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wundayatta's avatar

How did you learn to cook?

Asked by wundayatta (58638points) May 2nd, 2011

Who taught you to cook and under what circumstances? Was it fun or a chore? Do you like cooking? Are you a foodie? Do you wish someone else would do it?

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39 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I don’t like it.
When I was a little girl,my mother told me not to touch the stove.
So I don’t XD

creative1's avatar

My mother had us helpping her in the kitchen all the time started with stirring and adding ingredients the she slowly had us chopping and cooking. I have been cooking since I was a little girl. Now I create all these wonderful dishes because I’m not afraid to experiment. I now have my daughter doing the exact same thing has my mother did for us and she loves it.

Cruiser's avatar

I love to cook and pretty good at it too. I learned in Home Economics class and when I moved out of the house it was trial by fire. I’d watch cooking shows to learn how to cook certain styles of food. Now the internet can teach you how to cook almost anything.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I’m mostly self-taught as my mother could only do very basic cooking. I love it. Except for the chemistry part (baking and the like) I tend to make up my own recipes from very basic guidelines. When I want someone else to do it, I go out. Anybody have a good coffee cake recipe I could try?

JLeslie's avatar

My mom. I learned some dishes from an exboyfriend and my MIL, but basics about cooking, definitely my mom.

JLeslie's avatar

I also learned some things in home ec class like @Cruiser. We made some things in that class my mother never made.

Vunessuh's avatar

I learned how to make salmon and vegetable stir fry on my own several years ago and it is still the only thing I know how to cook.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Vunessuh : I’m on my way over!

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I learned cooking because I used to live at our village (my grandparents village) when I was young until I was like in 7th grade. I used to help out a lot with the chores and such. I am very thankful of that because now I do not need to wait for my parents to come home and cook because I can cook for myself. Also when I get married and start having my own family I will know all that I know to know and I will start teaching my children how to cook and handle the house at a young age so they don’t be useless adults.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

From the ‘rents, Alton Brown and ebaulmsworld

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We should change the name of fluther to foodthur.

Vunessuh's avatar

@JilltheTooth Since I’ve never attempted to cook anything else, I’ve had a lot of time to perfect it. :D

Facade's avatar

I developed an interest in cooking around the same time I realized my diet was shitty. When I would stay at my SO’s place, he would cook. He taught me some basics and now I’m better at it than him. It’s always fun for me, and I do like to cook. In fact, I baked a scrumptious chocolate cake at 2am last night lol. In my defense, I have yet to eat any =)

ucme's avatar

By watching the swedish chef on the muppet show…...spun thwalup thwa dun, blip blip blip!! Genius, sheer genius.

DominicX's avatar

I learned how to cook from my mom and dad, both of whom cook regularly and quite well. I haven’t done all that much cooking in my life, but I do enjoy it and I have been making some new things recently that I’ve never made before and I’m satisfied with the results. :) I’m pretty much the only one among my housemates who can do more than bake a pizza or make macaroni-and-cheese on the stove…

And yeah, I’m a foodie. If I didn’t have to eat to stay alive, I’d still eat… :P

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Mom, the Girl Scouts, and an Home Economics class taught me the very basics. It was never picked up nor really enjoyed, as other people have always fed me…Mom, college campus, and then years in the hotel industry. When I had a housemate, I’d come home from work, and he’d say, “Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes.” While living alone, it was just easier to fix a soup or salad or frozen meal.

My SO loves to cook, but he has asked that I take over the responsibility once we are living together. It seems only fair since he will be working and I won’t. The thought scared the daylights out of me. I recently spent three months with him, and he has coached me through the process. His mum gave me a wonderful cookbook for Christmas, and at the ripe old age of 48, I have discovered a new passion.

I thoroughly enjoy planning out the meals for the week, and then walking down to the market to pick up the ingredients needed. It is very rewarding to have a meal actually turn out well and people enjoy it.

thorninmud's avatar

It started with some cooking classes in France, then several years on the job in various restaurants and shops in France and stateside. I started focusing on pastry early on, so that’s really my strength.

I used to get a lot more pleasure from it than I do now. I can still get into it when the stars align: great ingredients, good equipment and space to work with, and appreciative consumers. It’s a real buzz-kill for me when I know that what I’m making could have been so much better if only _____.

I don’t consider myself to be a foodie. I know a lot about food, and I can distinguish the good from the bad well enough. But food occupies very little of my emotional space.

