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Do you know anyone that can cook?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I feel like I'm the only person I know that can cook.  All my friends are so "impressed" with simple things I do like salads or rice dishes.  And I am so unimpressed with their culinary skills.  What do these people eat at home?  Processed frozen food?  Canned food?  Food out of a bag?

Recently had a pot luck and I made cous cous and stuffed peppers.  Everybody else brought spinach artichoke dip (cream cheese and frozen spinach?), pigs in blankets, jello, bean dip, and other foods that were either thrown together or out of cans.  Some people even brought prepared deli platters or supermarket cupcakes.  What gives?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 56
Least nobody brought the pickles wrapped in chipped beef.

That's the way it goes.  They may have other skills, just not cooking skills.
post #3 of 56
I usually find myself in the same boat, KK. I know only one other non-professional who cooks. And, like you, I'm always getting raves over what I consider relatively simple or everyday food.

Last year, for instance, during the big ice storm we had to move in with friends in Lexington. I cooked four or five meals while we were there. The only one the least bit out of the ordinary was coconut shrimp. Their daughter, who, despite being a server at a fairly upscale restaurant, still brags about what a great "gourmet" cook her dad's friend is.

It's understandable, though. We're into the third generation of folks who use "microwave" and "cook" as synonyms. And, sadly, despite the appearance of change, that still describes most Americans. So they're easy to impress.

I think, too, that like my buddy's daughter, people tend to differentiate the kind of food they expect at home from the kind they expect at a restaurant.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #4 of 56
I've luckily not had that experience. Both my brother and three of my good friends really enjoy cooking, and not just "I can make an omelet" but more in line with.. "tonight we're trying beef wellington from scratch"
post #5 of 56
My parents can cook, not like I have learned but some good basic food nonetheless. I have taught my sister to cook and she has worked in the biz for a bit before her last pregnancy. My grandma was a terrible cook, she made awesome fudge and pinoche though. Some of my friends do alright, not good, others seem to live a bit in the premade and deli sections. That's cool though, when they do buy prime goods I usually get a phone call and sometimes an invite.


p.s. I hope those are deep fried pickles in chipped beef *shudder*
"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #6 of 56
Ya know, I just assumed this meant "other than relatives." No reason I should have, but that's how I interpreted it.

My mom was a wonderful cook, within the range of things she made. My MIL, on the other hand, well.....if you look up "bad cook" in your Funk & Wagners you'll see her photo next to it.

My boys are both really good cooks. The older one, especially---to the point where he and his bride are working on a specialized cooking class for couples in the kitchen. But, of course, they both learned at my knee, as I had learned the basics at moms. Friend Wife, on the other hand, literally couldn't boil water when we first met. Which follows from her childhood influence.

Once I move away from family, though, there's only the one other person I know who cooks. And there, again, there's a family-influence thing. His granny was one of the best Southern cooks I've ever known, and he's following in her footsteps.

But most folks I know live in a convenience-product and take-out world. Understandable, I guess. When you grow up confusing Mickey D's with food, well......
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 56
Thread Starter 
I don't argue that people have lots of skills aside from cooking.  But what I'm interested in is what do they eat?  Are they eating frozen dinners and take outs all week?  I have friends who do not know how to boil an egg - do they live on restaurant food and sandwiches? 

I can't imagine not eating fresh home made food.  I need to know the ingredients in most of what I eat, I seek out fresh produce - who knows what they put in take-out.  If I eat restaurant food more than 3 days in a row I start to not feel very good.

Went over to a friend's house the other day for dinner claiming that his brother was a great cook.  It turns out they served us roasted chicken (rotisserrie chicken from the supermarket deli), steamed rice, and frozen corn.  Even the salad (bagged spring mix) came with its own dressing packet.  Am I supposed to be impressed?

Note:  I have nothing against roasted chicken from the market, it comes in handy when I want to make chicken salad or a quick meal.  But serving it to guests and claiming your a good cook... really?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

Ya know, I just assumed this meant "other than relatives." No reason I should have, but that's how I interpreted it.
 

Actually I meant friends in my own age group (mid 30's).  When we were all in our 20's and still partying and ordering pizza and beer I never thought much about cooking.  But now we're all married and having children.  What do you feed your family when you don't know how to cook?  I guess I just assumed that everybody would grow up and realize that cooking is essential to every day life, not just "a nice skill to impress people with."

