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should everyone be able to cook?

wongxinyi's picture

how important do you think it is that everyone (boys and girls) should be able to cook?

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #30923, reply #1 of 41)

I think it's very important that everyone know how to make at least 7-10 healthy, nutritious, easy to make meals.

Everyone should know the basics - how to boil pasta, make rice, make a simple pasta sauce out of plain canned ingredients, make a simple white sauce, roast a chicken, etc.

For those of us in North America, I think everyone should know how to understand and make most recipes in the Better Homes and Garden cookbook (or the Betty Crocker cookbook, or similar cookbook).

I belong to another forum where there are alot of college age young people, and they often post threads begging for help on how to cook a meal. They get really sick of eating Kraft Mac n Cheese out of a box and ramen noodles, and they want to learn to make good, simple food. It seems alot of kids don't learn to cook anything anymore, let alone gourmet-style food!

I'm a cook; a chef does paperwork. Forget that!

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

soccermom's picture

(post #30923, reply #2 of 41)

For the boys and girls who hope to eat once they move out, I think it's pretty important :)


Living on microwave popcorn and ramen may be a stage for many young people, but I can't imagine living on that and frozen meals for very long. But many people do. I guess it depends how well they want to eat.


 


 


 

 

 

Jillsifer's picture

(post #30923, reply #14 of 41)

There's a cadre of "the living dead" out there, who SAY they don't want to live on frozen entree thingies and fast food but that's what they do. One of my buddies, in his 50s, wags and squeals when he's invited to dinner at our house (fairly frequently) but WILL NOT take the time to learn the basics. And he's not unusual in my social circle.


It's a quandary--I want to lecture these people and tell them how simple it might be to cook a few proper meals, but I usually just shut up and cook for them.


 


 

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

soccermom's picture

(post #30923, reply #15 of 41)

Living dead, hee!


Yes, I have many of those friends too; they are always very grateful for a meal or even a cookie. Then again, many have skills that I don't possess, like computer knowledge, so we can usually work out a deal ;)


 


 

 

 

SallyBR1's picture

(post #30923, reply #27 of 41)

Yesterday we cooked dinner for ten - the three kids, the twins with their respective girlfriends.... the Mother of girlfriend 1, the parents of girlfriend 2

Menu was plain white rice, baked beans, oven-barbecued brisket, sauteed corn

dessert - blueberry pie and mulberry pie (both homemade) with vanilla ice cream (store bought)

Mother of girlfriend number 1 said that it was the first home cooked meal she'd had in 3 weeks! She was moaning with pleasure the whole dinner... Mother of girlfriend number 2 fell in love with the rice, said it was the best she had ever had - wanted me to share the "recipe"

I said it was nothing, just Basmati rice, water, salt.... She had no idea what Basmati was, so I showed her the bag and explained it was my favorite rice. Both she and the husband were totally amazed by how tender the brisket was, how the barbecue sauce was so mild and tasty (I made it myself, of course....)

Well, maybe they were being gracious guests, but I was left with the feeling that lots of folks in our age bracket have no clue about cooking, even though they enjoy a good meal.

they almost fainted when we brought two homemade pies to the table for dessert... :-)

Jean's picture

(post #30923, reply #28 of 41)

Maybe you will inspire them to try to cook rice at home. Oh my!
DGD asked me this weekend if I ever got tired of cooking. I told her not as long as I have appreciative folks around the table. Sunday supper was marinated venison backstrap kabobs on the grill, with onions, green pepper and cherry tomatoes, served with a spicy peanut sauce. They all loved it. Even my DGD, the vegetarian leaning one, ate it all and went back for seconds. I made it with Jasmati rice and they all commented how good that was. LOL. They loved the orange/rhubarb pie too. I chickened out and didn't use the tart pan after all.


Here's an easy rhubarb cake that they all loved.
Note that I doubled the sauce recipe for these sweet-lovers.


                     


                    Rhubarb Cake, 
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1 1/2  cup  rhubarb
  1/4   cup  shortening (use butter)
  3/4   cup  sugar
  1 egg
  1/4   tsp  salt
  1/4   tsp  soda
  3/4   tsp  baking powder
  1/2   cup  milk
  1 1/4  cup  flour
  1/4    cup  nuts (optional)


Grease and flour 8" square pan
Cover rhubarb with boiling water - 5 minutes - drain.
Cream sugar, shortening and egg.
Mix tog dry ingredients and add, alternating with milk.
Bake  @ 350° fir 30 -40 minutes.


