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yeonassky

How long have you been cooking for?

yeonassky
3 years ago

And do you still enjoy it?
I've really only been really cooking since my early twenties since I had children. I wasn't allowed to cook at home when I was growing up. So I've been cooking for of my 62 years.
I enjoy cooking but I am wary about spices Etc. I never know what spice or herb is going to set off my symptoms.
I have to retrofit any recipe to my unusually highly restricted diet. Right now I'm in a bit of a funk because it seems like all I'm eating tastes too bland and or the same. I am going to have to make an effort to find some way to brighten up my food without salt, sugar or oregano, or Sage Etc. I'm thinking lemon. Can't use soy sauce or in any form either. Sigh. I pretty much cook everything from scratch and can't have any grains except for a whole grain whole wheat and rye bread.
How do you keep cooking fresh for yourself? Are you able to keep cooking fresh even with dietary restrictions?

Comments (43)

  • colleenoz
    3 years ago

    I started cooking when I was about 5, doing simple things like grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, percolator coffee etc. By the time I was 13/14 I was filling in on the days off of the cook in our country hotel. With some of the cooks we had the regulars looked forward to their days off :-)

    So I’ve been cooking nearly 55 years. Still enjoy it and look forward to trying new foods, recipes and techniques. DH is restricted to a FODMAP diet which poses some challenges but we work around it.

    yeonassky thanked colleenoz
  • John Liu
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I started in my late 20s, about when SWMBO and I met. I remember my and SWMBO's first dinners. She invited her uncle over and I grilled steaks, for over an hour, until they were like old shoes. Then at Thanksgiving she was on the phone to her sister, asking which end of the turkey to stuff. Her college friend Steven was going to culinary school and catering with his partner Ron. Steven and his mother Shirley taught me to cook. That was in the early '90s. Then around 2010-ish I needed to lose about 40 lb to recover my health. I went in a severe calorie counting diet for over a year. Since I could only eat about 1600 cal/day - maybe it was 1200, I can't recall - I decided to make sure everything I ate was delicious, and to spend a long time making it, since the act of cooking actually made me less hungry. So there were two major phases in my learning to cook. Now I don't have as much time to devote to cooking other than just cranking out stuff I already know, but am trying to get back into it. When I get some projects done this year I'm hoping to resume really learning new cooking stuff.

    yeonassky thanked John Liu
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  • annie1992
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Well, I'll be 64 next month, and I've been cooking since I was just big enough to stand on a chair at the sink and help Grandma peel tomatoes for canning, so probably 60 years?

    Under normal circumstances I like to cook and although I'm very picky, I tend to be adventurous, so I don't hesitate at much of anything except hot peppers. I'm absolutely a hot pepper coward, and so that will make me hesitate. Other than that, I'll make special trips to pick up odd ingredients to make something I'm unfamiliar with. The problem is, that since I'm unfamiliar with it I don't know what it's actually SUPPOSED to taste like, LOL.

    Currently I'm in a rut, we've been doing Elery's extreme crash diet version of what was supposed to be Weight Watchers. Now it's become only the items on the zero point list, so every morning it's eggs with "fake" toast and supper is baked meat of some kind and boiled or microwaved vegetables of some kind. No lunch, no snacks, no sauces, no carbs, no fats, no sugars. Fruits, vegetables, chicken breast, baked fish, eggs, beans. Ugh. I hate to cook and dread meal times right now. The really bad part is that Elery has lost 100 pounds but in spite of a year of complete and sheer misery I've only managed to lose 30. (sigh) He has already had one hip and one knee replaced and weight loss was necessary to avoid further problems, but he has that kind of extreme personality that has no middle ground, hence the dietary extremes.

    So, how do I keep cooking fresh in spite of the restrictions? I don't even try any more, I just bake meat and boil vegetables, eat it and get it over with, and manage to get in the "fun" cooking when we have company.

    I do love to garden and always have a big garden and herbs, so when fresh produce comes in season and the herb garden is growing well, maybe that'll perk things up for me.

    Good luck to you, I hope you figure out what triggers your symptoms soon and that cooking well will be simplified.

