Cooking

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by mysterygal, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. mysterygal

    mysterygal Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    For those of us who cook, who inspired you to become the gormet chef that you are today?
    For me, it was my father, he was a chef at a high end restraunt for many years and passed down his love for food to me. Everything was made from scratch and to him it was always a joy to be in the kitchen, never a chore
     
  2. Rosie

    Rosie One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,827
    Location:
    Bed Stuy, Brooklyn, NY
    Turthfully, I think watching cooking shows got me really interested. I really only began cooking the way I do now about 5 or so years ago. Watching tv cooks like Alton Brown and Rachel Ray made me think how simple cooking "good" food (not just rice, veggie, meat) could be and so I started. My baking started with my desire to eat cookies or cake that wasn't loaded with preservatives and whatever else terrible things "they" put into food.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    My grandmother had a lot of joy in her kitchen, too -- she was a very simple, homey kind of cook, but what she made she made well, and she was always glad to let me help out with rolling out dough or beating eggs or simple things like that so I could get a feel for the process. Giving a child that kind of confidence in the kitchen is a really important part of teaching her to enjoy cooking.

    Most of all, though, it was the smells of cooking that really got me interested. When I was quite young -- seven, eight years old -- I would fry hamburgers for supper and try different kinds of spices and things on them, and if it smelled good I had a pretty good idea that it would taste good. Some of those experiments didnt quite work out -- but most of the time they did. I really liked the idea that I could create something that was pleasing on so many different sensory levels!
     
  4. PrettySquareGal

    PrettySquareGal I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,015
    Location:
    New England
    I don't like my husband's cooking. :D But my maternal grandmother was the best cook in the world to me and those that tasted her cooking.
     
  5. mysterygal

    mysterygal Call Me a Cab

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    lol when the mister does cook, he does a fantastic job...he can't stand to watch me cook though so he opts to read a magazine or whatever. He's the kind that follows directions to recipes to the t...me, on the other hand, does a slash of this, a dab of that :D only had a few oops..but generally always comes out great...but that was how my father also cooked, he wasn't too much of a stickler to directions :)
     
  6. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA
    .

    Julia.

    ....................
     
  7. Hannigan Reilly

    Hannigan Reilly One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I got hungry and no one was around to make me anything.
     
  8. The Reno Kid

    The Reno Kid A-List Customer

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Back in the Biggest Little City
    I certainly can't claim to be a gourmet chef, but I can turn out a pretty good meal. I don't remember what got me started, but it was Julia that inspired me to try real gourmet dishes. Bon appetit!
     
  9. VintageJess

    VintageJess One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    249
    Location:
    Old Virginia
    Dear Grandma

    Lizzie,

    My grandmother has been an inspiration to me as well, and it sounds like we had similar experiences in that way! I can remember her baking chocolate chip cookies and she would let me help stir and always lick the beaters!

    I learned from her that cooking and baking can be special ways of expressing love for your family and loved ones. There is something so comforting about a family evening meal, or an afternoon snack to a child. I am glad to carry out those traditions in my home now. I try to put a little love into everything I make!

    Jessica
     
  10. Salv

    Salv One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,247
    Location:
    Just outside London
    My father was also a chef, albeit in the US Navy. He obviously had some talent though, and ended up as one of a team of personal chefs to one of the Admirals. His postings always followed the admirals, which is how he ended up in London, and so met my mum. After postings in Norfolk, VA, and Naples the family ended up back in the UK. My earliest memories of anyone cooking were of my dad in the kitchens of a large house owned by the Navy in Surrey, just west of London and near where I live now. My mum was a decent cook, but I always preferred my dads cooking. His specialty, which was so time-consuming that it only ever appeared twice at home, was deboned chicken (the only bones left were those little ones in the wings) stuffed with Spanish rice and slow roasted. I'm salivating just writing about it...

    I could never hope to emulate his skill in the kitchen, but I enjoy getting in there and trying out new recipes. My younger sister is the best cook in the family now - she must have been paying a lot more attention than me or my older sister.
     
  11. Caledonia

    Caledonia Practically Family

    Messages:
    954
    Location:
    Scotland
    Nobody in my family cooked except for the most basic survival food, and certainly no budding chefs. Mum couldn't cook and had no interest in it, so she turned me out the door with almost no knowledge of cooking and definitely no knowledge of nutrition, ingredients, and experimentation. I turned vegetarian and decided I was going to starve to death or turn into a walking macaroni cheese monster (oddly, the thought of eating vegetables didn't cross my mind :rolleyes:). So I either wrote my own obituary or bought a cook book. Never looked back really. Love recipes, love experimenting, just love to cook! External inspiration comes from anywhere - a magazine, hearing a chef of the radio, and (rare) decent meal in a restaurant, etc, etc.
     
