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Aug 20, 2012 08:15 AM

Who taught you to cook?

Are you self taught or do you have someone that showed you the ropes?

Both my parents cooked, nothing fancy but they knew how to throw together a family meal. So guess they got me interested in cooking and showed me the basics. Anything else is self taught and I usually keep trying a new recipe until I get it right.

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  1. I taught myself how to cook and lost 85 pounds in the process.

    Growing up, my mom always cooked (my dad too, occasionally--he was the breakfast and grilling guy!) but I never really learned for myself. She didn't really ever teach me--not out of neglect or ill intentions--I just don't think the thought really occurred to her, or maybe little me showed no interest. Regardless, I had thankfully been exposed to my parents cooking in at least some shape or form in my childhood, a phenomenon which is actually shockingly absent from some households.

    I learned to cook around age 21, a time coinciding with finally making the first steps towards ridding myself of the extra weight I had been carrying around since puberty. I was obese and living on fast food, candy, and processed snacks in college. I realized the importance of eating real food for optimal health, so that's what I did; I cut my carbohydrate intake drastically. This alone forced me to learn how to prepare meals without resorting to boxed meal kits, "spice blends," or the like.

    I slowly began with the basics--learning how to sauté, roast, steam, boil, and chop. I knew absolutely NOTHING about how to check meats for doneness, or optimal temperatures, or how to properly season meats and veggies. This knowledge came with time, and lots of experimentation usually resulting in dry, chalky pork loins and rubbery chicken breasts. My knowledge came from practice, thorough online reading, and YouTube videos, amusingly enough. I still consider YouTube an indispensable source of knowledge.

    Two years down the road, I'm alarmed at how much I've grown as a cook and shrunk as a person! I'm at a healthy weight, I eat well, and no longer fear those mysterious, nebulous, often demonized foodstuffs like coconut oil, butter, and fatty meats. :) I can roast, sauté, and chop with the best of 'em!

        1. My parents and my uncle taught me in our family restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: raytamsgv

            Pretty much the same here. Although my my was my biggest influence, with a nice helping hand from my grandmother.

          2. I watched and helped both parents cooking.

            Later, I read cookbooks. Still later i watched cooking shows and certainly picked up techniques from that. (You too can debone whole fowl!)

            Finally, I sometimes want to re-create dishes I have been served.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FrankJBN

              This is me to a Tee! Parents->cookbooks->tv & internet. Also the recreating of restaurant dishes. Wow.