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Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Uschi » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:46 am

A yeast dough, for me, would be included in the next five things to show that person once the first five have been mastered.
I guess the first would include a tomato pasta sauce and a basic version of that can go on a pizza.

That brings me back to the first five and how few five really are when you look at it.

I think one of the first things one should be taught, after cooking, say pasta, would be how to fsautée onions properly. Once that is mastered things really fall into place. ;)

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Stokey Sue » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:56 am

i very much agree that with food it’s essential to teach people to make things they want to eat, and are appropriate for their existing skills

I would teach a child to make their own burger, even if you use a ready made patty it’s useful learn to grill it, to slice and toast a bun, to prepare the toppings and assemble it. And if you actually make the patty from raw meat, even better.


With an adult an Ottolenghi style tray bake might be a good place to start, simple but the end result is certainly something you could serve to a friend and feel quite proud of, which is encouragement to keep going

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby herbidacious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:44 pm

Bread making is an interesting one. It's not simply a matter of knowing how to do it - that doesn't guarantee success in my experience. i.e. it goes on the basic list in terms of a useful skill, but not in terms of cooking for beginners.

I like Clive's list. I am completely lack any meat/fish cooking skills myself, but I am ok with that.

On the cooking vegetables front, something a lot of pub type cooks often don't seem to know is how to cook aubergines... the number of times I have been served al dente aubergines. A number of young friends who can't afford to eat more up market than in Mitchel and butler type pub think that this is what they are supposed to be like and thus have decided they hate aubergines.

I often try to nudge husband in the direction of 'it would be really good if you had a small repertoire of, say, 5 things you can cook' rather than having a specific skill set. It doesn't work. He still persists in the idea that if you turn the over up things cook more quickly, which is a bit of a problem ;)

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Seatallan » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:22 pm

I'd include making pastry in my list (just basic shortcrust and perhaps suet pastry). I think it's one of those things that makes you feel clever when you've done it (and therefore a real confidence booster if you're a novice cook).
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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby cherrytree » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:23 pm

I was a Reception class teacher as well as being a mother of four and as cooking has always been such a precious part of my life I’ve done loads of getting small children cooking as well.
At school cookery in the Early Years can be part of English (writing and reading and illustrating instructions) science (change) and technology. These also keep OFSTED happy!
We always made pancakes on Shove Tuesday and Hot Cross Buns before Easter. We made soup, and had terrific fun once in the school hall with a transparent saucepan making popcorn.
At home the children and now grandchildren have closely followed their parents. I love the way they can read and follow a recipe . From an early age they knew about yeast, simple cake making, kebab threading etc etc.
And I’m proud to say we’ve never made cornflake crispy cakes- I wanted a bit more adventure in my life§,

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby karadekoolaid » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:24 pm

I think I'd basically agree with this list, and add cooking pasta and rice properly.
Probably right there, Suelle. The first time I ever cooked rice, it was a glutinous disaster. And my sister-in-law STILL overcooks pasta!

I am completely lack any meat/fish cooking skills myself, but I am ok with that.

Herbie:
I suppose I should add that I lack those too, since my diet is 95% vegetarian. However, I´ve learned to cook meat for others, simply by a) adhering strictly to a good recipe and b) making sure there´s someone close by who will do the tasting for me!

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Suffs » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:42 pm

I would use some of what has already been mentioned to teach some ways of using up leftovers ... too much food is wasted because folk have no idea what to do with it.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Pampy » Fri May 01, 2020 1:16 am

Very true, Suffs.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby karadekoolaid » Fri May 01, 2020 1:31 am

Dead right, suffs.
Far too much food is wasted through ignorance. Ignorance in the best context, unfortunately -ie. don´t know what to do with it.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby mark111757 » Fri May 08, 2020 8:02 pm

Eggs

Or rather the idea of cooking them properly.

Starting with poached and over easy.

Followed by omelettes and then fried eggs.


How about no knead bread. My neighbour gave me a recipe

Image

Part 2
Image

Makes either 1 - 2 pound loaf. 900g. Or

2 - 1 loaves 450g each

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Stokey Sue » Fri May 08, 2020 11:20 pm

I’m a bit confused - is an egg over easy not a fried egg turned during cooking? Like most Brits I prefer sunny side up, though the fashion for crowning everything with a fried egg with a runny yolk has got silly imho

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Pampy » Fri May 08, 2020 11:27 pm

I can't abide runny eggs, no matter how they've been cooked - they have to be solid through and through before they're allowed on my plate.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Busybee » Sat May 09, 2020 8:51 am

Pampy wrote:I can't abide runny eggs, no matter how they've been cooked - they have to be solid through and through before they're allowed on my plate.