I didn't start cooking until my mid 20's.  I mostly cooked simple roasts, eggs and omelets, veggie soups, pasta and a few simple greek dishes my Mom taught me.  It wasn't until I got married that I started experimenting with more complicated recipes, and working on basic techniques.  Maybe being the good greek girl that I am I felt a sense of responsibility in feeding the good greek boy I married.  I really started thinking about our health and nutrition and we both knew we wanted to eat sensibly and not waste all our money on lo mein.  Thank goodness I had a few simple skills to build on.  I'm by no means a pro but I take a great deal of pleasure from cooking something well. 

Just last night I made a mean mushroom risotto and some simple grilled chicken breasts.  My husband turned to me and said "what would have happened if I married someone who cooked dry chicken breasts?" He'd be miserable probably.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 56
Apparently, KK, there are people who do eat nothing but take-out or restaurant meals. Many of them.

In fact, there is a popular blog, and now a book, written by a New Yorker to show how it's possible to prepare food and eat it at home. The most appaling part, to me, is the challenge she's issued for people to spend a week eating food prepared at home.

Challenge? Is she kidding? And yet, her blog is full of responses from people who reported how difficult it was to pick up that gauntlet, because they're so used to eating out every night.

Even out here in the sticks people are more into pre-made and take-out. I once listened to a discussion in which the participants were arguing----you better sit down for this one---which fast food French fries were the best when eaten cold.

One clue to what people eat is to look at Sandra Lee. Not only is her show one of the most popular on Food Network, all of her books (what are there now? Seven or eight of them?) are runaway best sellers. And there's a national fan club. And a magazine. And all of this is dedicated to the idea that pre-made and convenience products can (and should) replace fresh foods prepared from scratch.

Or look at the rules for entering the Pillsbury Bake Off. This is the single richest cooking contest in the world. Cooking? Not the way I define it. Not when the entries must use approved convenience products, and when you'd actually be penalizing yourself if you made anything from scratch.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #10 of 56
I guess I just assumed that everybody would grow up and realize that cooking is essential to every day life,

Ahhh, and there's the rub. If you grow up not cooking, and go through your tweens not cooking, is it reasonable to expect that just because you have a permanent relationship with a person of the oppostie sex that anything should change?

When, exactly, are all those people supposed to develop an interest in, and learn the basic skills of, cookery?

You know what they say about a dancing bear? The wonder isn't that he's so graceful, but that he can even dance at all. Same thing here, I reckon. The wonder isn't that so few break the mold and take up cooking. The wonder is that anybody who grew up in that milieu manages to break the mold.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 56
People are busy nowadays with work,family and other stuff.  Most are contented with microwave dinners which is why coming up and whipping up a home cooked meal can be pretty impressive sometimes! 
post #12 of 56

Compared to everyone I know I am a gourmet star.  Compared to many on this forum I sometimes feel like a rank beginner.  The actuality is probably somewhere in between.  What surprises me is when someone is gushing over a relatively simple dish and yet has no interest whatsoever in learning to do something similar.  In many cases all they would need is to use fresh ingredients, but nope, no way.  Their idea of haute cuisine is to use an electric can opener.  I have to wonder who are buying all those cookbooks I see at the bookstore.

 

Rich

post #13 of 56
None of my friends know how to cook, even steaks on the bbq are botched most times. I'm in meat & potato country... anything beyond that is foreign. Seasonings are salt (sometimes) pepper, seasoned salt, garlic salt. Most things are frozen, pre made crap.

Mashed potatoes come from the deli section at the market.. Just nuke!.. Gravy comes from a store branded dry packet... Just add water.  Veggies are canned green beans or corn.

Several of my friends are 30 somethings... never learned how to cook, they grew up with microwaves and convience crap... now that's what they serve their families.

I go over to the neighbors for dinner a couple times a month.. I always offer to cook, and it is always some type of meat & potato based meal...but made from scratch. One of their favorites is chicken fried steak... She buys the frozen patties, and the store bought mash, packet gravy with water.

I showed her how to make all from scratch, and how simple it was....and did not take much effort. They were amazed at how good it was... Even had fresh veg..

Salad is another thing....only bagged pre cut iceburg.... I brought a salad one night,,, romaine, butter lettuce, spring mix, and all kinds of other goodies.... She was picking the red oak leaf lettuce out of the bowl,,,, she thought it was bad because it was red!

Now she is learning a few simple things, and is going outside the box a little....their 10yr even teases her about it...."did chefbuba show you how to do that?"