    Annie

    yeonassky thanked annie1992
  • Islay Corbel
    3 years ago

    I've been cooking for about 55 years. I'm very lucky as I have no food restrictions...can you eat curry spices? If you can check out this website

    https://www.thespicery.com youndont have to eat chilli to enjoy a good curry.

    yeonassky thanked Islay Corbel
  • nancyofnc
    3 years ago

    My mom wouldn't let me cook when I was little but she let me bake anything. I baked everything in the Betty Crocker Cookbook - who knows what I could have done with a good baking cookbook? At 12 I was selling my from scratch chocolate pudding-filled pate a choux eclairs with hand whipped cream on top to my friends' moms. When I got married I burnt all the first dinners but learned quickly since we were too poor to waste real food. I progressed to being quite a good cook IMHO and in my later years (at 60) sold my gluten free baked goods and homemade jam at the farmers market for 10 years. I am retired now and since DH has alpha-gal I have to limit meals to those without red meat. I am so very tired of fish, chicken, or eggs for dinner. I once in a while steal off alone to Wendy's for a plain hamburger. I bake elaborate things for the occasional visits by my young adult grands. I wish we had poor neighbors that I could give hot meals to several times a week - but alas, we don't have any neighbors. I sometimes ask my SIL and his cousin (who are chefs) to drive the hour and a half for dinner. I totally enjoy that - I guess I love to just feed people.

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  • laceyvail 6A, WV
    3 years ago

    I've been cooking since I left college--I'm 74 now. In the last ten years, I've really cut back pasta, white potatoes etc. and begun to focus much more on whole grains. If you can eat whole wheat bread, I would think you could eat bulgar and farro, my favorite grain. I often make grain bowls involving farro, a green like kale or collards (or for me Gai lan and Senposai, both of which I grow and freeze and not readily available otherwise), with yogurt and often a poached egg. This can easily be varied by adding a small amount of sausage or chicken/turkey. If the latter, I generally skip the yogurt and egg.

    Annie, your diet sounds awful! Latest research strongly indicates that fats are fine to use and especially on a low carb diet. I don't see why you can't begin to use olive oil, butter, and whole fat yogurt and cheeses. They'll give a huge boost to your diet--and won't put on weight. You might start by listening to this People's Pharmacy show. It sums up a lot of recent research.

    https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2019/01/17/show-1149-is-cutting-carbs-more-important-than-cutting-calories/

    yeonassky thanked laceyvail 6A, WV
  • Forever Now
    3 years ago

    I've only been cooking with any regularity since I was 37, and I'm almost 47 now, so barely 10 years. Basically when I married my DH and started my family. Before that I had a few special dishes I'd make for special occasions. Also, I was a 20 year vegetarian up until we married and I decided that if I was going to be cooking for all of us I would start eating meat again. I've had a crash course in cooking over the last several years and have gone to following recipes with a scientist's accuracy to being able to improvise pretty successfully however for all that I don't really enjoy cooking and it is hard to keep it interesting. Not being able to use spices would be very, very hard. Do the same spices bother you all the time or are the fine sometimes and not others? If it's just certain ones I'd probably take great pains to figure out which ones so you know what you CAN work with. I know when my diet is limited for some reason (time to cut calories anyone?) that a really strong flavor is helpful in getting satiated. I'll add hot sauce and greek yogurt (plain) to salad for instance and that combination of heat and the feeling that you are eating fat (the yogurt) is very satisfying. There are probably lots of things in most hot sauces you can't eat but if you can find some strong flavorings that are safe for you you'd probably be a lot happier with your food.

    yeonassky thanked Forever Now
  • amylou321
    3 years ago

    As long as I can remember. I took over the family dinners when I was ten or so. I learned backwards. That is, i learned what NOT to do. Mom was never a good cook. (Sorry mom,but you know its true) But she is a great baker. Food network was a saving grace for us, as when we started getting it, I learned all sorts of new and exciting ingredients and techniques. Funny thing, even though mom was a bad cook,all 6 of her children are great cooks. Weird.

    I dont know that I still enjoy it. I do enjoy feeding people. I love making food that other people enjoy and I am pleased when someone requests a specific dish of mine. But all the before and after fiddle fiddle dampens the experience. That is, the prep, the planning,even the shopping and I usually love shopping, and of course, the cleanup. Holidays in our family, as with most families, are centered around food,most of which I am responsible for producing. I used to look forward to it. Now I enjoy it, but it had lost some of its appeal I will admit.

    Now that I am doing super low carb, the challenge is variety. Cooking for SO is easy enough. I usually make the same protein for both of us, but may not make the same veggie for both, and I always make him a starch or two. Other times, I make 2 separate meals. This morning, he got homemade waffles with homemade strawberry butter and some bacon. I had bacon and eggs. Again.

    yeonassky thanked amylou321
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    3 years ago

    Like amylou, I took over making family dinners - at least on the weekends but often during the week as well - when I was in high school. Mom was a decent cook but she would much rather be in her garden or waited on than do the work to prepare a meal. She was a bit of a diva :-) So I've been cooking for 50+ years.

    No food restrictions personally but when I was married, my ex would eat no red meat. I got quite creative using gound turkey........and chicken, fish and shellfish! And we ate out fairly often so I would indulge my desire for steaks or burgers or whatever then.