  12. Naama

    Naama Practically Family

    Messages:
    667
    Location:
    Vienna
    That just inspires me to eat cold ;)

    Naama
     
  13. Tin Pan Sally

    Tin Pan Sally Registered User

    Messages:
    325
    Location:
    Ahwatukee, Arizona, USA
    My Mother, maternal Grandfather, and paternal Grandmother taught me how to cook and bake all kinds of traditional arcane things from scratch. I love to whip up goodies in the kitchen; it relaxes me, makes the house smell good, makes people happy, is cheaper &healthier than frozen/canned food, and is a way to show your family& friends your love for them.
     
  14. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,324
    Location:
    Small Town Ohio, USA

    Amen. Well said.
     
  15. RedPop4

    RedPop4 One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    Metropolitan New Orleans
    Quite well said.
    I like to cook, but my imagination leaves me when I actually begin working, though. That and the fact that MrsRedPop4 is not very courageous when it comes to cooking as well as us not liking stuff like tomatoes, mushrooms and most vegetables.

    It's limiting. I like more things than she does, but she won't try many things. So it's kind of tough, but I like getting in there and cooking with fresh ingredients and twisitng what we do a bit. I'm the turkey guy in the family, now, because I brine it and try interesting gravy with it.

    I also like to bake bread and such.

    My mother taught me to make a simple red gravy (tomato sauce only, no paste) when I was a kid so that I'd quit bothering here for macaroni and gravy every day. I could also use it to make simple pizza for myself.

    Add in her love of cooking, sharing with her son, and cooknig shows for years also inspire me to want to do well WHEN we have the time to do so. My kids are involved in things so we're rarely home to cook anything complex.
     
  16. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,717
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    I'll chime in from the other side....

    Cooking simply doesn't interest me. Never has. About the only thing I've really made my own is smoking meat (brisket, turkeys, chickens, sausage), because after 12 years in Texas I went into withdrawal for good BBQ when I left the state. (And BBQ in Texas does not refer to the sauce, but the smoked meat.)

    That, burgers on the gas grill, and breakfast stuff like waffles, french toast and the occasional omlet pretty much fill out my repertoire.

    Here's as complex as I get: I can take a can of Dinty Moore beef stew, throw it in a ceramic pot and microwave it to warm it up, then drop Bisquick biscuits on top, shove it in the oven and thereby make stew with biscuits on top. (My wife figured this one out - I never would have.) This is the absolute pinnacle of my cooking.

    Aside from that, if I were a bachelor, I'd have a permanent butt-print on a counter stool at the Ever-Open Cafe near my house, and other meals would be from a can or frozen container.

    And I'm happy with that. I have plenty of interests besides cooking. :p
     
  17. mysterygal

    mysterygal Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Washington
    I'm still not much of a baker, besides making cookies, everything tends to come out lumpy [huh] maybe has to do with not following directions completely?:eusa_doh: :D
    Cooking I love....it's the whole 'creating' something aspect. Your taking ordinary food a making them into something pleasing to the eyes, smell and taste.
     
  18. jdjs

    jdjs Familiar Face

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    Calgary, AB Canada
    Both my mother and father were of the opinion that when we "went out on our own" we needed to have a full set of life skills. I was really lucky in that my mother learned from my paternal grandmother and from her landlady when my parents were first married, giving her a fantastic repetoire. When it was time to do Christmas baking, the whole family did the baking; when it was harvest time at the family farm, everyone pitched in and did everything (my dad had 10 siblings and grew up on a farm during the thirties and forties).

    And, for some reason, I seemed to have a natural aptitude for the kitchen - I find baking to be my stress release (MG - don't give up on baking. My mother tells the story of her first attempt at making cream puffs at the farm using my grandmother's recipe; they were so bad, the dog actually buried them! You didn't think I would talk about some of my less than spectacular attempts!).
     
  19. mysterygal

    mysterygal Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,667
    Location:
    Washington
    well, that gives me some hope then! I'm still plagued by the nick name the family gave me that had to do with my last baking attempt (crumble cake):eusa_doh: had good intentions...daughter's birthday party and all...since she was only 3 she could care less, but everyone else thought it was a hoot! :D
     
  20. Zach R.

    Zach R. Practically Family

    The only "non-microwave" cooking I can do is scrambled eggs.

    But they are some badass scrambled eggs. :p
     

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