Now I get calls on how to walk her through the steps of making a roast... or how do I???.....
post #14 of 56
I think people just do not cook anymore... places with ready to go foods and canned and frozen foods seem to have taken the place of home cooked meals.  It is not healthy and I bet we are in for a huge healthcare crisis as people age and the effects of eating poorly take their toll. 

Case in point...

We went to a co worker of my husband's for a bbq... being me and that I cannot go anywhere empty handed I asked what I should bring and they said salad so I made a Greek salad including the dressing from scratch.   What I brought was the only thing that was homemade except for the steaks off the bbq! I'm allergic to eggs so I asked if there was any egg in the dishes and this guy and his wife looked at me as if I had an alien on my shoulder or something.  

Same couple different day...

We went with them and some of their friends to Canada's Wonderland.... we all brought our own food as the stuff at Wonderland is gross and overpriced.  That was where the similarity stopped.. we brought our own homemade mini sandwiches, fruit, veggie sticks and pasta salad.. they brought purchased  party sandwiches.. and their sandwiches were peanut butter and jelly whereas we had a choice of tuna, smoked turkey, and salami with cheese.  The fifteen minutes it took my husband and I do put lunch together didn't compare to the cost of their lunch...

This is the same guy who mocked us for making our own pizza.. hmmm.. 30 minute delivery for $20 or same amount of time, have what you like for maybe $5 when all is said and done?
OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #15 of 56
We have friends from Seattle who come visit us every other year for the food I prepare.  Now you have to understand that we live in the greater DC area, so that a wee bit of a trek.
"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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"J'aime cuisiner avec du vin, j'ai parfois même mettre dans les aliments je suis cuisson. ""Mi piace cucinare con il vino, talvolta ho persino messa nel cibo sto cottura. ""I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I'm cooking." - Julia Child 
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post #16 of 56
I get that from friends all the time. They rave about my food and most of it is simple home cooking. I use very few prepackages foods. A can of soup at lunch being one of the exceptions. It is so easy to cook on weekends when working and have leftovers for quick and easy during the week.
post #17 of 56
I know what u mean. nowadays. nobody has time or botheres or is interesed in cooking and actually all u need is simple but yummy recipies. but i can imagine what people normally do eat. cereal, taco bell, cookies. anything. but really is not nutritive. just any food. 
our mothers and grandmothers is another time were they actually prepared really food. and we need to rescue some great recipies.
post #18 of 56
Interesting thread.  There is no doubt that there generations of people who just don't know about food.  Look at the increading focus of TV cooking shows actually teaching people what this ingredient is, how to cook a very basic meal, how it can save them thousands of dollars over a year - plus it tastes better and saves time.  They are asked what they usually eat - Answer: takeout or frozen then nuked.  Or those meals in a can - the only skill is using a can opener and a microwave

I say if you don't learn while you are young, the fast food habit is a hard habit to break.  That doesn't mean we should give up on them.  If you think they are good for it, encourage those you know to try cooking, hold their hand, show them through it if possible.  But is does become generational which is not good.

I do hold out hope for my daughter and her group of friends though.  Its odd, all of them are foodies and can cook up a storm.  I feel intimidated sometimes when they come for dinner, almost, but I'm not too bad a cook and they seem to enjoy it.  Clean plates  It is very encouraging to hear them talk about preparing food from scratch, methods to use, what goes with what.   We're talking about late teens here.  Mind you, most have worked in kichens, or whose parent/s are past or current chefs/cooks.   One has parents who run a restaurant with a smokehouse combined with it - he knows how to cook. Maybe its the creative methodical frame of mind that brought them all together as friends.  And they've all gone on to Uni after college, so they are able to fend for themselves.

Our boarder (daughter's friend) and I have debates about stuff like for example, oil the pan or oil the steak etc etc.  It's fun.  So there is hope yet.  It takes a parent who can cook to show the child, so that child can grow up and show their child.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #19 of 56
This is an interesting thread.

Like many who have responded to Koukouvagia's post, I am the one amongst our family and friends who cooks. It's not that others in the group can't cook so much as they don't have the passion for it that I do and so it's easy for them to defer to me. That's fine with me because I really do like what I do and it gives me a lot of pleasure when people enjoy the food I prepare. But sometimes, I think it would be nice to have someone I could share the kitchen with; someone who feels the way about food and its preparation the way I do. It get's kinda lonely in the kitchen by myself and frankly, sometimes I feel like I am taken for granted too.