Absolutely with you there Pampy, I can just about stomach a runnyish boiled egg, but any other cooking method is a no no. Makes me want to heave.

If staying in a hotel (oh the memories!) and asked how I want my eggs I always say, poached and overdone. If the chef thinks he has overcooked it then it’s perfect for me.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Pepper Pig » Sat May 09, 2020 9:04 am

Conversely I absolutely adore runny eggs! :lol: :lol: :lol:

How do you feel about uncooked as in say, steak tartare? One of my dream meals. 8-) 8-) 8-)

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby aero280 » Sat May 09, 2020 11:27 am

I’ve been watching the odd bit of Rick Stein on TV lately. He always seems to be eating raw seafood...

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby scullion » Sat May 09, 2020 11:38 am

runny yolk is ok (for 'soldiers') but snotty white is a no-no for me.
difficult to know what i'd teach someone as an 'essential' as that's rather subjective. what i would think of as essential my partner wouldn't. he would think that beans on toast were essential but they definitely wouldn't appear on my list.
probably the basics of a veg stew cos that can be adapted to so many different world dishes by fiddling with ingredients (and turning into soup).
basic salad dressing.
fried egg - teaches the safety of using hot oil, too.
cheese on toast - then anything can go on toast - including the fried egg.

i can't remember what i first did with the kids, it may have included the necessity of following a recipe until you're proficient enough on the processes to branch out but they are both good cooks and cook from scratch so i guess whatever it was, worked.
our son joined my partner on vegetarian cooking evening classes when he was eleven. he won every week on the blind tasting comparison of the same dish they had made.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Pampy » Sat May 09, 2020 1:37 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:How do you feel about uncooked as in say, steak tartare? One of my dream meals. 8-) 8-) 8-)

I don't eat meat! I eat things like mayonnaise though.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Earthmaiden » Sat May 09, 2020 3:43 pm

I like runny egg but not runny white so quite like the edge of the yolk to be slightly cooked with a boiled egg. I'm sure that many will have been to a breakfast diner in the USA to be confronted by about 50 ways a fried egg might be cooked to your liking :o (followed by the same number of options for your toast and coffee until you just want the waiter to go away!). Over easy was my choice, just flipped so that the white was cooked but the yolk runny.

I like sashimi, sushi and ceviche but need to know where the fish has come from. Any form of raw meat - no thank you. I'm ashamed to say I even struggle with pink meat :oops:. Long, slow cooked cheaper cuts are preferable.

Given that the OP was aimed at teaching adults to cook rather than children. I agree with most comments which have been made. I feel that dishes where methods and terminology can be seen and learned, and differences, for instance, between cooking times for different kinds of meat or when to use plain or SR flour, are very useful (remembering visiting a friend in student days who bought shin of beef for lunch, half an hour before lunchtime :cry: ). I agree about utilising/planning for leftovers too. When I did what I jokingly call my posh cookery course, to which beginners were welcome (although few of us were), we started on the first week with mayonnaise, omelette, mashed potato and simple poached fish. We all thought it sounded a bit simple but we learned a huge amount. We were also given very good notes, so I might add a good cookery book which explains the science a bit to the list.

I have made quiche with GD, now nearly 5, for as long as she can remember, in the hope that she will be able to do it blindfold when she grows up. They are so easy when you know how but take in an awful lot of different skills and lessons - and for some reason, people are always impressed by them.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby Busybee » Sat May 09, 2020 4:31 pm

Pepper Pig wrote:Conversely I absolutely adore runny eggs! :lol: :lol: :lol:

How do you feel about uncooked as in say, steak tartare? One of my dream meals. 8-) 8-) 8-)



I’ve never had it so can’t say that I don’t like it, but I wouldn’t give it a go. I’m ok with rare meat but the egg is a step too far.

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Re: Essential things you’d teach people how to cook

Postby karadekoolaid » Sun May 10, 2020 1:22 am

I think it´s time to start an Eggs thread.
Which is exactly what I shall do right now!

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