Do you remember that episode of Sex and the City where Miranda asks Carrie if she has a rolling pin and Carrie tells her that she uses her kitchen as storage space? Well that was basically my attitude when I first moved out of home almost six years ago.
I didn't know my cheese grater from the vegetable peeler. If I tried to cook, it was usually some strange variety of jaffle. I think my boyfriend even documented my first attempt at cooking, that's how pretty it must have looked.
Over the years I have come to love cooking. Let me reiterate that, I said cooking not baking, Madeline baking is still a disaster. I find it relaxing and rewarding to buy fresh produce and create something yummy that my boyfriend and I will love.
There are a few things that have helped me get to this point, they are:
- Jamie Oliver- his collection of books focus on colour, variety and taste rather than precision and prettiness. Maybe he was thinking of me when he wrote it? My favourite is Jamie's Italy. The pesto page has been used so much that it is now covered in flecks of basil leaves.
- Taste.com.au- This website is absolutely fantastic, it has such a variety of recipes to choose from. The site itself is very user friendly, giving us cooking beginners many search options. You can choose from ingredient, low fat, cooking for two, holidays.....The best part about this site is the fantastic user reviews at the bottom of each page. I like to scour these for helpful hints on how to best execute the recipe.
- Google- Yes this does seem pretty obvious, but over the years I have found so many wonderful recipes just by searching Google. I am ashamed to say that I don't really follow food blogs as such, instead I just find my favourites for specific recipes I've tried and loved.
- Having good quality utensils- I know that as a student, it is almost impossible to purchase the entire line of Le Crueset, however if you do have some cash to spare, perhaps purchase one good cutting knife and a non-stick frying pan and pot. These basically got me through five years of university student povness.
- The fresh produce markets- Regularly going to the produce market has allowed me to revel in yummy fruit and veg and always find the best quality food. I think if you buy the bulk of your weekly groceries from the markets, it will really help you save a lot of money, cut down on wastage and ensure that you are planning healthy and in season meals. This way is basically fool proof for always having something yummy to eat. For lunch today I will be eating a lovely eggplant, squash and tomato soup.
What are your cooking tips for beginners?