    As a single person living alone, I find cooking now to be a bit of a challenge in preparing interesting meals for one....and ones that do not generate a ton of leftovers!! A couple of meals is okay and I often share with my sister but no room in freezer for much. But it's manageable - I eat a lot of salads, local groceries sell single size portions of a lot of meats and I often will make breakfast for dinner. And I sometime skip it altogether, just having some cheese and crackers and sliced fruit. Or a grilled cheese sandwich with whatever other fillings appeal and are on hand - bacon, tomatoes, tuna salad, sliced deli ham or roast beef.

    yeonassky thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • chloebud
    3 years ago

    My earliest memory is when I was 4 or 5. My parents would give me those baking sets with the little cake and frosting mixes and baking utensils. I got my first cookbook (Betty Crocker) when I was 9. I was so excited and begged my mom to let me stay home from school so I could start using it. She said no. I still remember the first thing I made from the book. It was called Bonnie Butter Cake.

    yeonassky thanked chloebud
  • artemis_ma
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I started cooking with Mom when I was in my early tweens. This would be cookies and cakes and Christmas desserts. For most of my early life, my parents had a small kitchen, only room for two and both Dad and Mom loved to cook! So they both took the galley space unless, of course, it was cookies and cakes. Dad did not cook those. Everything else, but not those. Mind you, I'm not a sweet tooth, though I liked them better then... and I was usually recruited for dish duty.

    I took up serious cooking when I went to grad school for my Masters' degree. Off campus, a housemate and I tried cooking together - epic fail. She was short and heavy, and didn't really care about seasonings; and I was very tall and severely underweight (due to menstrual issues), and was used to food with flavor. There was no way we could split the groceries so we could each eat what we needed to eat. So, we stopped sharing food and meals, and I discovered how to cook tasty meals for myself on a true budget. (I wanted to write a cookbook - "101 Ways to Cook Hot Dogs", to be followed by "101 Ways to Cook Pasta".)

    Um, the following year I had another off campus housemate who would get home earlier than the rest of us, and she'd set a chicken to broil in the oven. She'd go nap. We'd get home and there'd be smoke and charring arising everywhere. She probably nearly set the place on fire around 5 times or so! Unfortunately, as I was the last person to move out at the end of that year, I got stiffed with the oven repair bill.



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  • writersblock (9b/10a)
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Gee, I'm surprised at the people whose moms wouldn't let them cook. My mom let me help her from when I was about five or so. Her go-to was an old copy of Parents' Magazine Cookbook, which had a whole section on cooking projects for children, starting with adding chocolate syrup to milk in a jar and shaking to make chocolate milk and moving on up to things like floating island.

    I could cook a whole meal by the time I was ten or so, although I never had to, unless I wanted to--usually to try something I hadn't made before. The exception being that if I objected to what was being served (my parents sometimes liked depression-era stuff like canned salmon with mayonnaise, or canned-pear salad with mayo), I was free to go cook something else for myself.

    yeonassky thanked writersblock (9b/10a)
  • colleenoz
    3 years ago

    I taught my DD to cook and by the time she was 9 she could produce a simple dinner, though she only did so when she wanted to. Sometimes she liked to play “Restaurant” and cook dinner for us all, but when she was a teen and left home she lived for the first few months on take aways. Then one day she told me in all seriousness, “You know, it’s cheaper if you cook yourself.” I bit my tongue. Now she’s a quite accomplished cook, as is her husband.

    I think it’s a kind of child abuse to let your child/ren grow up and leave home with no life skills.

    yeonassky thanked colleenoz
  • artemis_ma
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    My brother learned to cook in self defense. His first wife thought nuking Chef-boy-ar-Dee was suitable for dinner. Even though he didn't cook at home growing up, enough watching and tasting both Mom and Dad's foods rubbed off on him that he's to this date an awesome cook.

    I knew when I went out on my own I wanted to eat food as good as what I ate growing up. Even though most of the cooking I'd done back in the family nest was desserts, I wanted real stuff, real food, and to mimic or expand upon what my parents had created together back when I lived with them.

    I'm still doing that.

    yeonassky thanked artemis_ma
  • plllog
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    And so much more comfortable!! My wise wise mother never worried about the guy with the Porsche. :)

    I learned to cook and bake at my mother's knee. I learned to Cook right after college when I was living abroad on a very small stipend in the middle of nowhere with not much else to do and not much else to eat. I learned to COOK when I had my own house and my own kitchen and responsibility to feed the family, and time to listen to cooking shows on TV to learn things my mother didn't know (she was an amazingly good cook but there's more to learn), and time to spend developing my own recipes and time for digging into other people's recipes, and making things totally new to me with little pressure to succeed ("reservations" is a good alternative to what to make for dinner if a new recipe is a flop).