Kardamom's avatar

My mother taught me how to cook. I mostly made cookies and things like that when I was a kid, but I really enjoyed it. I also learned a bit from both of my grandmothers, but that was very specifically related to Thanksgiving foods.

I became a vegetarian in my early 20’s. That’s when I really started cooking. No one in my family is a vegetarian so I kind of had to learn all about that kind of thing on my own and from a few veg friends. Then in my 30’s is when I really started to get very excited about cooking and cookbooks and trying new foods and trying new restaurants.

And now, since all of the food network and cooking channel stuff have been so prolific, that has really upped my interest in all things food. I love to cook, I love kitchen gadgets, I love cooking programs, I love fixing new things for my family’s potlucks and for Xmas and Thanksgiving. And I don’t just cook, I clean up the mess too! And I enjoy going grocery shopping, which most people hate. For me, that is like a planning process. I can spend a couple of hours in the grocery store. I’m not a binge buyer, though. I really plan things out so that if I’m going to buy, say basil, I will plan several meals around an ingredient so that it doesn’t go to waste. I’m pretty good at planning a week’s worth of meals and stocking my pantry with staples that can be used to quickly throw something together.

I truly enjoy cooking and find that cutting vegetables and preparing a meal is very calming for me. It helps me to feel balanced and centered. I love going out to eat at restaurants, but I would feel deprived it I couldn’t cook often.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a foodie, though. I really don’t like that term. It suggests a professional, or a snobby kind of person. As though, regular people aren’t foodies.

I would call myself a food enthusiast!

aprilsimnel's avatar

I was 6, and my first meal was home fries and cheeseburgers. I stood in a chair over the big cast iron skillet on the stove and my aunt was behind me, showing me how to check for the potatoes being done and how the burger’s liquid and fat had to run clear with no red showing.

And then after that, it was just trying and failing and burning, because there were many days that if I didn’t cook, I wouldn’t eat. My aunt had a 2nd shift job for a long time and we were latchkey kids. Her son refused to cook, though he knew how as well, and made me do it. He had five good reasons to make me at the time. If I balked too much, suddenly there were ten.

By the time I got Home Ec in 7th grade, I’d already done a Thanksgiving dinner on my own, with turkey and all the trimmings. I freakin’ ACED the cooking/baking portion of the class. Sewing was ehhhh.

HungryGuy's avatar

By looking at all the choices on the control panel on my microwave :-p

(Oh, and by finding a cake recipe on YouTube, but I’m not sure where to buy fish-shaped ethylbenzine or why I need so much rhubarb…)

6rant6's avatar

I used to watch Graham Kerr’s cooking show after school. I don’t know if that meant I was always a cook, or if that’s how I started cooking.

I had a crock pot in college, and I used to throw stuff in and people would come and eat and not understand how I could make something good to eat without a kitchen – or even a decent knife or sink. I suppose I liked the sense of accomplishment that came with it.

I like the nurturing aspects of cooking for other people. I like to experiment, and have no qualms in cooking something that turns out to be inedible. So over the years, I’ve had a chance to learn what goes with what and most importantly, how to fix a dish that’s not turning out.

I’ve gone through phases – baking, Indian, Thai, cheese, desserts, straight from my garden, exotic, hot, savory, Mexican, and pursuit of the perfect mac & cheese. I’d be hard pressed to think of anything that I’ve always kept on hand. At this point, I’m comfortable putting together something special from whatever is in the kitchen or the garden. As a wise man once said, “A recipe is just one man’s opinon”.

——No wait. That was no wise man, that was me.—

Scooby's avatar

Self taught ;-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

When I was a little kid I loved pizza. My mother didn’t care for it at all. After I bugged her for awhile to make some, she told me to make it myself. I did. And found out I liked it different ways and just started experimenting with it. And then I tried other dishes. But what taught me the best was eating really good meals in some nice places. Now I’m spoiled rotten.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Pretty much self taught. There was a time if I didn’t learn how to cook I had to eat it raw. There are too many parasites in rabbits and squirrels and fish to want to do that.

etignotasanimum's avatar

I’m still learning. A lot of it I learned from my mom and my dad, but mostly my mom. She’s sort of the Sandra Lee school of cooking, but tone it down several notches. So, I mostly just do a mix of store bought and homemade food. I’ve also learned some cooking from my sister’s best friends’ mom, which is more traditional Mexican food.
I actually love cooking when I can do it, but I don’t have that much time. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to cook more in the future, and be healthy about it, too. I really like the idea of being able to take care of myself and others through food. :)

bob_'s avatar

When I spent a semester studying in Italy, my landlady taught me how to cook spaghetti.

