Cooking -  Art, a Science, or a Pain?

For me, cooking has always been fun. I started cooking in
my younger day back in Nebraska. Luckily, my mother was
patient enough to teach me. For my wife, she's glad I have
fun doing it. What is your vote? Do you cook for
pleasure, or necessity?

If you have the right equipment, a comfortable kitchen,
and are willing to try different things, cooking can be
fun. Having someone to clean up after you helps, too.
Most ovens are self-cleaning now, so being a little sloppy
pulling your cooked item out of the oven isn't quite so
critical. You just wipe up what you can, and self-clean
sometime in the future.

Cooking schools and Culinary Academies can give you whatever
level of education you want. You can take only a Dim Sum
class or get a degree in Culinary Arts. There are online
courses and courses by mail. The choice is yours. There
is a Catering and Gourmet Cooking class which is online and
through Penn Foster Career School.

There are many methods of cooking. Dry-heat cooking
methods without fat are broiling, roasting or baking,
grilling, barbecuing, griddling, and pan-broiling.
Dry-heat cooking methods with fat are sauteing, pan-frying,
and deep-frying. Moist heat cooking methods are steaming,
boiling, simmering, poaching, and blanching. Broiling is
a method using high heat. My favorite is outdoor cooking.
There is also crock-pot cooking, which is an easy way to
prepare a full meal.

As I said before, having the right culinary equipment makes
the task of cooking a lot easier. I use the nonstick pans
versus the stainless steel variety. They are easier to
clean up. Other materials used for cookware is copper,
aluminum, stainless steel, cast iron, glass, ceramics,
plastic, and enamelware. Pans lined with enamel should not
be used for cooking. The enamel may chip or crack. Having
a variety of sizes for cookware makes the cooking process
much easier. A good set of kitchen knives is a must, also.
They should be kept sharp for both safety reasons and easier
to use. Use the correct knife for the specific job being
done. A paring knife wouldn't work to well trying to cut
through bone.

Being educated in food safety should also be a
consideration. You don't want your family to get Vibrio
parahaemolyticus Gastroenteritis from eating raw oysters.
(Spelling or pronunciation is not a priority for cooking.)
You don't need to get a ServSafe Food Safety Manager
Certification, but a basic understanding of food safety
should be learned. Some foods are more likely to become
unsafe than others. Some potentially hazardous food would
be milk, eggs, shellfish, fish, baked potatoes, sliced
melon, meats, and poultry.

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About The Author, Bob Boeck
Bob Boeck is a Premier Member of the United States Personal
Chef Association. He has passed the ServSafe Exam and is
ServSafe Certified. Visit <a href="http://cooking-info.net">http://cooking-info.net</a> for more
articles on cooking and some recipes.