As to why there aren't more like us foodies out there, well I agree with all that's been said in the posts above. It's a complicated social evolution that's brought us to this point. I do not, however, subscribe to the notion that we all have busy lives what with work, family, etc., and therefore have no time to cook. That to me is just a cop out. If people cared enough about what they are feeding their families they would make the time.

There is something of a paradox here too. CaboSailor wonders who's buying all those cookbooks. Good question. Another related question - who's buying all that fresh food in the grocery stores? (Mind you, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area where food is close to a religion. I forget sometimes that there are parts of the country - not to mention other places around the world - where that may not be the case.)

My daughter, now 22, is just beginnig to take an interest in cooking. Better late than never though. I'm looking forward to coaching her when she comes home from college in the summer.
post #20 of 56
Jock - I agree totally.  The "busy working" thing is a cop out.  Most days I work/am tied up at least 12 hours, but I cook. Heck I look after my business, house, teens, washing, ironing - the lot as well.  Sure, its pretty basic sometimes, on my shorter days its pretty good cooking.

Cook when you have the time - weekends are good for stocking uo the fridge and freezer for the week to come.

Unless you are a pro and run off your feet all day cooking - in which case you may not want to cook when you get home - cooking for me is a relaxing time.  Just gotta focus on one thing which is making a nice meal. Best moment is setting the table and serving up so we can all get together and share food and conversation. Once that is done, it is free time.  Sometimes that'll be only 15 mins before bed (early riser), but getting a knife in my hand, food on the board, oven heating, pots simmering is therapy for me.  Call me strange, I almost feel cheated of that time when someone gets takeout.

Jock - Encourage your daughter any which way you can - let her plan the meal, shop for it, prepare it.  Of course always being in the background to stop any major disasters as in sugar being used for salt and vice versa, burning food, knife cuts, hot fat, to answer and guide.

I reckon the cokbooks that are bought are for display on the coffee table, or by the 20 somethings who have never been taught to cook, and are sick of Maccie D and the Colonel.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #21 of 56
I can have some folks over for dinner, put some stuff in front of them and they will rave about how great it is.  And I'll be sitting there mentally going over the mistakes I made in seasoning, texture, presentation, etc.  Sometimes I'll be watching some show like Iron Chef or Chopped and wish that the critics could sit down at my table and give me some actual, useful feedback that would improve my cooking.  I've heard things like "When are you going to open your restaurant?" often enough.  I'd appreciate some well-founded criticism.  But then again I might throw down my spoon and run off and cry!  I like it better when my wife's family raves about my cooking because I had the audacity to use black pepper, garlic or other such exotic seasonings in a dish.

On the other hand one bright aspect of my culinary hobby, as it has come to be, is the dinner hike group of which I am a part.  Our first outing of the season was supposed to be tonight, but rain, snow, wind, cold played their hand.   Most of the group are pretty good in the kitchen.  We meet about 6 in the evening, drive to a trail, hike for maybe an hour then eat.  I will admit that we usually have some items that are fresh from the grocer's shelves presented.  In this situation time is a definite issue, some folks really have no choice but to grab some cheese and crackers from the store.  But they usually pick really good cheese and crackers.  You don't see Kraft Singles getting pulled out of the packs.  One week a person might bring Triscuits and a tub of clam dip, changing into their hiking boots in the parking lot at the last minute.  The next time, however, they may take the afternoon off to prepare salmon en croute before the hike.  Fun group, and always good food.

I bailed out of the restaurant scene about the mid 70s, deciding to follow other paths.  I do sometimes wonder about what it would take to get me to step into that arena again, and what would have happened if I had not gone on that climbing trip but worked on getting that position as sous ....

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #22 of 56

There is a food revolution  going on with my young ones.My daughter 23 is and always has been an advocate for the healthy home cooking .....Growing up with a mom as a chef she was kinda pampered that way. She is in her 4th year University and she and her friends get together all the time with "potluck" dinners.... Her first year in Ottawa the University insisted on all res students be on a meal plan if they were over 200 miles from home ...(she was 600 at the time) She hated that food ...I thought that the cafeteria food was pretty good for standards....no she missed home! Anyhow 2nd year she was out on her own renting with friends and I was driving out with my individual frozen home cook meals with recipes attatched and so the revolution started ....all the other students parents  seemd to be doing the same thing and here we have .....our kids can cook! She is actually having dinnner parties....she's in Toronto now in University and she's not even tempted by the "street meat"
My son on the other hand .....is supporting the local economy....in the healthiest way he knows....being 20 and 1st year college ...in Toronto ...cheap take-out for him is Sushi ,Souvlaki,,French stick and butter (literally grabs the whole stick and walks down the street eating it) Quesadillas....fresh tacos,...fresh real italian pizza,...Pad Thai....my son does not like to cook but he does know that a McNugget is not food.

