Basic Cooking Tips
9 steps to becoming a better cook.
Don't cook? You're hardly alone these days, experts say. The good news is,
armed with a few basic cooking tips, it's easy to become more comfortable in
Some of us grew up in the kitchen with our parents and grandparents,
learning the secrets of treasured family recipes. And years later, all
grown up, we are at ease trying new recipes, creating our own versions, and
joyfully sharing the creations with family and friends.
On the other side of the kitchen are the legions of people who think cooking
is something you watch on the Food Network. Cooking shows are hot, but an
entire generation of people is more comfortable watching food being prepared
than doing it themselves. Their idea of cooking is opening a can of something
and warming it in the microwave -- like a friend of mine who stashes toilet
paper and other household supplies in her rarely used oven.
Despite the ever-growing number of cookbooks, cooking schools, food
television shows, and web site cooking videos, many of us appear to have too
many competing priorities, not enough time, and a lack of confidence to whip up
meals at home.
"We have spawned a generation of 'non-cooks' who did not take home
economics in school, are squeezed for time and intimidated by cooking and
following recipes, and would rather eat out, order take-out, or just eat fast
and easy sandwiches or frozen pizzas," says Carolyn O'Neil, RD, author of
The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous.
It's ironic, experts say, that fewer people are in the kitchen preparing
meals even while our cultural sophistication about cooking, ingredients, and
equipment is exploding.
"We are inundated with all things culinary, with access to high-end
ingredients, specialty cookbooks, and sophisticated equipment, and have
generated more "foodies" starting dinner clubs and enjoying obscure
cuisines," says Martha Holmberg, food editor of The Oregonian
newspaper in Portland, Ore.