Serve warm or at room temp. with following sauce:
1 1/2 cup rhubarb, covered with water bring to boil and drain.
Add 1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1 Tbs flour to thicken.  Add
1/2 Tbs butter.


 



                                


Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


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A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
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MadMom's picture

(post #30923, reply #29 of 41)

Jean, I thought of you today.  DH and I went to the new Cabella's store, which just opened north of Fort Worth.  They had a whole section of stuff for cooking and preparing game...huge grinders, big smokers, jerky stuff...and I thought you could have just gone nutso in there!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Jean's picture

(post #30923, reply #30 of 41)

I've been to the one in Nebraska.  There's also a big one here in MI that the guys in our family just love. Once in a lifetime is enough for me though. :)

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.


http://www.thebreastcancersite.com

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
MadMom's picture

(post #30923, reply #31 of 41)

We had a big Bass Pro Outdoor World open here several years back, and it was neat.  This one is even better, with tons of stuffed animals all around, in lifelike exhibits.  I can't wait to take my eldest grandson to see it; he's going to freak!  He'll especially like the elephants and lions...he loves the zoo.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Gretchen's picture

(post #30923, reply #32 of 41)

My DBIL visits them all--Nebraska when they are hunting in SD and Ann Arbor (yes?) where he checks out the moose or elk sculpture.  At the one in Nebraska he informed the higher ups at Cabela that it is not anatomically correct!!  I think the Michigan one is "intact".


Several years ago when visiting our son in Denver, his FIL had his own plane. So for a grandfather's day trip they flew to Cabela's.  DH got his favorite pair of boots there--returns, hardly used and for sale.  They did that for a couple of years--plane is thankfully gone now.  It was an expensive day trip!!


Gretchen
Gretchen
Risottogirl's picture

(post #30923, reply #35 of 41)

Jean, I really love your rhubarb cake (and I am so not a cake person).


I guess rhubarb trumps cake.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor


Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Jean's picture

(post #30923, reply #37 of 41)

Glad you like it, it's one of our favorites too.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
favorablyimpressed's picture

(post #30923, reply #33 of 41)

Glad to hear your family dinner was a success, Sally.  It's sad that so few families enjoy homemade foods these days.  It's always fun to look in the shopping carts of people checking out at the grocery store.  Our cart looks entirely different.  We never buy mixes, frozen dinners, etc., but, sadly, that's what most families rely on.  I know people are busy, but I think memories are made with good food.  Oh, how I remember some of our family gatherings and the wonderful aromas.


It's fun to have an appreciative audience, isn't it.

Marcia's picture

(post #30923, reply #34 of 41)

Your meal sounds simple and delicious, Sally. It's always suprising to me how many people live on prepared foods and take-out, nowadays. Sure, everyone's busy, but if one knows how to cook, a good meal doesn't take that long to put together.


We have a number of friends who do cook and a few who don't. One friend of over thirty years, just doesn't seem to have a cooking "gene". She can do a few simple dishes but hates cooking and just doesn't seem to get it somehow. She and her husband eat out often, but she had to cook more when their children were young. I'm not sure if her husband cooks or not. I do know that he's too busy at work and would like to cut back but can't right now.


Maybe you did some good with your meal. Basmati rice is my favorite right now, too. I use it for just about everything, but have several other kinds in the cupboard.

RHart18's picture

(post #30923, reply #3 of 41)

My son is 10, and this weekend I'm going to help him cook his first meal.  I gave him all of my FC's to look through and he picked Shrimp and pasta in a curry cream sauce.  It's a fairly easy recipe and he loves pasta.  I've already told him that he needs to learn how to cook for when he moves out and is living on his own.


When I was in college, I was able to bake a chicken breast so I didn't have to live completely on mac'n'cheese (but you can't beat the price of the raman noodles...).


 

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #30923, reply #4 of 41)

I was 10 when I made my first meal, completely on my own, for my family. Mom and Dad had recently split up, and Dad didn't know how to cook, so I made fish, rice and green beans - the same "fish" meal Mom always made. However, I didn't know that you aren't supposed to make a pan gravy from fish. This was back when you could buy a brick of frozen fish; Mom baked her, so I baked it. And I made "fish gravy" out of the lemon-flavored water in the pan!