    Last summer I was on a really restrictive diet that was supposed to be for three weeks but worked well enough making me feel better that it lasted for 3-4 months. It was awful. I lost all interest in cooking. I'm usually the one who dreams up things to tempt someone on low FODMAP or vegans or whatever the issue, but when it came to just me, I couldn't do it. Not that what I was eating tasted bad. I just couldn't bear bothering to cook more than roasting a chicken or similar. I wish I knew a way to help.

    I agree about making a list of the things you know you can have, especially herbs and spices which can change the same old into interesting new things. Maybe we can help you think up things that'll bring you out of your rut.

    yeonassky thanked plllog
  • chase_gw
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I never cared much about cooking until 20 or so. My Mom was a so so cook but she did her own thing in the kitchen , maybe is was her safe place from the bunch of us.

    When I was 19 or 20 I roomed with three guys in university ( hell it was the late 60's ) . We had an apartment off campus. I was pretty much dead a$$ broke. So the deal was the boys would pitch in dollars for the groceries and I would do the cooking , dinner only.

    They were big guys with big appetites but dinner had to be geared to different timetables and a sense of leftovers for lunches....but most importantly cheap. So I learned to cook spaghetti and meatballs , meatloaf, rump roast and Yorkshires, sloppy Joes, ham and scalloped potates, mac and cheese, stew, chicken pot pie, chile con carne.......I learned a lot and it turned me on to cooking.

    It was a happy time.


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  • nancyjane_gardener
    3 years ago

    My mom mostly cooked from scratch. She had us help in the kitchen from an early age.

    Started with baking cakes and cookies (NOT from scratch), then by High School, I was making a couple of meals a week.

    I still like to cook, but am kinda bored! DH usually does a great job grilling during the nice weather, but doesn't do much the rest of the year (besides chili!)

    I'm trying to cook and freeze as much as possible so that I can have at least a night off from cooking (besides my No cook Fridays!)

    Oh, so I've been at it for 50 + years. Nancy

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  • colleenoz
    3 years ago

    Dcarch, that’s what I tell the boys in cooking class who complain :-)

    Well, maybe not the bedroom part ;-D

    yeonassky thanked colleenoz
  • annie1992
    3 years ago

    I'm also surprised at the number of people who have Mothers who would not allow them to cook. I was REQUIRED to cook and was baking bread by the time I was 7, we didn't buy bread, we always made it. White squishy stuff from the store was a treat, LOL. Grandma did most of the cooking but I was the "sous chef", always. Grandma lived with us but would spend weeks with her son or other daughter and then I was responsible for meals for the family of 5 (6 with Grandma). My own girls were stirring pancake batter and stuffing the turkey when they were still sitting on the counter in their footie pajamas, and so were my Grandkids. Neither of my girls really likes to cook, although the Grandkids still do.

    Laceyvail, you don't have to convince me, it's Elery who refuses to eat anything that's not on that zero point menu, although my newly acquired cardiologist tells me to limit fats but hasn't said a word about salt, which did surprise me. He also shakes his head at the idea that I can eat a dozen eggs for breakfast but can't have a bowl of oatmeal. I detest yogurt for just eating, although I use it for baking, it's just too slimy and I can't swallow it. I'm not crazy about cheese either. My girls used to tease me because I don't eat pizza or chocolate chip cookies, it's just un-American! (grin) A little olive oil would sure help for roasting those vegetables instead of boiling/ steaming/microwaving everything, though.

    I can actually eat anything I want, but Elery will refuse it, and I just don't want to cook two separate meals all the time. Yeah, he's one of those guys that gives Weight Watchers a bad name. When Mother is here it's worse, she will only eat broccoli, KFC (but only the thigh and only original recipe), baked potatoes, hamburgers, quiche and squash. Well, also raspberry pie, corn muffins and donuts. She has one cup of yogurt for breakfast, but it has to be Oikos, it has to be greek style and it has to be raspberry, anything else goes into the chicken scraps. I gave her a salad once and she told me to feed that to the cows, LOL. So, if I feed her, then I make something else for Elery, I'm probably not going to make a third meal for myself and it's tedious to make her meal, then Elery's and then my own, it just takes too long.

    Annie


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  • John Liu
    3 years ago

    Hey don't be hating on Porsches.

    When SWMBO and I started dating, I had a quasi sports car that I'd fitted with an intercooler. The rubber hose tended to come loose which would immediately kill the engine. It only took a minute to reattach it and I kept the appropriate screwdriver in the glove box. When the engine died, usually on some dark road in L.A., SWMBO would be panicked and I'd get out of the car with my screwdriver saying "I'm going to have a look". A minute later we'd be moving again and she was rather impressed.