My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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My feet are firmly planted in mid air
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post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefbuba View Post

None of my friends know how to cook, even steaks on the bbq are botched most times. I'm in meat & potato country... anything beyond that is foreign. Seasonings are salt (sometimes) pepper, seasoned salt, garlic salt. Most things are frozen, pre made crap.

Mashed potatoes come from the deli section at the market.. Just nuke!.. Gravy comes from a store branded dry packet... Just add water.  Veggies are canned green beans or corn.

Several of my friends are 30 somethings... never learned how to cook, they grew up with microwaves and convience crap... now that's what they serve their families.

I go over to the neighbors for dinner a couple times a month.. I always offer to cook, and it is always some type of meat & potato based meal...but made from scratch. One of their favorites is chicken fried steak... She buys the frozen patties, and the store bought mash, packet gravy with water.

I showed her how to make all from scratch, and how simple it was....and did not take much effort. They were amazed at how good it was... Even had fresh veg..

Salad is another thing....only bagged pre cut iceburg.... I brought a salad one night,,, romaine, butter lettuce, spring mix, and all kinds of other goodies.... She was picking the red oak leaf lettuce out of the bowl,,,, she thought it was bad because it was red!

Now she is learning a few simple things, and is going outside the box a little....their 10yr even teases her about it...."did chefbuba show you how to do that?"

Now I get calls on how to walk her through the steps of making a roast... or how do I???.....

I grew up like this. My mother is a teacher and a single parent who spent the first few years of my life working on a masters degree after work. So I ate microwaved "tv dinners" provided by the baby sitter. As I got older and she was home more not much changed we didn't eat "tv dinners" but if it didn't come frozen, in a can, or in a box it didn't get eaten. I wasn't until I was about 15 that I started getting interested in cooking. Now I'm 20 I still live at home while going to college I cook diner about  6 days a week with the remaining days to deal with leftovers from previous dinners. Which reminds me I need to get more flour for a chorizo, leek, and mushroom quiche I plan on making tomorrow.

The sad thing is most of America is like this people don't know how to cook anymore and they have no interest in learning they want quick food and they don't care if its bad for them. Where we are starting to see change is some of the younger generation such as myself moving back to being able too cook but it is still small scale.
"Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors." - W. Eugene Smith
 
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"Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors." - W. Eugene Smith
 
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post #24 of 56
Thread Starter 
Leeniek, I've been mocked for making my own pizza too.  It kind of sucks.  I've been mocked for freezing stock, making herbed butter, hummus, and other things people consider convenience foods bought straight off the shelf. 

I was lucky to grow up eating real food.  I went through a period (in my 20's) living single where I didn't know too much about cooking but I figured that everyone grew up like me and would eventually wisen up and start cooking their own food.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #25 of 56
my family can defiantly cook mom , dad, aunts and unless and defiantly grandparents etc. some of the friends i hang with can cook and some cant just depends but then if they cant cook then i can do the cooking, yay!
Chef it up errrrday!!!
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Chef it up errrrday!!!
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post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy2727 View Post

There is a food revolution  going on with my young ones.My daughter 23 is and always has been an advocate for the healthy home cooking .....Growing up with a mom as a chef she was kinda pampered that way. She is in her 4th year University and she and her friends get together all the time with "potluck" dinners.... Her first year in Ottawa the University insisted on all res students be on a meal plan if they were over 200 miles from home ...(she was 600 at the time) She hated that food ...I thought that the cafeteria food was pretty good for standards....no she missed home! Anyhow 2nd year she was out on her own renting with friends and I was driving out with my individual frozen home cook meals with recipes attatched and so the revolution started ....all the other students parents  seemd to be doing the same thing and here we have .....our kids can cook! She is actually having dinnner parties....she's in Toronto now in University and she's not even tempted by the "street meat"
My son on the other hand .....is supporting the local economy....in the healthiest way he knows....being 20 and 1st year college ...in Toronto ...cheap take-out for him is Sushi ,Souvlaki,,French stick and butter (literally grabs the whole stick and walks down the street eating it) Quesadillas....fresh tacos,...fresh real italian pizza,...Pad Thai....my son does not like to cook but he does know that a McNugget is not food.


