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Total Newbie - like good, but not foo foo food

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hello all,
I am a total novice at cooking. I'm just here to learn more -- everything from what is good cookware to some good recipes. When I say I'm new, I mean I'm really new. I'd like to learn what some of the words in recipes mean -- like what's the difference between "chop" or "dice", "saute" or "braise", etc. And what the heck does "fold in" mean? Best I can tell, it means "stir in". If so, why don't they say "stir in"? Also, unfortunately, it seems that a lot of cooking terms and foods are listed in French. Why aren't they translated to English? The French didn't invent food and cooking, did they? I would think the very first cooking was from the first humans in Africa. Honestly, I'm not a fan of foo foo French food. Call me a typical American guy, but I prefer a good pizza, hamburger, or Barbecue rather than some French food made with the internal organs of water fowl. (Yup, I did learn what foie gras translates to: - liver fat!). Give me a cold beer and a hot steak and cheese from Pat's in Philly, not a warm red wine and a cold onion soup from La Maison de Foo Foo.

I don't eat just any 'ol simple food. Notice I said I like GOOD hamburgers, pizza or barbecue. It's hard to beat a coal oven cooked pizza from Wooster St. in New Haven, CT. - Frank Pepe's, Sally's, or even Zuppardi's in West Haven. Or how about great barbecue from Melton's in Rocky Mount, NC, Parker's in Wilson, NC, the Rendezvous in Memphis, or Pierce's in Williamsburg, VA. How about some great baked cod and baked beans from Durgin-Park in Boston? In my book, good food doesn't have to be foo foo food.
Anyway, all of those are foods cooked by others. I'd like to learn to cook more and better things for myself and my wife. That's why I'm here.

Good eatin'!

Glenn
post #2 of 3
Nice to meet you, Glenn. Everyone who's serious about food and cooking is welcome, and that description surely fits you. :bounce:

I'm sure others are better-educated than I on the fine points of why recipes have so much French parlance. Suzanne and Cape Chef stand out as just two of our many gurus of cuisine. All questions are welcome! I'm sure they will tell you that good technique, no matter the language used to label it, is essential to good cooking. (Folding is not the same as stirring, trust me.) You can also take a look at some classic and some recent books for solid instruction. Alton Brown, for example, can clue you in on the physics of folding, the chemistry of baking and the engineering of cooking tools- just for starters.

In the mean time, please make yourself at home and bring your eager mind here as often as possible. Some of the earlier conversations can be instructive; use the search button to locate them.

Welcome!
Mezzaluna
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply, Mezzaluna. I do enjoy watching Alton Brown on the Food Network. He is a possessed crazy man, just as I like 'em! Alton is very educational as well as entertaining.

I've noticed several negative remarks about "TV Chefs" on this site. That's unfortunate. If it weren't for some of those TV Chefs like Alton Brown or Emeril, I'd have no interest in cooking at all. I fail to see why there is negativity toward Emeril. The guy has a PhD from Johnson & Wales, and has worked in world class restaurants, for goodness sake. He isn't any fake chef with those credentials.

Anyway, thanks for the note, and I'll have lots of questions in the future.

Thanks.

Glenn
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