    She doesn't like the Porsche because it is small, noisy, and hard riding. I keep it for exactly those reasons.

    yeonassky thanked John Liu
  • plllog
    3 years ago

    I didn't hate the Porsche, though the guy was all Porsche and hair and didn't last long. Making out in a Porsche is another story. Getting into a Porsche in a skirt and heels, even one one is young and fit, is not a way to be charmed, so one is already not in the mood just deigning to ride in the thing. The exact placement of the shift knob, at least back in the day, means someone's getting impaled. Mother was right. The surf vans, woodies, pickup trucks, estate wagons and full sized two doors with the ever so comfy back seats and full span bench up front (last of which, I had one), were much better vehicles to worry one's mother in. :)


    yeonassky thanked plllog
  • annie1992
    3 years ago

    LOL, Plllog, I have some very fond memories of an old Buick Electra with that front bench seat. Of course, I also have some very fond memories of a certain MG Midget, but they have nothing to do with any other person and everything to do with zooming about with the top down and my long hair pinned up, making sure the straps on my swimsuit were periodically rearranged so that my summer tan was not compromised. (grin)

    I'm not a Kid Rock fan but "all Summer Long" really WAS us. Summer is short and winter is long and you gotta make the most of it when you're young(er).

    Annie

    yeonassky thanked annie1992
  • Compumom11
    3 years ago

    This is such a fun topic! Thank you Yeonassky for suggesting it. I've been cooking since I was about 8, so that makes it 53 years.

    My mother couldn't boil water when she was married, so Dad and her aunt and some good cookbooks were her education. By the time I came around 5 years later, Mom was well on her way to being a good cook. She was determined that me, her only child, would learn to cook and I easily accepted the challenge. I had a Better Homes and Gardens Junior Cookbook and I loved to bake cakes, muffins and sweets. However I did make a roast beef dinner at age 9, so I guess the basics were also ingrained. I didn't cook all that much until I was in college and living in a sorority house. My roommate and I replaced the cook when she quit. Our university was a commuter school and as such, the house was only 4 bedrooms and held 10 live-ins and occasional guests. That year helped teach me some new skills because my roommate's family was from Europe and she had some skills that I did not.

    DH loves me to cook and I loved taking cooking classes and playing with recipes. I'm not very creative these days. My Kids (the ingrates) had very plain tastes and preferred burgers, roasted chicken, steak, pasta, chicken tenders and the like for most of their lives. As adults they're not much better, especially my son.

    Yeonassky, like you, I have food sensitivities now and must avoid grains, alliums, beans, spicy foods, a lot of dairy and soy. Therefore, like Annie, I just make something relatively plain & easy most of the time and DH deals with it. He can't have too many carbs now and we are watching our weight, which makes for not very creative meals.

    One final note: my DH had a Porsche when we met and I tell people that's one of the reasons he got a second date! LOL

    yeonassky thanked Compumom11
  • lindac92
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    We moved when I was not yet 9....so my kitchen actions and my age are clearly imbedded as to which kitchen. I stirred and sifted and rolled and cut out before 9, oh and shaped yeast rolls and learned how to stretch the outside....but after that I peeled apples ( we had 2 big trees...nothing must go to waste!)`mixed, rolled and baked cookies from a mix and sold them along with home made limeade from a card table in the front yard. at 10 or so i could grill some chicken or a lamb shop, make a baked potato and peel and cook carrots. And things like devilled eggs and tuna salad were mine to experiment with. I would go through the spice and seasonings cupboard and ask "would this be good in that?"....and that's how I learned what thyme and sage does and cardamon and curry powder and nutmeg tastes like in things.
    Pretty much i wasn't taught to cook, but allowed to.....and that's what i did with my kids.....allowed them to play in the kitchen.....and both my kids are very good cooks.....and their kids too.....except for the twins....but that's another tale!

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  • Sherry
    3 years ago

    Compumom, My mother couldn't boil water either despite the cookbooks she got when she got married. (Dad used them though in his later years.) I started making the family suppers in self defense at about 10 years. Mom couldn't cook, or wouldn't, Dad didn't get off until 5PM, and if we waited until he got home, we didn't eat until 7PM. I would have supper on the table at about 6. It was just the common stuff at the time. Meat, two or three vegetables, and either cornbread or biscuits. Down South, way out in the boonies, there wasn't anything like Mexican, Italian, Chinese, ect. Bacon dripping and maybe a little onion was the most seasoning, except for Thanksgiving. My grandmother made oyster dressing with onions, celery, sage, and poultry seasoning. By the time I was 16, I was buying all the groceries and cooking them. (Not to mention the cleaning up.)

