Learning to cook for the first time

@eych24 (56)
Philippines
February 7, 2009 2:13am CST
I love to eat, but I don't know how to cook. I wish I did though, so I could make my favorite food and share it with others. I guess I'm scared of trying because growing up, I was always told about kitchen accidents and now I try to avoid them as much as I can. If I could cook, my boyfriend would be so happy and my family would be so proud. Haha! I'm nineteen by the way, and obviously a beginner in the kitchen. What are the easiest meals to cook? When did you start cooking? What did you first learn to cook? And how do you deal with negative feedback on your cooking?
1 person likes this
10 responses
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
7 Feb 09
I first started cooking as a young boy. The only rule my mother had was whatever you cooked, you ate it even if it tasted bad. This was to teach us that it's best to take your time, and read all the instructions carefully There simple things you can start off with, like spaghetti, just cook the noodles until they are tender, add the sauce and you are done For other ideas, try this website *not a referral link* http://grownupgeek.com/cooking-for-beginners Don't be afraid of your kitchen!
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
I take it you like to cook. Kudos to you for being a male cook! Haha! I know very few guys who aren't too lazy to cook. Your mom's rule scares me, but thanks for that tip! I'm checking out the website now. Thanks again!
@fwidman (11515)
• United States
7 Feb 09
Actually, I hardly ever cook, being a typical male in that regards I enjoyed cooking more as a kid I think, but it did come in handy when I was a bachelor, knowing I wouldn't starve. The rule was not that bad, I did eat some things I burned and that just taught me to pay more attention to what I was doing. Good luck with your cooking, I'm sure you'll be fine
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Haha! Thanks. That's what I'm afraid of - living alone and not knowing how to cook. I really hope I learn soon.
@phoenix25 (1543)
• United States
7 Feb 09
I was the same way when I was 19. I had just gotten married and my mom never taught me how to cook. She wasn't much of a cook, so there was really nothing to learn. She just never did it. When me and my husband first moved in together, I would usually cook things like hamburger helper and tuna casserole, but in the last 8 years I have slowly learned how to cook more difficult things. I basically just taught myself to cook. I used to use a lot of recipes, but I have slowly gotten to the point where I usually don't need them. I like to cook from scratch, but when I first started cooking I thought it was too difficult to cook from scratch. I couldn't have been more wrong. Cooking from fresh ingredients is easy and more nutritious than cooking things from a box or mix. I used boxed things and mixes occasionally, but not usually as the main course. I would first recommend getting a good cookbook. Better Homes and Gardens makes a great, easy to understand cookbook that's great for beginners. That was the first cookbook I ever owned and it helped me so much. You just have to follow the directions and don't be afraid to substitute ingredients. It's good to be a little creative in the kitchen. Also, if you're afraid of accidents, just be careful. Be aware of what you're doing. Make sure you turn the oven and burners off when you're finished cooking. Also, be careful when you're using hot oil to fry or sautee food. You'll get burns sometimes, but that happens to the best of us.
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Burns are exactly what I'm afraid of. Haha! I also want to try cooking from scratch but maybe I'll start with the instant or boxed varieties first. I hope I get the hang of cooking soon. I'd really like to learn. Can I buy this cookbook online? Thanks for replying! It's nice to hear that I'm not alone. The difference is that my mom is a great cook and she's been wanting me to learn to cook for the longest time! :)
@phoenix25 (1543)
• United States
7 Feb 09
Here is a link to one that you can buy on amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Better-Homes-Gardens-Cookbooks/dp/0696234491/ref=pd_bbs_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234002012&sr=8-2 I would suggest getting one that is a "plastic comb" book, which means that it's a notebook style cookbook. That is the link to that type of the better homes and gardens cookbook. I have a paperback one that I bought years ago and it has literally fallen apart. I just have to flip through sections of it and stack it back together when I'm done. Anyway, this is a great book that will help teach you the basics. It shows you how to do new techniques that you might not be familiar with. It offers variations of recipes that you can try. It also has basics like cuts of meat, what they're good for, and how they're best prepared as well as how to cook and store fresh vegetables and fruits. It also has things like conversion tables, which always come in handy when you're trying to double our halve a recipe. I learned a lot from mine and would recommend checking it out. It's one that you will use for years. Also, don't worry about the burns. Buy yourself some vitamin E cream. I bought some cheap from the dollar store. Keep it in the kitchen and if you burn yourself, immediately hold the burn under cold running water from the kitchen sink. Let the water run over it for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then, immediately put some vitamin E cream on it. I did this the other day when some hot grease splashed on my wrist. The next day, I didn't even notice the burn. You can use butter in a pinch. All in all, cooking is a journey. You will make mistakes, but you learn from them and do better the next time. I forgot to answer the question in your post about what you do with criticism. Luckily, my husband is so sweet that he never criticized my food...even when I made tuna casserole. He doesn't like tuna lol. He knew that I tried and did my best. Every once in a while, he will recommend that I use a different ingredient or suggest something else to add to a recipe, but he doesn't criticize. Most people will not be critical of a person's cooking. If a husband sees his young wife trying so hard to cook a good meal and the look on her face as he takes a bite and she asks, "How is it," He will probably say, "It's good," even if it's terrible...just to not hurt your feelings. If someone does criticize, try not to let it discourage you. Just think about how you could make it better next time.
