I'm not a natural cook. I can't open my fridge and cupboards, scan the contents and come up with a new and delicious meal on the spot. On the nights when I haven't planned for a specific recipe in advance, when I haven't shopped for the specific ingredients, we usually end up eating grilled cheese, frozen pizza or pasta.
I like to say that I can make just about anything if I have a recipe. Because if there's one thing I can do, it's follow directions. Only very recently have I gotten brave enough to stray from or modify recipes, even for things that I've made one hundred times.
And yet, even recipes truly stump me sometimes. There are so many cooking terms I just am not familiar with. Sometimes I wonder, what exactly is meant by "medium saucepan"? Is it what I'm using or some other pot that I don't have? What is a dutch oven? What is braising? When the potato recipe calls says to "boil, covered, in a small amount of water," does that mean that the pot is covered with a lid or that the water covers the potatoes? If the latter, then how exactly is that a small amount of water?
I think this is partially why cooking shows are so popular. They don't just tell you, they show you how to do it. Any teeny bit of "knife technique" I have can be fully attributed to Rachel Ray.
Back in the day (or maybe still for some families) women (yes, mostly women) learned these recipes and techniques at the hands of their mothers over many, many years in the kitchen. And, it is thanks to my mother's great skill at all things pie, and my years as sous chef to her when baking, that I had the courage to attempt the deliciousness pictured above. I mean, how else would I have known what to do when the recipe called for the shortening to be "cut in" to the flour and salt mixture?
Original post by Smiling Mama. Thanks for reading!