In one word: JOURNEYMAN. I can cook most things (although I've never learned to work pie dough very well--it always tears) but I am not very imaginative and I don't want to put too much effort into it. I do know a lot about cooking, mainly because I've been doing it regularly for over 45 years.
Last night we had pork chops, brown rice, homemade applesauce from the freezer and spinach. Tonight we are having pan-fried oysters and I don't know what else. Homemade soup from the freezer for lunch. These are typical of the meals I cook.
HAPHAZARD would be the word most likely! It's pretty well by sheer accident if anything turns out the way it should! I'm about the world's worst when it comes to reading a recipe and actually following it! Something always gets overlooked. And for the life of me, I don't know why I don't just stick with a tried and true deal, but I always try something new when I have a crowd over. Instead of just poisoning dh, I go for the whole crowd!! LOL ...........and even worse they keep coming back!!
I am torn between accomplished and throwback. I can cook anything, and if something is new to me, I can figure it out. I am a throwback as I am predominantly a from scratch cook, know all of the basic methods, home can, etc. Bfst this morning was a choice of homemade banana-chocolate chip muffins or homemade apple coffee cake, coffee/cocoa, juice. Lunch is a selection of leftovers (all homemade meals) including: pasta with meat sauce, lasagna, fish with br rice, a chicken drum stick, large tossed salad, mashed potatoes, chicken gravy (ok-that happened to come from a gifted to us can), ham loaf. They can make up plates or make a sandwich out of PB & J, or hardboiled eggs, or ham loaf, using homemeade oat or homemade white bread. Dinner tonight will be creamed tuna over rice, tossed salad, beets. I need a quick to the table , fish based meal.I ahve home brewed herbal tea on hand as well.
or maybe that is just our eating style. I like to cook but we eat pretty basic most of the time.
I might also call it creative, because I don't mind changing a recipe. I will either leave something out if we don't like it. Or substitute if I don't have all the recipe calls for. Since I know what we like I also do well trying a new recipe because if it has stuff we don't eat or like I know it usually won't work well for us.
Here is a funny about recipes. I had tons of recipes copied from books or cut from the newspaper or mags. I save ones that sound good but usually don't make them. I had a notebook full and decided to clear them out yesterday. Well most of them were sweets and dessert type recipes, you can see what always sounds good to me.LOL Since I cook mostly without a recipe I recycled the bulk of them and only save a couple of main dishes to try and of course a few sweets.
I mean, I can't even cook a baked potato. I followed the directions I found on the internet, rub it in oil and salt, cook at 400F for 60 minutes. Fail.
I have pretty much resorted to Schwans food for cooking. Most of it cooks at 375F, so I can put a chicken breast, veggies, and biscuits in the same pan for dinner. Chicken takes 25 minutes, so set the timer for 10. Flip, add the veggies and biscuit and set the timer again.
We all agree that most of the time Gordon Ramsey wouldn't approve of my skills... And I'm pretty sure that I couldn't pass a chopping test to get every bit the same size. And I feel fine with that!
I took a lot of home ec in high school and got the basics there and a little at home. I didn't learn to cook at home, but I had seen food being cooked and knew that you had to open the cookbook to get the recipes- there was no internet...
I would say that I could hold my own in a room full of other people like me. I don't love to cook and people don't flock to eat my cooking... but I can and do cook. My family likes my food.
I started cooking family meals when I was about 12--long, boring story about why. I followed recipes to the letter for a while and then started changing them; my family liked the new and improved versions better. For some reason, I've always known what flavors will meld and which seasonings will work. DH and I have a dear friend who's a musician. He enjoys the meals I've prepared for him and his family. He and I were discussing cooking and I explained my approach. He nodded in agreement and said "Yep; we call that 'jazz' cooking.". Say what? According to him, jazz musicians ad lib a lot when they're playing and it almost always comes out great
Sandy in NJ (Login SandyinMI) The Frugalista Files
my family likes my cooking
April 16 2012, 11:30 AM
They think I'm a good cook so I guess that's the important thing. My mother didn't teach me, but she's not a very good cook so it's not a bad thing that I learned from cookbooks and Food Network.
I like to bake, can follow a recipe and know how to change one without screwing it up. I used to be afraid to make anything requiring yeast but the only thing that intimidates me now are cuts of meat I'm not familiar with. I tend to stick to the same cuts. And I'm losing my taste for meat and have been cooking more meat-free meals. Sometimes I enjoy cooking and other times it's just a chore to get something on the table.
I know how to do a lot more cooking than I am willing to do at this time. I try to keep mealtime simple by either starting with something that I cooked and froze, a pre-seasoned meat, a prepared entry, or leftovers from restaurants.
We usually start each meal with a salad. I pre-wash 2-3 heads of lettuce a week, lay the leaves on towels and spin them in the washing machine. I cut the cores off the leaves and store the leaves in tupperware. I have a drawer in the frig with salad fixings for easy salads (nuts, dried fruits, toppings) or I cut up veggies that I store in a cereal bag.
Health wise, I try to make beans once a week and keep some in the freezer. I buy whole grain breads, rice and pasta.
Lately we have been traveling and camping a lot so my meals are real easy - box dinners with cooked meat and veggies added, leftovers with extra veggies and fruit added.
I think it a new buzz word for cookbooks. It is what I do; but I do not need recipes. I cook on the fly. I also can change one thing into another so I do not get tired of the leftovers.
I made chicken and dumpling and with the leftovers I had sausage biscuits for breakfast, and green chili chicken stew for dinner. I just added a small can of green enchiladas sauce because we had used most of the gravy.
I cook a lot like my grandmothers used to cook.. pretty basic stick to your ribs kinds of stuff. I cook pretty much from scratch most of my recipes are in my head. Family has never complained... and neither did the folks that came to the restaurant I cooked in...
" life isnt about waiting for the storms to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain."