Learning How to Cook, Part 2

For me, cooking has been a rough learning experience.  I even have a few battle scars!  Okay, okay, tiny scrapes that have pretty much healed and look almost like my normal skin again, but hey, they count!  I’ve heard that you learn through each failure, but if that were true, I’d be on the show Top Chef by now.

I can pinpoint some reasons that rocket science cooking is so difficult for me:

  1. I miscalculate the time it takes before something burns.  Are there general cooking times and temperatures for food groups listed anywhere?
  2. I can’t read a recipe. Can I read? Yes. Can I read a recipe? No. What’s the difference? A recipe is a sequence of words that all of a sudden form another language – one that I am not fluent in.  Sautee, baste, al dente, fold, deglaze, render, dredge, clarify… what?  What does all this stuff mean?
  3. I am a bit impatient.  Maybe I should have a snack before I cook because the tiny Incredible Hulk in me wants the meal done NOW.
  4. I am afraid to over season, therefore I always under season – which is almost as bad.
  5. I was raised on Irish, German and Polish food while my husband loves soul food.  See my dilemma there?

The bottom line is that I just don’t know what I’m doing.  I don’t know what seasonings go with what foods, what is considered a pinch or heaping teaspoon or what “sounds right/wrong” about a recipe (ie. not enough butter, too much milk, missing some binding/thickening agent).  I’ve tried learning from cooking shows, but the chefs have zero consideration for the muffin top that I am trying to lose.  Every recipe has so much sugar, butter and all the fatty fatness that makes a dish taste magical, but wouldn’t be consumed by someone trying to eat even slightly healthy.  Where the hell do they find these weird ingredients?  Am I supposed to travel to Madagascar to get a fresh vanilla bean or can I just get one from the grocery store?  And they are always cooking some fancy food that I have never heard of like remoulade, bechamel sauce or corque monsieur.  Can I just get a basic meatloaf recipe?

I digress… I’m still trying though.  Recently, I began looking on Pinterest and The Pioneer Woman’s websites for recipes and my food has gotten a little better!  See!  I listen to your suggestions.  Check out my creations (the good, the bad and the ugly) on my Instagram page!  And as always, leave me some tips in the comment section pleeeeeease!  (The extra eeeee’s are a plea from my husband, lol.).

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4 thoughts on “Learning How to Cook, Part 2

  1. Ok so this was hilarious to me, NOT because you can’t cook but because this was me briefly until my grandma made me believe I’d never get married if I didn’t learn how to cook. So every time I cooked something I called her to make sure it smelled right, tasted right, and even felt right, I was determined. I also stood over her shoulder when she was in the kitchen every chance I got (I still do this). My advice find someone whose food you like (or your husband likes) and stalk them. No serioulsy get all up in there you have a man to please and good food that needs to be cooked. I send my non cooking best friend easy delicious recipies all the time. I totally wouldn’t mind sending you some too!

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    • Hey Tata! Your grandma is wild for saying that! Lol. Unfortunately, I was too dumb to want to learn to cook before my grandmothers passed away (as if I’d never need to feed myself) because they were the ultimate cooks! I do have a friend that makes awesome food, but with our babies bedtime schedules it is hard to link up around dinner time. Maybe I could video chat with her? I’d totally appreciate some recipes 🙂 Please send them to mommycanlearn@gmail.com. Thanks!

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  2. So, here’s my advice. I have no idea how to cook either. My wordpress blog is titled, quite literally, “jenna can’t cook.” Something that I have found helpful in this quest to cook, is the website and app “Yummly.” It has a huge amount of recipes and if you create an account, it will tailor the recommendations it gives you based on your food dislikes, preferences and allergies. Hope this helps! 🙂

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    • Haha! I love Jenna Can’t Cook. What an awesome title? I have looked on Yummly before, but felt overwhelmed navigating the zillions of recipes. Maybe creating an account will streamline the look of the page and make the difference. Thanks for the suggestion Jenna!

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