I still get teased about that. It actually didn't taste bad at all (I at least used cornstarch to thicken it and not flour), and I poured it over the rice. And Matt and Dad ate it all, so they must have liked it.

But it is one of our family's fondest memories - me and my fish gravy!

I'm a cook; a chef does paperwork. Forget that!

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

MadMom's picture

(post #30923, reply #5 of 41)

I learned to cook at an early age because Mom loved to work in the yard (which I hated) so she told me if I would cook, she would clean up...that was a definite no-brainer!  I would pretend I was a TV cook (yes, we really had those way back then) and "demonstrate" the steps as I prepared Sunday dinner. 


As far as the original question goes, I think everyone, male or female, should at least know the basics of cooking.  My favorite "cookbook" for that is Pam Anderson's How to Cook Without a Book.   Gives some great techniques and allows for a lot of experimentation and learning in the process.  Everyone might not love to cook as much as we do, but it's one of those "basic skills" (like touch typing and changing a flat tire) that everyone should know.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
pamilyn's picture

(post #30923, reply #10 of 41)

MM, that is how I learned how to cook too!!! My Mom hated to cook. She told me that if I cooked whe would clean up after me. I am STILL a slob in the kitchen. I have my Hubby to clean up after me now :)  . I learned how to cook from the the Betty Crocker junior cook book. All very simple things a kid would like...Like chocolate peanut clusters. I also had  a great neighbor who loved to cook. Whenever I had a question I would go over to Mrs.'s Hansens house and ask.


I think it is just terrible that kid's don't know how to cook. I don't think DH would have married me if I wasn't such a good cook. He lives by his tummy. First words out of his mouth in the morning are "Whats for dinner tonight?"  Pamilyn 

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

Heather's picture

(post #30923, reply #6 of 41)

If you have to eat you should know how to cook, unless you anticipate a lifetime of servants.

chuckkeller's picture

(post #30923, reply #18 of 41)

Oh! I like that. How true!             " Jeeves, fetch me an S Car Go!"

If, at first, you fricascee, fry, fry a hen!

If, at first, you fricascee, fry, fry a hen!

HONewbie's picture

(post #30923, reply #7 of 41)

I think being able to cook is just about the best thing going when it comes to a guy in college trying to impress a date.  It worked for me, and I'm not that impressive.


If you want your teenage sons to learn to cook, I would suggest letting them in on that secret.  Watch out though, they may knock you down trying to get to the kitchen fast!

elizaram's picture

(post #30923, reply #16 of 41)

being able to cook is just about the best thing going when it comes to a guy in college trying to impress a date.  It worked for me, and I'm not that impressive.


It doesn't really work the other way around! I taught DH how to change his oil (he decided it was icky and messy and too much trouble), how to access the Internet (this was back in the dark ages when you had to know Unix to do it), have built his last two computers from scratch, am the designated bug-killer and toilet-unclogger of the household, and file our taxes every year. All it gets me is teasing for my tomboy ways. :-)



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

elizaram's picture

(post #30923, reply #8 of 41)

Absolutely, both boys and girls should learn the basics of cooking. They should also both be able to change a flat tire, do basic household repairs, sew on a button, handle money, and other essential survival skills.


My parents didn't turn me into a gourmet cook, but they did teach me the basics and make sure I had a repertoire of a few easy, tasty, nutritious recipes. I learned the rest on my own from recipes and from trial and error. When I did get out on my own, I was shocked to find that most people don't know the first thing about cooking. My first experience living on my own was the summer after junior year of college, when I stayed on campus to start my senior research project. There were about 20 women living in a dorm with an attached kitchen, and I was the only one who cooked. The others subsisted on some combination of ramen noodles and Kraft dinner (the more ambitious ones might brown some ground beef to add to the mac and cheese). So many people came by to check out what I was making that I started cooking for everyone once a week (and charging for it - I made a killing!)


