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How did you come to the kitchen?


LaurieB
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Just being curious. My Mom and my aunts cooked because they had to. For Mom, frozen/prepared foods were God's gift to the mother, wife and professional nurse who had to also get food on the table, so I'm not exactly sure how I came to be into food/cooking and all that goes along with it.

But I did. How did you come into it?

Laurie

P.S. My best friend, a professional chef, claims it was complete self defense. I think more of his talent, though.

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I suppose I was led there by my own curiosity and, most importantly, welcomed there lovingly by my mother and both grandmothers. They are/were all good, homey cooks and I am blessed to have been given such an encouraging start.

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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I think mine was more being forced into it at a young age, and then choosing it as I got older, once I realized that the kitchen was where I felt most comfortable. My own mother was just a lousy cook (and thought she was amazing), and she hated to cook dinner. Just hated it, so it became pretty much my job. My grandmother was a wonderful cook and I learned a lot from both of them.

I went through a period of time when I first married, where I didn't cook dinner because it was expected of me (not by my husband, but by my mother and MIL, who fretted constantly over my lack of homemaking interest and the money we wasted by doing stuff like eating out, even though it was my job.).

"Oh, tuna. Tuna, tuna, tuna." -Andy Bernard, The Office
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Born to it for sure.

My dad was a chef, trained in the air force, who came to work in food management, my mom was a true foodie who loved to cook and experiment.

---------------------------------------

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I came to the kitchen because I like to eat, and my mom didn't make things like blueberry muffins, cinnamon rolls, and cookies frequently enough to suit me. So I learned how to cook and made them -- and whatever else I wanted -- whenever I wanted.

Rebecca Hassell

Cookin' in Brookland

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My mom was not a great cook, pretty basic stuff. And my dad was allergic to milk, cheese and butter, so you can imagine why she would have limitations.

During my first marriage, I took the macho culinary approach I could cook a steak on the grill (well done) and heat a can of soup. During my second ill adviced adventure I was in my forties and living in San Diego where I discovered a small oriental grocery that featured cooking demonstations. I tried my hand at some of their recipes and lo and behold a whole new adventure opened up. I am basically self-taught and mostly follow recipes, but I love to cook.....and eat. I am far from a gourmet cook, but I do enjoy creating different tastes and new dishes.

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Hard to say. A combination of factors. My mom is an OK cook, but it's just fuel to her most of the time.

My dad is the experimenter in the family. He was always the one planting weird stuff in the garden, or bringing home jars of some condiment or pickled item we'd never had before. When it was his night to cook, he had (and still has) a tendency to go through the fridge and throw odd things together in a skillet and then serve them over rice. He was a good example of creativity and freedom from recipes - not so much good taste all the time. I have him to thank for my love of fresh vegetables, though.

I came to the kitchen to swipe frozen blueberries, chocolate chips, or trail bologna and carry them off to my room or playhouse for clandestine reading-and-snacking. I came to the kitchen because I wanted cookies and Mom wasn't in the mood to make them. I came to the kitchen because I read about a peanut butter and pickle sandwich in a book (I think it was "Mrs. Piggle-wiggle") and just had to know how it tasted (great). I came to the kitchen because it was clear to me early on that I was by far the best person to identify and fulfill my own private cravings.

Nikki Hershberger

An oyster met an oyster

And they were oysters two.

Two oysters met two oysters

And they were oysters too.

Four oysters met a pint of milk

And they were oyster stew.

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Definitely born to it. Being from New Orleans, I've always been surrounded by wonderful things to eat. How could I possibly not try to duplicate in my own kitchen the scrumptious meals I've had in restaurants. On top of that, my entire family cooks and its sort of a competition to outdo each other and share whatwe prepared. Oh yum :biggrin:

Just a simple southern lady lost out west...

"Leave Mother in the fridge in a covered jar between bakes. No need to feed her." Jackal10

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Mom is a self taught cook. She rarely uses recipes as more than a reminder of how a particular technique works these days, tho she was a lot more careful about following them as written when I was very young.

Dad is a self taught cook and a trained chocolatier/food scientist. He and mom specialize in doing slightly different things in the kitchen. If they're doing chocolate or candy, he's in charge. He handles most of the bread baking and some of the cookie making. He's also very good with cream soups. Mom specializes in other soups, roasts and most other main dishes. They've got a longstanding disagreement about how one makes potato salad.

So they ended up producing 3 children who all think recipes get followed once. Maybe. Then we understand the techniques involved and can proceed to change things around as we see fit.

Emily

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I started washing dishes at a family style buffet restaurant and eventually they started letting me do some prep. Thankfully I got out of the industry, but it gave me the early confidence to continually expand my cooking skills at home. I'm still not very good, but I sure enjoy eating what I make!

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I was 19 and in between spring semester and summer school. My mother informed me since I had a couple of weeks free, I could cook dinner every night. First reaction was, "Hmm. How many different ways to cook Kraft dinner and Instant oatmeal?".

