When I was about 17, I was tossed into the world of cooking by my parents. They admirably affirmed that they wanted to stop eating out so frequently and that the three of us should rotate responsibilities to make a genuine home-cooked meal that we could share.
Unfortunately, both my mother and father ended up sloughing their duty to cook after just a few weeks of our new schedule. But because they are the parents, they had the power to enforce that I fulfill my end of the agreement. So, at least three nights a week, I was preparing dinner from ingredients I had shopped for myself.
It was tough at times, especially since I hadn’t had much need for cooking in previous years, but I started to figure things out. But then I went to college, where a cafeteria with a huge menu was provided. I stopped cooking. When I moved on my own, it was like starting all over again.
If you find yourself in the same situation–you are just starting on your own, your parents are unwilling or unable to cook, or you just want to be able to spice things up in the kitchen instead of living out of a macaroni box–you are probably wondering where to start. That’s where I come in.
First of all, visit your local bookstore and check out cookbooks that offer simplistic meals that are easy and quick to prepare. Buy yourself one or two of these to begin with and then keep them in easy reach in your kitchen.
Once you have at least one cookbook, make sure that you have your cupboards and refrigerator stocked with all the basic necessities. For most recipes, you will require a good set of mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, and plenty of spices and marinades.
You will also want to have a few good utensils, like wooden spoons and forks, a rubber spatula, a good set of knives, and, of course, your basic cookware–skillets, saucepans, and more.
After you have obtained your basic equipment, you need to start meal planning. Use a basic day planner, your calendar, or even a special grid you draw up yourself to label which dinners from your cookbook you will prepare each night.
Then consult the book and your refrigerator to find out which materials you will need to purchase at the grocery store the week before.
You will mess up. You will burn things and botch dishes. But that’s okay! That is part of the joy of cooking. An in home cooking class could help you get your bearings in your own home, allowing you to feel more comfortable, but only you can decide what will work best for you.