Cooking From Scratch, Where to Start?
Cooking might be rewarding, but it’s also a bit intimidating, mainly because we’re so used to buy ready-made stuff. Who makes their own spaghetti sauce, anyway? Well, that must change. One because cooking from scratch is healthier and less expensive, and two, because it’s the best way of fine-tuning your cooking skills and amping up your recipe repertoire.
Cooking from scratch can be as easy or complicated as you want. After all, cooking chicken soup is not as hard as roasting a whole bird. Having said that, here are some nifty tips to get you started on the art of cooking from scratch.
1. Buy your groceries mindfully
The first thing that will stop you from trying a new recipe or cooking a meal for your family from scratch is not having the ingredients you need at home. This happens to all of us, but there’s a way around it.
Plan your meals and make sure you double-check you write down all the ingredients for the week’s menu on your shopping list. You might not feel like cooking from scratch every day, but when you do, you’ll know you have all you need in hand. This will also encourage you to buy and try new stuff!
2. Practice, practice, practice
The first time you chop an onion, it takes five minutes, and the result is less than stellar. Chop onions regularly, and you’ll create the loveliest fine dices you’ve seen and in seconds!
In cooking, just like in any other skill, practice is everything, so start chopping veggies, grating cheese, peeling potatoes and sautéing food. You’ll be handling the pots, knives and pans like a pro in no time. Like the French say, cooking is all about using the proper technique at the right time. Now, go cut some carrots brunoise-style! That’s small dice, by the way!
3. Put on a Cooking Show
Some of us learn by watching, and if you watch cooking shows long enough, you kind of catch some tips and tricks you’ll rarely find in a recipe book. There are dozens of awesome cooking shows on YouTube made by people just like you — passionate home-cooking enthusiasts that are more than happy to share a few tips.
While you’re at it, subscribe to your favorite food blogs and check in from time to time. The community around cooking from scratch is stronger than you think, and folks are often more than happy to give some advice.
4. Just do it
Ultimately, cooking from scratch is no rocket science, but you DO have to spend some time in the kitchen. Sometimes, you need some encouragement from your family and a few extra hands. Cooking is so much fun when you share it with someone.
Everyone can become a great cook, but not everyone has the will to get up and spend the morning behind the stove. If you really want to improve your cooking skills, get cooking; that’s all there is; there’s no big secret, just add heartfelt passion if everything you cook.