I learned how to cook from the TV. I haven't had granny's recipes or mom's help. I simply watched some channels and attempted the dishes myself. After a while I got the hang of it, including the basics like what goes with what. Anyway, after years of doing that I find out that there are a lot of things that determine your cooking and are completely unrelated to what you see on the TV.
First of all, yours will never look like theirs. Theirs are made to look presentable as well, whereas yours are home made, not made in a studio. You have to understand that and never feel bad about your food. Second, do not go out and buy the stoves or pans or whatever cooking gear you see they have. It doesn't very much influence your food, only your budget. Make do with what you have at hand. If you have to invest, here are a few guidelines:
Avoid plastic. Use ceramic bowls wherever possible. When it comes to pans and woks, try to use the same pan for the same kind of food. Like pipes, they are likely to influence the taste of future dishes cooked in it no matter how well you wash them. So use one pan for steaks and another one for vegetables. As to the pan materials, I suggest ceramic or cast iron. The new and 'improved' pans make cleaning them easier and your life as a cook easier, but they don't make the food tastier, on the contrary. Cast iron and ceramic are wonderful when heated, and they manage to keep the flavor inside, while new Teflon pans do not. And they are cheaper also.
Once you get your gear together and decide which pan and which bowl goes for which kind of food, start learning your stove or heating device. Check boiling times for water and oil at different heat settings. That way you will know exactly what kind of flame you need on a specific dish and it will make the difference between undercooked, cooked or overcooked.
Buy a kitchen timer. You will need this, as many dishes are made in steps determined by a certain amount of time. While some may allow for a slight variable of the duration, most however do not and you will need a countdown timer.
Do not use the microwave at all. It is a radiation-based heating device and the result is faster but extremely lower in quality than the conventional heater or stove.
Choose your ingredients carefully. Congealed food is not good, pre-made dishes also. Let alone the fact they are full of chemicals in order to prevent them from spoiling, freezing takes away much of the taste. Just like boiling for some ingredients. Use natural products, especially vegetables, homegrown, not in a lamp-based environment. They take their proteins from solar light, artificial light can make them look good, but not taste good.
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If you really enjoy cooking and if you are good at it, it can become more that a hobby, it can be an art. Not to mention that a satisfactory meal will bring upon you the blessings of the whole household. It is one of the trademarks of a good wife. This article can only be reproduced in its entirety when the link to lacartes.com is live at all times.