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Ruhlman's Twenty?

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I received a copy of this book as a gift for Christmas. It looks very serious. I certainly need some instruction on techniques, because I am a horrible cook. But I am also lazy, and even if I were not slothful, I would not have a lot of time to devote to cooking. Is this the right cookbook for me, or is there another one that would suit me better? The most helpful cookbook I have found so far is a recent edition of The Joy of Cooking, but sometimes I think I could use more basic guidance on techniques, so that I don't burn so many things, or make them bland and soggy, or inedible for some other reason.

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  1. I find Ruhlman's Twenty invaluable for the motivated beginner and enthusiastic hobbyist. If you think this high quality book about well-explained basic cooking techniques is too serious then you've answered your own question. Explore simpler books.

    1. Americas test kitchen cookbook is a good starting point

      1. What constitutes "a lot of time" varies according to one's individual lifestyle, schedule, and interest level. Learning to cook well DOES entail extra work and only you can judge whether it will take more total time than whatever you're doing for meals you aren't preparing at home. For most people who haven't cooked before, the motivation is health, finances, or both. The impression I take from your post - not to mention your screen name - is that at this point, you are not ready for the commitment of thought and work that it takes to learn to cook well. You might think about starting by taking a cooking class, and/or watching cooking shows like those on PBS's Create TV.

        1. What about An everlasting meal by Tamar Adler ? I don't have it because I already cook that way. She appears to really highlight cooking from simple to more complex and "organic" in an intuitive way. Making stocks, roasting veg, lots of prep work for creative and spontaneous cooking. Seems like a nice way to learn rather than just following recipes.

          1. Maybe you should read the first chapter and see what you think. It's about learning 20 basic techniques that will improve your cooking and expand what you can do in the kitchen. Since its about concepts, you will get something out of it no matter what skills you have. If it's just being lazy....the book is pretty and there's always the food channel. Have fun!