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On cleaning an oven -- "Manual cleaning oven, unfortunately, does not mean that a guy named Manuel will come and clean your oven."
What's the difference between dicing and chopping, zest and pith, or au gratin and au lait?
Survival recipes include tuna fish salad, homemade chicken soup, brownies, and many more.
Setting up a kitchen and keeping it clean and safe, how to buy and store food, a glossary of basic cooking terms, and what to do in the event of a culinary disaster are all covered in this handy, easy-to-use cookbook and kitchen compendium.
Designed for anyone--newly graduated, newly married, newly single--who is venturing into the kitchen for the first time, this cookbook builds confidence with 140 basic recipes necessary to get through life, as well as hundreds of helpful hints Mom forgot to share.
Please forgive my presumptuousness. Perhaps some well-meaning but misguided person foisted this book on you and in reality you're happy as a clam getting take-out from your local Kentucky Fried Chicken or from your corner yuppie food shop that sells tortellini salad for $14 a pound.
I hope this is not you. I hope you've tried take-out or the school's food service or a steady diet of Stouffer's and Lean Cuisine and you're fed up without really being fed at all.
Okay, so you want to learn how to cook. Great. Not only will you be able to vent your creative energy, you'll have fun, you'll win friends and impress relatives, you'll save money, you'll feel better, and you'll get to eat delicious food whenever you want it.
I've written this book as a teaching tool. You can use it to cook even if you have trouble boiling water and after you learn how to cook you can keep it as a handy reference source. My advice is to read Part One before you even start to think about recipes. That's where you'll find all the basic information you need, from how to clean your oven, to how to pick out a ripe melon, to how to make dinner for someone who's a vegetarian. Cooking terms are explained in detail along with tips on how to organize and run your kitchen. Consider this the advice part of the book. The goal of the four chapters in this part is to teach you how to turn the recipes in Part Two into not only edible, but downright tasty food, in as short a time and with as little work as possible.
Spend some time thinking about how and what you feed yourself when you read Chapter 4, Fueling the System. Remember, if it's Mom's cooking that you miss, then chancesare she wasn't serving you meatballs and dinosaur-shaped pasta from a can. She was thinking about nutrition and so should you.
When it does come time to peruse the recipes, don't be put off by the fact that some of them seem lengthy. These are "teaching" recipes, meaning I have left nothing to your imagination. I don't assume a new cook knows what an old-hand does, so everything is spelled out in detail.
Feel free to scribble in the margins, underline, take notes. If you love a recipe (or hate it), then write that down next to it. Did you make it for a friend who thought it was the best thing she ever tasted? Write that down, too, so you can make it for her again. Did the cookies take longer in your oven than the recipe said? Write that down. Was the chicken better baked or fried? And what was that wonderful vegetable dish you served with it? Write it all down.
Finally, once you get better at this cooking business, it will become fun. You'll feel great about your new-found talents and want to share the results with everyone you know. And, don't forget to feed your Mom.
Copyright © 1992 by Lora Brody
Posted November 14, 2000
I love this cookbook. I bought it a few years ago and lent it to a friend, but she won't give it back. The recipes are quick & easy, and tasty. The tomato soup is a big hit with my family.
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Posted June 17, 2012