    My grandmother (on Mom's side) was a fantastic cook. Dad's Mom died before I was born.

    yeonassky thanked Sherry
  • caflowerluver
    3 years ago

    I starting helping my mom when I was 4-5 years old. I am 67 now. I stood on a wooden step stool and did things like peel the veggies, beat the eggs, mix things together. By the time I was 10 I could do the whole dinner from soup/salad to dessert. But what I really loved was baking. Still do, but for health reasons have cut down sugar intake to very little. I miss all the yummy baked things I use to make.

    Later at 20 I became a vegetarian and learned a lot about food combinations and healthy eating. I was one for almost 16 years, but due to my son's special diet I started making meat dishes again. He is Lactose intolerant, gluten sensitive, soy allergic, nuts and egg sensitive. We started eating meat so he would have a protein source. At 24 he started eating small amounts of things he was sensitive to before, which made it easier with menu planning.

    I find myself staying with what I have been making for the last 30 years, though I occasionally try something new if it fits within the previously set guidelines.


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  • Feathers11
    3 years ago

    I started doing the basics as a child in my grandmothers' kitchens and learned so much from them. My own mother was not a good cook, but my grandmothers... they were the real deal in terms of cooking from scratch.

    My siblings and I had to take turns cooking family meals on weeknights growing up. My older brother is an excellent cook.

    I worked in a few restaurants during college and grad school, and that quickly turned me off to restaurant food. Early in our marriage, my husband and I would eat out, and our meager salaries didn't justify it, so I took up cooking again. I've been doing it ever since. I enjoy cooking for my family very much. We have no strict dietary restrictions--just strict dietary preferences. They are picky eaters. But I cook breakfast and dinner nearly every day for them, and lunches when needed. I'm rather proud of the fact that in this age of fast-food and microwaves that my family knows the benefits of healthy, home-cooked meals.

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  • bcskye
    3 years ago

    I had to teach myself how to cook immediately after marrying my first husband. My mother wanted me to be a dancer so didn't teach me how to cook. #1 and I got married in Japan and were stationed there for four years. Two days after we married, I had him take me to the bookstore on base where I bought my first cookbook. That cookbook was destroyed twenty-four years later while I was married to my second husband. I found a copy on EBay and bought it. That one somehow made it t the old barn and was ruined. Again, EBay saved the day with another copy of it. I still have this last copy.

    Cooking is something I truly enjoy. Unfortunately, since my DH passed and I had to go back to work, I'm too exhausted to do much cooking. I still do canning and supply the fire department I belong to all the cakes and pies for all their fish fries and other special events.

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  • bcskye
    3 years ago

    Forgot to say I bought that cookbook in 1964 so that's how long I've been cooking.

    Madonna

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  • plllog
    3 years ago

    LOL, Annie! I kept a straw hat in the car to keep the sun off my face. :) A friend had an MGB. It was cute, rag topped and really uncomfortable. Probably better where you live. I totally appreciate the straps maintenance. ;) Muscle cars are more my thing. Sport styling is fine but I don't want to be breathing exhaust and feeling every bit of debris. I do like the 5L+ V-8, torc and compression ratio. :)

    We were talking about this over the dinner table today. How cars and cooking seem to go together in one's memories (not cooking in cars, which is nasty).

    yeonassky thanked plllog
  • yeonassky
    Original Author
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Thank you everyone. So nice to hear of your experiences. I'm glad many of you have overcome early family restrictions. And happy that many were encouraged to cook and bake when young.

    My kids learned to cook when young but my and DH's illnesses and their often accompanying companion poverty necessitated a very simple and cheap diet so we didn't experiment much at all. Now as adults they both cook fearlessly which I'm very happy for.

    I've never baked much more than cookies and some bread. Mostly because I can't eat most of it.

    I wanted to clarify that something in whole wheat bread, buns, flat
    bread crackers etc. sets off my symptoms. I can eat 100% whole grain
    whole wheat pasta but that's it. The dietician can't figure out why as I can have yeast in rye bread. She guesses it's some sugar reaction but is not sure. For bread and crackers I eat 100% rye.

    Sadly I also have a
    reaction to corn meal and flour, and white rice or rice crackers but can
    eat whole grain rice. I eat eggs in the shell and steamed veggies with no salt or pepper when I go out to eat so I
    don't react to anything. I can only eat or cook with small amounts of
    olive or avocado oil so that influences how things taste as well.

    Unfortunately I can't eat curry spices as that triggers every symptom. I've been experimenting with spices for a while again and am still not able to do many more than garlic, a bit of ginger and black and cayenne pepper. The last one I tried was cumin and was so disappointed to get extreme symptoms as I loved the flavour it gave my food. I can eat mustard so will use that to change the flavours.

