If you’ve just left home and you’re facing the challenge of cooking for yourself for the first time, you may feel pretty intimidated at the prospect. Don’t worry, this will soon pass. Get all the basics sorted out and you’ll improve quickly and wonder why you were ever concerned.
1. Decide what you like to eat. If you’re going to the trouble of learning to cook you may as well cook things you like to eat. Besides, choosing dishes you’re familiar with gives you a good idea of whether you’re getting it right when you taste your own creations. You have something to compare it against.
2. Carve out some time. You’re learning, so it will take longer. You’ll be reading recipes and learning new techniques and you are bound to make a few mistakes and need to do things over. It’s crucial that you don’t put yourself under any unnecessary pressure so give yourself plenty of time.
3. So having decided which meals you want to cook for yourself grab a few recipe books or get online and get together the recipes you want to work on. Don’t get too adventurous at this stage, you’re just working on the basics to get your confidence levels up and get a little experience under your belt.
4. Choose just one recipe and get together a list of ingredients. Make a checklist of all the things you’ll need to get before you start. Having to nip out halfway through the process to pick up a forgotten ingredient will set you back and may even ruin the recipe.
5. Make sure you have all the utensils you’re likely to need including pots, pans, weighing scales, knives and any specialist items that may be needed. But don’t go spending a lot of money on gadgets, it’s not necessary.
6. Set the kitchen up the way you want it. Clear work surfaces and put the clutter away so that you have plenty of room. Clean the kitchen surfaces before you start and wash your hands. Try to keep the kitchen as tidy as you can while you work, it helps to keep it orderly so that you don’t get confused and overwhelmed. Also remember to keep your recipe and the method on hand to refer to.
7. Get cooking. Get stuck in there and enjoy yourself. Delight in your mistakes and don’t feel discouraged, just keep trying until you get the result you’re looking for. There are so many variables that you may not get the same results every time, but honestly, that’s part of the fun of cooking. And don’t worry if your food doesn’t look like the food in the recipe books. It’s the taste that counts.
Dave Andrew writes for a site dedicated to the famous TV chef Nigella Lawson who is well known for her simple but delicious food. Check out the recipes and catch up with the latest Nigella news at http://nigellalawsononline.co.uk/
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