I don’t like to cook, but I love to eat.

dxs's avatar

My grandmother taught me a lot, along with my brother. I’m not that good, though.

christine215's avatar

I learned from watching my mom, grand parents, Julia Child, Jacques Pepin, reading cook books and experimenting

I’m teaching my 12yr old daughter, because nobody really “taught” me, per se. My daughter is interested so I have her in the kitchen with me whenever she’s got free time. I explain what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, how to do it, etc…

She made crème brulee last weekend! (lucky me!)

sakura's avatar

From my mum and dad who both cook. Also I moved in with my hubby when I was 18 so I also experimented in the kitchen using my be~ro cook book and other recepie books.
My daughter is very good at cooking, she is 12, she always sat in in her high chair when I was cooking, helping me ‘chop’ vegetables and mix things, she also used to play cook with dry pasta and rice. She knows how to make a curry from scratch and a rue to make a white sauce, croque mosuier, she really does amaze me!
I think it is so important to introduce children to food at an early age both cooking and shopping for fresh ingredients.

Ps. I think play dough helped with my love of cooking too, I remember making sausages, pies, cakes etc. ..

KateTheGreat's avatar

I actually taught myself. A lot of food experimentation as a child.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I was the youngest of three girls. Every time I went into the kitchen when cooking was going on, they would stick a cookie in my mouth and shoo me out. I started married life not knowing how to boil water. I figured it out for myself, mostly because I was starving!

YARNLADY's avatar

I learned how to cook the same way I learn nearly everything I know, by guess and by golly, trial and error and reading everything I can on the subject.

BeccaBoo's avatar

When I was a little girl, I’d spend a lot of time with my grandmother, she was always in her kitchen baking something or other. I would stand there watching her, as I grew a little older she and my mother used to leave me to experiment with ingredients. I am not a fan of “modern cuisine” just because I can’t get my head around the presentation of things. I am a traditionalist cook and bake the old school ways, even down to my bread and cakes. I love it, best stress buster ever for me and love eating the results.

tedibear's avatar

When I was in seventh grade, my mom went back to work full time. My sister and I switched off weeks cooking dinner. Mom would leave detailed notes about what to put on and when so that dinner would come out on time and all together. Learning how to do that has been a huge help as an adult. Prior to her return to work, I would help her here and there, more with baking than anything.

ddude1116's avatar

My uncle cooks a lot, so whenever I was at his house for whatever reason, I would be in the kitchen with him watching him cook. So after a while, I gave it a shot at my house and dug it. Now, I just try going through cookbooks as often as I can, which isn’t very often because I can’t afford to pay for all the ingredients to make the meals I prefer, but when I can, I do.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

My grandmother and her sisters. My grandparents raised me my first 5yrs and once I went to live with my parents then I would still spend part of my year living with my grandparents. I learned on a wood burning stove first because it sits lower to the ground and later on I was allowed to use the gas stove.

Cooking was a big experience that had to do with where the foods came from that were chosen, how they were grown or raised, why some were preferred over others, who all had what favorites and so on. Later in my teens then I learned to cook commercially by working in a few catering companies and also private restaurants.

dabbler's avatar

My mom taught my sisters to cook dinners and I watched all of them.
I could microwave a lunch together when I was a teenager back when that was still a novel way to cook anything.
While I lived in the same state as my parents I was at their home for thanksgiving and I was in charge of the turkey. That was cooked in a stretch-Weber out in the garage (The lid was elevated on a cylinder of sheet metal about ten inches high to provide grater clearance for the turkey). The relatives would come out of the house in small shifts to check on me and the turkey, and my sisters brought margaritas.
In college I was on a bread-baking crew for a few terms in student housing.
While I was a bachelor I enjoyed cooking for myself. Recipes generally seem like suggestions and I make a meal out of whatever’s in the fridge… I always had plenty of what I liked in the fridge.
These days my wife is a far better cook than I and she’s usually in charge of meals. Although once in a while on weekends I’ll jump in with an old favorite if she’s busy or I got hungry first.

mangeons's avatar

I took a commercial foods class last semester, where I learned several different techniques for cooking, but I’m honestly still not that good of a chef. My dad made me learn to make pancakes the other morning, because I asked him to make them for me. I was made fun of for being slow at flipping the pancakes :(

I’m more of a baker than a chef, I’m always far too cautious when it comes to cooking because I’m afraid that I’ll do something wrong and mess the whole thing up, or end up burning/cutting myself.

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