made a version of pancakes from a brand name cookbook. It was called pigs in a poke. Where you fried sausage links in a cast iron pan then arranged them in a wagonwheel fashion, covered them in pancake batter and baked in the oven. I tried to served them with basted eggs. As i was taking the eggs to the table my brother ran in front of me and I stopped short but the eggs didn't. Ten eggs all over seventies shag carpet. Not cool. I got the cookbook for my tenth Christmas. I still have it today. And i still make the pigs in a poke and love them. Serve them cut in wedges with butter, syrup and berries. Yum yum

          1. I didn't start cooking until I was 24, and I remember the first meal fondly. It was Christmas Eve, and I was in a cabin in Colorado with a lovely young lady. We knew our food options would be limited on Christmas Eve, and she had wanted me to make a meal for her, so I stopped at the market the day before to pick up rations, wine and liquor.

            I ended up making grilled swordfish with a tomato, onion, garlic, raisin and caper sauce. We had calamari salad on the side. To start I put together shrimp cocktail and cocktail sauce. Dessert was panna cotta.

            The cooking was a mild disaster; I was simultaneously texting with my father, so he could tell me how to grill the swordfish, as well as my mother, so she could tell me how to prep the calamari, reduce the sauce and make the dessert. Of course, I was trying to text as surreptitiously as possible so as to most impress my companion.

            The liquor was mainly there in case the food was atrocious and we needed to get wasted, fast. Luckily, the meal was fantastic, and the liquor was not deployed until I served dessert.