Mmmmmmm pure butter sticks. ;)  I actually went to cooking school in Toronto and LOVED it. Co incidentally I am currently in Ottawa. I dearly miss the markets in Toronto and the amazing restaurants. But that is besides the point. My youngest brother loves to cook. In fact he made Beef Wellington a couple of months ago, something I have even yet to attempt. My father used to make awesome Saturday breakfasts for us when we were kids and can grill a pretty mean steak....provided you like it well done. He is of the mindset that blood is not a good sign, though I have convinced him to start ordering his meat med-well when he goes out. Baby steps.  My mom is a great cook and always has been. Though not a gourmand she can make a mean nacho dip, a killer shepherds pie and well an amazing turkey dinner. I will never understand how mothers/grandmothers everywhere can manage to single-handedly crank out these delicious holiday meals. My middle brother is sort of a write-off in terms of cooking for himself, unless it involves his slow cooker. He is all about the immediacy of a meal. And lastly, my grandmother is an amazing baker. I am constantly calling/e-mailing her for recipes. Her tea biscuits are especially inspiring.
post #27 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post

Least nobody brought the pickles wrapped in chipped beef.
.
Hey, I like those, especially the ones with cream cheese! lol

I know a few people who can cook well.  My parents are both wonderful cooks.  I also know some who "think" they cook very well.  When invited someplace, I ask what they want me to bring...probably 9 out of 10 times, it's not something I would choose to make.  I like to make things that take a lot of prep and "show off" what skills I have.  However, I just try to go with the flow.  I do know that some people who know how I cook for my family on a regular basis are intimidated at the thought of having me over to eat.  I'm not that picky!  Goodness, I do simple meals here at home so don't mind it at all when invited someplace. I don't mind eating dishes prepared using canned soups or other packaged foods.  No, I  don't want to eat it everyday but for a meal every now and then, it's not so bad. Sometimes I think those people just don't want to deal with cooking and entertaining at home, no matter how simple or complicated it is.  Yeah, I will admit that I wear myself out cleaning and preparing when someone is coming over but if I like someone well enough to invite them into my home, I want to make them feel special and welcome.

My children's friends love to eat at my house.  From what I've seen and heard a lot of them are existing on pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, hamburgers, spaghetti, etc.  We eat those things, too, but not on an every day basis.  I used to "dumb" down my cooking when children were invited but now, I just make whatever we would be eating and most of the time, it goes over very well.  I do always ask about allergies and extreme dislikes.  One of my daughter's friends (16 yr old) swears she won't eat anything with onions, cooked or raw.  Funny, she has eaten my homemade pizza sauce with onions and a few other dishes as well.
post #28 of 56
Thanks for starting this thread, Koukovagia, you took the words right out of my mouth.  I am horrified that here in Italy, the Land of Food, people don;t know how to cook.  I guess many more do cook here than there, but still, it's so depressing to go to a potluck supper.  Oh my god, spare me.  It usually consists of about ten cardboard trays from takeout pizza a taglio places (the big square pizza they sell from giant trays in square pieces) a few fried things from the same places (rice balls, potato croquettes) and maybe one person's rice salad or peperonata or something like that.  Deserts are either a very dry cake or pastry trays from a pastry shop.  It would be unfair to say all do that, but it;s so common and so unexpected that it's depressing. 
Going to people's houses for supper i often have to sit on my hands to prevent me from rudely grabbing the frying pan out of their hand when they put the meat on the cold oiled frying pan and THEN turn on the stove! 
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #29 of 56
I admire your restraint, Siduri.

It never occurred to me the difference between making food at home and cooking until I went to lunch at a friend of a friend's place when I was in university.  She cooked!  Not mixed something from a package, not nuked something frozen, not popped the top off a can...

That lunch made a big impression on all of us.  We started having regular dinner parties after that, dressing ourselves up while trying to dress up our cooking lol  That one lunch led to a fascination with preparing food well that I have never gotten over.
post #30 of 56
I don't know too much about my friends' cooking skills.  What I DO know is that I'm the only one who ever invites anyone over for food, so assumptions can be made I guess.  I enjoy cooking for people and entertaining.   I do get rave reviews but I take it with a grain of salt since I don't really know what they eat usually!  I do share recipes with friends a lot, whether or not they cook them remains a mystery.  My parents were convenience cooks and I developed the same habbits in my late teens / early 20's.  Once I realized how unhealthy it was I taught myself to cook with cookbooks, TV and the internet.  It's a hobby for me now to try new and more challenging dishes and I love the reaction I get from my boyfriend.  His mom didn't know seasonings besides salt and pepper.
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