Somewhere I found a bunch of different recipes (waaay before the internet ^_^), made them--they all turned out well enough that the people who ate the food said it was good. So I became very good at following recipes, and taught myself most everything else. Worked out pretty well, but something was missing.

Then I read the part about "putting himself into the service of the potato" in Ruhlman's book and it was like someone smacked me upside the head with said kind-of-weighty tome. And I found the missing part--the why of cooking other than as supplying fuel.

So I am probably one of the most guilesss people here--shoot, I'm just happy to hang around. But I am NOT eating a horse. Nope.

A

"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ
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A little bit from column A and a little bit from column B.

On my father's side, my grandpa and greatgrandfather were both restaurant and hotel managers (the later was also a professional chef), but I get most of my cooking from my mom, an excelent home cook. However, I only startedcooking when I was alone in college and moved to a house with some friends. Never before I had a real interest on cooking.

Now, look at me, I'm a chef and all.

Follow me @chefcgarcia

Fábula, my restaurant in Santiago, Chile

My Blog, en Español

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to put it bluntly: 'sheer defence'. years ago when i first came to Small Town, NL., i was confronted with the sad fact that the food was inedible. for someone who had just left YVR [Vancouver] for Europe for the very first time in their early 20's having never been in the kitchen [ok i did take home-ec a couple of years in middle school but that was it and cooked nothing since!]. and so i decided to learn from scratch. then i started remembering the food i used to eat as a child and tried to make them from memory. [no success]

btw, grew up on good food at home but never thought i'd wanted to learn. now i wish i could do everything all over again, differently.

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when I figured out that I was having a lot more fun cooking to help finance school to be a history teacher than I was doing my internship in a high school classroom, I dropped out of school and haven't looked back. I have learned that all those education classes helped because one never stops teaching others in the culinary field, sharing your knowledge is just part of it. The history classes, I still love reading the Will and Ariel Durant books, but that is now my pleasure.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Financial necessity. I learned the basics growing up and in Home Ec, but in my mother's kitchen you either did things her way or she nagged and picked on you until you did. This made it somewhat less than fun, and I gave up (except for learning how to make very good chocolate chip cookies).

In college, I struck a deal with my parents that if I could live in the more expensive place, they would only pay for meals during the week, and I'd feed myself on the weekends. I learned quickly that cooking was a LOT cheaper than going out all the time.

Once I was out on my own, a typically in debt somewhat beyond my eyebrows ex-college student, I figured out that the only way I was going to eat regularly is if I cooked it myself. And if I had to eat my own cooking, it was going to be good. I decided that this was not rocket science and I could learn to cook adequately - and darned if I didn't end up enjoying it.

I definitely wasn't born to cooking, but it ended up finding me anyway :biggrin: .

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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My mother would watch FoodTV often, and that's what got me into the concepts of cooking, but it wasn't until I had cooked several dinners with my father that I got the idea of cooking things for myself. It all looked so easy on TV, and then seeing my father do it (and doing some of the parts myself) convinced me that it really is that simple to make pretty decent food. Later years of watching FoodTV showed me that it's not that much more difficult to make something that's really good.

-- There are infinite variations on food restrictions. --

Crooked Kitchen - my food blog

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I used to watch cooking shows with my grandma if I went over there to stay when I was sick and home from school (we also watched lot of soaps!). At the time it was just enjoyable to watch people cook. There weren't a ton on then; I remember Franco Polumbo and the show We're Cooking Now! But the one who really got me interested in food was Jeff Smith. He bridged that gap between "here's a recipe" and the culture and history behind certain dishes. The events of his later life were unfortunate and he will always be one of my favorites.

Then I got my first apartment after college and really had to learn to cook. It was funny because I'd just make the whole recipe and end up with enough food for a week!

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In my house growing up, boys did "boy-chores", and girls did "women's work".

Mom and I were then required to cook, clean and do laundry.

Mom and I had a deal: Cook or clean-up. I hated doing dishes, so I learned how to cook... what a pleasure it is to plan, cook, set the table and execute a meal for the family knowing the dishes are not your job!!!

(Still did have to clean toilets and do laundry, however! :angry: )

"Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”

Francois Minot

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There's something about the Cajun man mentality that a man should know how to cook, even if it is something done outside. Nothing wrong with that, but most men from my part of the world, if not gourmets, can at least survive. I was raised by a single mom who worked a lot of odd nurse hours sometimes. At the time I became old enough to stay at home alone, in charge of my younger brother, I had to know how to at least reheat something, or throw together a box of Hamburger Helper.

That being said, I wasn't really into cooking at that point, I was a fledgling baker. I basically baked everything I made from scratch the first few years in the kitchen. The only stovetop things were scrambled eggs and burgers, but I prefered broiling those. Eventually I gained confidence in the top burners, but I still prefer baking a lot of times.

Edited by FistFullaRoux (log)
Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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