Learn To Cook

I believe all wives and mothers should learn to cook for their family.

Don’t worry, many of us have been there.

The disappointment of a tough roast. The horror of a burnt cookie.

Its easy to get down about those type of things when you are trying to do your best.

The fact is, unless you went to culinary school, you probably will have to invest time into learning how to cook. (Actually that’s what culinary school is-investing time and money.)

Once you improve your cooking skills, you will be confident enough to cook for special occasions- birthdays, holidays, anniversary’s, dates, or you can just cook comfort food because you want to.

This year for my birthday, I actually wanted to cook. I knew it would be cheaper and I knew it would taste better.

Here are a few tips for you to improve your cooking skills.

Start simple-

Some of the things i judge when i look at a recipe is how many ingredients does it take, do i have them, and how much effort do i have to expend to make this?

What am I looking for in a recipe? I like short ingredient lists, that contain things i regularly buy or wont be too much of a hassle, and easy to make. Brown the meat, add the sauce, done.

Trusted recipes from regular cooks-

My grandma taught me a good deal about cooking and baking. When she would make something I liked, I asked how she made it or if I could copy the recipe. When I would visit her, I would read her Taste of Home magazines, and she would give me the old ones.

Taste of Home is not the only place to find good recipes. Anywhere that has user submitted recipes is usually a good bet. Just think, the people that submit their recipes are usually submitting their best ones, not the crappy ones.
Allrecipes (you can even read reviews here) and Gooseberry Patch are great places to find recipes. Church gatherings and Church cookbooks are treasure troves for recipes.

When I was a brand new wife, one of the first things I bought was a Betty Crocker paperback cookbook. Today, I still use that cookbook although it is split in three sections and is missing the covers.

Practice and honest criticism-

Practice and more practice is how you become good at something. The same thing you tell your son about baseball is the same for cooking. The more times you cook, the better you will get and the more tricks you will learn.

When I make a bad recipe or make a mistake, my family points it out and we move on. I either try to fix that problem, or in the case that the recipe tastes bad, we just never make it again.

The point is to not take it personally, if you really want to make that food, try a recipe from a different source, or maybe a different cooking method.

Things that make it enjoyable to be in the kitchen-

I don’t have a dishwasher, so i like having scrub sponges or cloths that make it easier for me to clean up the mess. Having quality pots and pans (the best your budget can allow) also helps.

Four years ago or so, my family got me a Kitchen-aid mixer. That was really a blessing, and it is amazing to dump the ingredients in, then walk away for a couple minutes while it mixes.

Another great item for the kitchen is a crock-pot. It’s pretty close to being a miracle in disguise.

Add what you want (even a cheap cut of meat), some liquid and seasonings, cover it , pick high or low, then walk away.
This is great for anyone, whether you work outside the home or you work at home. And it will keep it warm without any extra hassle.

These are just a few of the things that have helped me to be a better cook, and if you put in the effort it will be rewarded. Good Luck!

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