    Did I say I'm frustrated? My symptoms are unrelenting so this is what I'm stuck with for it appears the rest of my life. I just have to try harder to make it tasty...

    Loved the conversational slide into cars. I loved jaguars the best when young... but never wanted to cook food in one. ;)

    Thanks again for your ideas. Much appreciated!

  • bragu_DSM 5
    3 years ago

    I remember making taco meat for the HS Spanish club and making those Hersey's syrup brownies that everyone devoured. I'd get asked ... "are you bringing Dave brownies?


    Then I started making salsas and the like. two kinds: 1) do you want peppers in your salsa; and, 2) do you want tomatoes in your salsa?


    That's how I got the moniker bragu ... "it's in there" like the ragu mix ...

    Short answer, since HS.

    Dave

    yeonassky thanked bragu_DSM 5
  • Melvin Walker
    9 months ago

    bragu_DSM, thats a great recipe for sure!

  • Lars
    9 months ago

    I've been cooking since I was nine, and I was not allowed to before that, partly because I have a sister who is a year and a half older, and she was supposed to help with the cooking instead of me. Also, when I was young, we had a maid who also cooked for us, and so even my mother did not have to cook much of the time.

    By the time I was ten, I volunteered to cook so that my sister would not have to, as I did not like anything that she made. She made a lot of things that I would refuse to eat, and so I was very thin at this time. My mother's mother cooked well, and I learned from her.

  • HU-455869934
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    I grew up eating alternatively grandma’s Chinese home cooking or my single dad‘s random single dad cooking - you know, dinners of steak and orange juice. Sometimes I lived in France and ate whatever single dad post docs could afford to feed their kids in Paris and Strasbourg. I don’t recall having any very special food in early 1970s France - I think we were eating street food basically.

    When I went to school, I lived on Top Ramen through college and grad school. We all did, with occasional splurges on Hamburger Helper, burritos, and pizza to wash down the beer. One of my friends made a ”Shrine to Top Ramen” that we bowed to daily.

    I don’t think my first fiance, A*****, cooked, other than pasta. I didn’t. We ate out a lot.

    SWMBO didn’t really cook when we started co-habitating, but she wanted to replicate the home cooked meals that she’d grown up with. We referred to the Betty Crocker cookbook a lot and made a lot of stuff that we had no idea what to do with. SWMBO denies it, but I distinctly remember one Thanksgiving hearing her on the phone to her older sister asking ”which end of the turkey do I stuff?” When we roasted a goose at Christmas, there was no-one to tell us what to do with the river of molten fat overflowing the sheet pan.

    I learned to cook from SWMBO’s college friend, S*****, who was putting himself through culinary school working with his partner in a catering business. He’s the top food scientist in a seafood company today. S*****’s mother became my and SWMBO’s adoptive parents in Los Angeles. She is the best cook and hostess I have ever known, and while she didn’t necessarily teach me many specific techniques, she taught us to express love and friendship with food.

    In recent years, I’ve learned from DD who has become a much better cook than I. Her years running the commercial kitchen at camp, leading crews of hungover teenage line cooks in feeding 150 very-picky Berkeley families nightly while improvising “dietary” meals for the few who announce that they are vegetarian soy-intolerant low-spice non-dairy but want something as tasty as the ribs and salmon everyone ELSE is getting - ”oh, and I can’t have garlic, or salt either” - well, it’s made her inflappable and inventive.

    (She was actually sad to leave for Marseille, because with the shortage of people applying to restaurant jobs, she really wanted to stay in Portland and try to get a line cook job in a fancy restaurant. One thing she’s thinking now about now is culinary school in Europe. She’s also trying to figure it if she can find work in a Marseille restaurant, since her teaching job isn’t full time.)

    So, I’ve been cooking for about 35 years, starting around age 23. I can cook some things very well, am hopeless at others, and am in a deep cooking slump at the moment - well, for the last 18 months really, because when gatherings are virtual, cooking just isn’t very interesting for me. I’m really, really ready for the pandemic to be over or become endemic. Except that a lot of my friends are older or medically fragile, and I’ve recently lost one to Covid who was neither and only in her 50s, I’m kind of getting indifferent to which it might be.


    Oh, last thing that might be interesting - after I’ve cooked a lot, like 8 hours in the kitchen for a dinner party, I have no interest in eating. I figured out that I want to be involved with the food, but don’t necessarily need to eat it.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 months ago

    I was into "modernist cuisine" before the age of 10.


    I discovered that by sticking one nail each end of a hot dog and wire the nails to go into a wall outlet, the hot dog would be cooked in seconds. I was making hot dogs for neighborhood kids.


    dcarch


  • lindac92
    9 months ago

    Another here who cooks things and when done doesn't really want to eat it. I live for that "um" when someone takes a bite of something you made.

