Things A Good Cook Should Be Able To Do: 2021 Edition

by Buck Reed

Time to face facts, and the fact is, the times, they are a-changin’. I get the fact that I am old, and we are not going back to what was once considered familiar. I remember sitting at the counter of a popular doughnut franchise and watching freshly made products being served every 30 minutes. Today, this same company now prepares them somewhere else, boxes them up, and ships them to their stores, refrigerated. And, now, these marketing geniuses are offering kits where you must decorate your own doughnut. Unless you are under age 10, do not fall for this. Also, do not make your own pizza or order anything deconstructed in a restaurant. You are paying them, so let them do it for you.

Let us start with the meal kits that are becoming more popular today. These kits are marketed as easy to prepare, time saving, and, most of all, foolproof. They are also expensive, so it is worth your time to learn what is in them as well as more about how the techniques work to put them together and prepare them. My thought is: you paid good money for this kit, and using it as a learning tool is more valuable to you than the actual meal they want you to use it for. Once you have the method down, you can save money by simply purchasing the ingredients yourself. Unless you are allergic to grocery stores, there really is no reason not to do this.

You should be able to read a recipe. But not just read it, understand it, and grasp how it works. The first time you look at a recipe and relate it to another dish you have already made, that is the “aha” moment every good cook does almost naturally. That is when you realize that all cooking is related to some other cooking.

Get coordinated in your kitchen. This means you must get comfortable in what you are doing. When you are preparing a meal, you want to accomplish it with purpose and awareness of how and why you are doing things. Managing your time and organizing your workload is the key to getting coordinated. If you master this, eventually you will want to make a sauté dish with a pan sauce or a stir fry.

To bring it all together, now is the time to learn to cook or expand your knowledge of cooking. No longer do you need to leave your house and spend big money to learn to cook in an overpriced cooking school. Imagine paying $50 to learn how to make an apple pie. Right now, if you desire, you can go online and have a popular dish served at an upscale steakhouse explained in precise detail so that you can produce it yourself. What a time to be alive and cooking.

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