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Wow! Thanks a lot for all the tips. I'll keep them in mind. And I'll definitely try to find a copy of that cookbook, or something similar at least. Thanks again! :)
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
7 Feb 09
if u don't get in there & try you'll never learn & if you mess up of well, try again. get u a good basic cookbook nothing fancy till u have cooked awhile. talk to friends & family & get recipes from them that u have liked. just do basic things till u learn abit. casseroles would be a good thing to start with, then u could just add a salad & bread & have your meal. i love to cook & have been cooking about all my life. don't worry about negative feedback. they would be tacky to do that knowing that u are learning. if u ever have any questions holler at me. i'm not usually far from mylot. good luck!!!!
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Thanks for the pep talk. You seem very helpful. I probably will contact you in case I have any questions.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36488)
• United States
8 Feb 09
that will be fine. good luck w/your cooking.
• India
7 Feb 09
well i started to cooking in 1999 when i came for job to other place out side from my home town , eating hotel food was not that good as well as expensive so from that time i starte cooking. now well i am ok with what i prepare
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Did you learn to cook just by experimenting? That's amazing. Good job!
@regal_aeros (2606)
• Singapore
7 Feb 09
i love to eat too. and i used to not know how to cook. But learn buddy. i hang around my mum when she was cooking and helped her out with the simpler tasks. Slowly by slowly i learn. i now can whip up a simply meal, not those fantastic cuisines but edible stuff for the family. The easiest meals are.. in my point of view. Fried Rice. Cut up your chicken, nuggets, hotdogs, fry them. (Whatever else you want to add in) When they are cooked throw in your cooked rice. (apparently overnight rice is the best - according to my mother). Anyway, stir your rice and your ingredients together. THen pour in your chilled mixed vegetables. (Frozed peas or corn. It adds colour and taste to my rice). Finally when all is even spread and cooked, you might want to add some black soya sauce. I like my fried rice black. But you can leave this step out with you want to have "white" fried rice.
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Cooking fried rice seems easy enough. I'll try it! Thanks for sharing each step. I'll experiment later.
• India
7 Feb 09
even i like to eat and sometimes i even like to cook food but i m a really a bad cook i spoil everthing so my mom doesn`t allow me to enter so i just give orders thats it lols but i really hope to learn coooking.....
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Haha! You and me both. Good luck to us!
• Malaysia
7 Feb 09
i start cooking at the age of 17.. first thing that i learnt is how to cook fried rice and noodles and i am exited about that. since then i keep learning how to be good in cooking. and now at the age of 19 i am taking the hospitality course,it means that i will work around the food and beverage sector after graduating. so i hope i will be chef after that. cooking is fun and enjoyable, goodluck to you.. negative feedback just ignore it and try again to get the positive ones.
@eych24 (56)
• Philippines
7 Feb 09
Really? I'm taking a similar course, something that will get in the food and beverage business in the future. That's one reason I have to learn to cook. Good luck to you in college! I'll do my best to try and ignore the negative feedback.
@tastemee (111)
• United States
8 Feb 09
I love to eat too! But i hate cooking. And lol 19 too. Although I have recently started to bake. Oddly enough, I always get positive feedback. but i have gotten negative feedback....by my brother. I dunno maybe he was just trying to torment me. haha
@zhuhuifen46 (3486)
• China
8 Feb 09
Learning to cook is beneficial to ourselves and to the family members. Eating is a important part of our life, esp. for health. The easiest food for young people here is the scrambled egg and tomatos. It is never too late to learn cooking. I remember before marriage I knew nothing about cooking. I made big improvement after my son was born. I learn from my neighbored and from my mother. No matter what the taste, your own meal will be appetizing for your boyfriend.
@TnWoman (1896)
• United States
8 Feb 09
hello eych spaghetti with meat sauce is very easy to prepare with some garlic bread and a tossed salad. what are your favorite foods that you like to eat? start with making a list of what some of your favorite foods that you like to eat are, and go from there. find recipes from the internet or from cookbooks and go to the grocery store and gather the ingredients for dinner and bring your items back home and cook away. cooking is so much fun and it is lots better than getting fast food. take care and have a beautiful evening.