    I am always puzzled by people who need a "recipe" to cook......cakes maybe maybe a special dish the first time you make it. As a new bride we went on a 2 stage honeymoon, both stages 'housekeeping". And I was just 21 by 2 weeks and had never lived "on my own". The first stage was a beach house and I boiled lobster, grilled steaks and burgers, made eggs and bacon, the second stage was a fishing cabin and I baked and fried fish and fried a burger the day they weren't biting.

    I remember someone near and dear to me (RIP) couldn't cook at all. If handed a whole chicken she would have to search a book to find out what to do with it. Remember one time being a guest at their house and they had some sort of appointment and I said I'll start dinner, do you have something planned. She told me she was planning on a new salad she clipped from a magazine, with black beans, corn, onions and peppers and would try to find the recipe. I told her don't bother, I know how to do that. Some people just don't seem to instinctivaly know how to cook something without a recipe. I read cookbooks like a novel, for inspiration then mostly I put them aside. Somethings I need a recipe for, like the cake i made yesterday, eventhough I have made it 6 or 7 times before, and some preserves....and I can never remember how many eggs I use per stick of butter for Hollandaise, but mostly I just cook!

  • Lars
    9 months ago

    In addition to cakes, I use recipes for bread, pizza dough, cookies, pie dough, and most things that I bake, but I always have, and I've been baking bread since I was ten. Otherwise, I generally do not use recipes, except for inspiration. I've written down a lot of recipes that I make so that I can share them with others.

  • plllog
    9 months ago

    I still don't have time to give reading this thread the attention it deserves, but to Yeonassky, if you can tolerate liquid amino acids (Braggs), you can use it as a substitute for soy sauce. Many root vegetables provide a punch of flavor--maybe if they're less green herb-ish, they'll work? Turnips and radishes are sharp and pungent, but they're also hard and wet so take awhile to soften and brown, even when minced. Parsnips have an almost spicy flavor. Celeriac (celery root) has a stronger flavor than celery and is delicious when roasted. It can also be pureed to add flavor to other things. On top of the ground, roasted kabocha squash has a lovely nutty sweet flavor without the wateriness of a lot of pumpkins and other winter squash. Lemons, as you said, are flavorful, especially the sharper ones, rather than Meyers. You might explore other citrus like yuzu and kumquat. Charring citrus brings in another, more complex, kind of flavor.


    I don't have a specific first memory of cooking. There was a lot of helping, and from very very young we were expected to get our own breakfasts, first just using the toaster, then learning hot cereal, eggs, pancakes, etc. We took over the baking in single digit ages, except for the yeast breads, which we only helped shape until teens. All along were the chopping, stirring tasting, making salads, making soups, leading up to cooking the meats. By the time I left home, I was a pretty good cook, but did a lot of cobbling things together when I was working insane hours. I love having a well appointed and stocked kitchen now, so I can cook whatever I want to when I think of it.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    9 months ago
    last modified: 9 months ago

    The question has two parts. The second assumes that one enjoyed cooking at some point. I began baking with my mum at around five which was fun. But as soon as I had to cook ie after the age 18 for various jobs and to keep myself alive I did it because it was necessary, not for enjoyment. My SIL recently commented on what we were having for dinner and added ’but you like cooking’. I replied that I don’t like cooking particularly but I do like eating good food. And to guarantee that every day of the year cooking is inevitable. But to me cooking is essentially a slightly more creative kind of housework with a more worthwhile outcome.

  • lowspark
    9 months ago

    My mother was a really good cook and she cooked dinner every night when I was growing up. We hardly ever ate out!


    So I did learn some cooking skills from her. I could make eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, that sort of thing. And cookies and brownies. So minor stuff.


    But I did watch her cook a lot and often helped -- because I wanted to. So even though I didn't do a huge amount of hands on, I was familiar with the processes. So when I got married at 20, I had a pretty good idea of a lot of simple meals to make.


    My mom came over once and showed me how to cut up a chicken because she was economical and a whole chicken is so much cheaper than cut up parts. Well, yeah, I did that once. Then I went back to buying the parts. Too much trouble!


    I do love to cook, but my philosophy is that I don't want to spend my life in the kitchen. So mostly I make simple, quick dishes. Every once in a while I get an idea to make something elaborate and every time I think, never again!


    When I eat out, I tend to order things I can't or won't make at home.


    I taught both of my sons to cook. It's a life skill and I never wanted them to subsist on junk food or fast food. To this day, (they are both in their 30s), they both cook regularly.

  • Melvin Walker
    9 months ago

    lowspark, I just wonder, how hard is that - to start cooking from the scratch.

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