Just beginning to cook? - It isnt magic.

Cooking is not magic. It is either art or science depending on what suits you best. If you are creative and/or artistic, then cookery can be an art. If you are methodical and like rules and order, then cookery is a science. Whichever, you decide it is, you can do it by following a few rules. (These rules must apply even if you are artistic - perhaps they are even more important.


How to start cooking successfully.


The first thing you should know is that cooking has a language which you must learn. (This applies to most things you try). Get a good old fashioned cook book and you will find a list of meanings in the front - what a teaspoon or tablespoon means in terms of weight, likewise fluid ounces etc. It will also sometimes tell you how to boil, simmer, braise, roast or bake. It will also have conversions from Gas to the two electricity scales. The more modern cookbooks by T.V. chefs will nor have this information. You need a basic old fashioned one!


Starting to cook.


If you have never cooked before, choose a recipe which is simple. Once you have mastered this you can start to separate eggs and make meringues etc.

Before doing anything, read the recipe through - twice. Make sure you understand it. If in doubt about what a term means, look it up. Don't guess - it will possibly be wrong - and important. Next assemble your ingredients. At this point you should measure the amounts you want and put them on plates or cups. Always weigh and measure everything, don't guess. If it turns out well, you can duplicate it. If it doesn't taste exactly how you want, make a note to increase or decrease the ingredient which makes the difference. (Usually salt or sugar, but sometimes other ingredients such as flour).


Once you have mastered the basic recipes such as scrambled eggs on toast, take the next step, try omelettes or souffl├ęs. Much the same ingredients - just different (and more difficult) ways of coking them. Don't be fooled, nobody makes a perfect dish the first time they try it, it takes practice and although often the dish does not turn out the way it should it will usually be edible.


Once you have become proficient with some recipes, try changing them slightly, so they become your own. Change flavourings and see how you like it. Sometimes it will be good, sometimes it will not work. Again, always measure and keep a note of what you do so that you can duplicate a recipe if it works.


Finishing your Dish.


It has become more important to present your dish so that it pleases not just your taste buds but also your eye and sense of smell. It has been proved that people who have no sense of smell do not enjoy food as much as those who have this sense. Therefore if a dish looks good you are more inclined to expect to enjoy it and are more likely to try it. This is where creative people find it easier to produce an enticing dish than those less artistically inclined.


One last thing, cooking should be enjoyable. If you like what you are doing, it will show.

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About The Author, Jenni M