My brother also got training in the basics, and is now an excellent cook and a generally competent person in a lot of areas. I had to pass my dad's test on how to handle road emergencies before I was allowed to use the family car. Years later, I was walking home from grad school when I saw my car sitting in the driveway with a flat tire. I set down my backpack, got out the jack and tire iron, and put on the spare. From my roommates' astonishment you'd think I had done something amazing. Unfortunately, I never learned the household repairs part. I'm paying for it now, as I married a guy who had even less of a clue! (He doesn't cook or clean or know anything about cars either... sigh. Oh well, he has other charms!)


The world has changed in the last couple of generations. It's no longer a given that boys will grow up to marry women who have been raised to be good housekeepers, nor that girls will eventually be under the protection of someone skilled in the manly arts. Parents who teach their kids how to be self-sufficient are doing them a huge favor for the future.



When I was young, all my friends were imaginary. Now that I'm older, all my friends are virtual.

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #30923, reply #9 of 41)

RE: Household repairs

If you go to Home Depot or Lowe's, they have these really good, step by step books on how to do simple home repairs. I've put new guts in my toilet, competently haggled with a plumber to clean out my drains, I can hang a level shelf and install a deadbolt. I learned it all from books (okay, and a little bit of This Old House, lol!).

I actually just look at the book in the store and remember how to do it once I get home, but I know not everyone can do that. I'm not sure if they have them at libraries...

I'm a cook; a chef does paperwork. Forget that!

 

Save the Earth! It's the only planet with wine and chocolate.

pamilyn's picture

(post #30923, reply #11 of 41)

Elizabeth, My husband was completely clueless about that stuff when we got married. After we bought a house he became a real puttzer. Now he does stuff almost better than me !! :) Sooo, there is hope for him. He just needs to want to. Pamilyn make an effort

The purpose of Art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls

jrobin's picture

(post #30923, reply #12 of 41)

I have 3 kids, 15,12, and 4 years, the older ones have been taking cooking classes in school (where they are cooking crap). I can't believe after all these years where I have had them in the kitchen with me that they think the basics they are learning at school is a NEW thing. They had a chef do a demonstration at one class and my daughter just couldn't stop talking about the things this girl was cooking with (zuccini, basil, olive oil and parmesan cheese). Now you have to understand I consider myself a serious cook, I have oodles of ingredients and cook in a kitchen that is designed for a serious cook.... so I guess its a matter of what people pick up along the way, and some people just don't like cooking.

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30923, reply #19 of 41)

I guess Mom and I did a pretty good job of preparing you and your brother for the world.


You forgot to mention doing a brake job on your tomato red Honda!


Dad


What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

Syb's picture

(post #30923, reply #20 of 41)

I guess Mom and I did a pretty good job of preparing you and your brother for the world.


Boy, I'll say.  And she cooks too!

ChefRobert's picture

(post #30923, reply #24 of 41)

Syb wrote: Boy, I'll say.  And she cooks too!


We all cook.  DD, Elizaram, is probably the best cook of the four of us.  (I am a real dud when it comes to pastry.)  She is much more adventurous than I am.  With DW's intolerance to onion, garlic, etc., my flights of adventure can be quite limited.  DW, aka, NanaC (she does not post here too often), is a very good Indian cook.  She has the nose to match spices to make some really tasty dishes.  Rarely uses a recipe once she feels comfortable with a particular dish.  DS is more of a basic cook (has to be with four relatively young children), but has a flare for Italian cuisine and is a very imaginative pizza chef.  I wish I had more opportunity to cook with Elizaram, but she is 1200 miles away.  But she will be here later this week so maybe we can hit the kitchen together.  Bob



What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!


Edited 5/30/2005 8:27 pm ET by Chef Robert

What do you mean there is no chocolate in this recipe!

chuckkeller's picture

(post #30923, reply #13 of 41)

Very important.  When I was in High School I always wished I could have joined Home Ec., because they weren cooking! This was 1960-64.My Mom, taught me the basics. ( underline Basics! She always said, " I'm not a gourmet cook and, fortunetly enough, your Father,  is not a gourmet eater!)  I have spent the majority of my life as a single, male. So cooking skills have been required. But, I enjoy it also!  Over the years I have discovered that women appreciate being asked to a man's home for a meal that he has prepared. Sure there have been a few disasters, but we all need a good laugh, now and then!  Chuck Keller

If, at first, you fricascee, fry, fry a hen!

If, at first, you fricascee, fry, fry a hen!