As you all know, I'm a big fan of Ree Drummond's site, The Pioneer Woman. She has a good friend named Ryan, who is also a fabulous cook. I ran up on this post at his blog today. It's awesome! I just kept nodding my head while I was reading it. Go check it out, and then come back for my comments. I'll wait for you....http://www.thisisreverb.com/2010/07/from-the-archives-5-easy-ways-to-improve-your-cooking.html
And now that you're all edumacated......
I always hated cooking, not just because I was only cooking for one, but just as Ryan stated, I didn't have the knowledge or the tools to make it fun. Doesn't have to be expensive! He has great tips for picking up an item or 2 occasionally at the store, or even using those 20% off coupons at Bed Bath and Beyond for a piece or two here and there - until you build up to a really nice kitchen. Hey, I still don't have a Kitchenaid mixer, but I will someday!
Regarding his topics:
1. When my grandmother passed away last year, I was gifted with her Towncrafte cookware. I love it! Yes, I have to handwash each piece when I use it with a special detergent, but thatís how that stuff lasts for 100 years! Itís the best, and so are the ones he mentions. I am very happy with my cookware. (And yes, I still have a T-Fal skillet that I cannot part with Ė itís just so handy and wonderful!)
2. Last Christmas, my boss gave us $50 gift certificates to one of those catalogs where you can pick your prize. They had those wonderful Ronco knife sets with the block! I jumped on it, and now, chopping in the kitchen is a joy! (Still want a Wusthof, though Ė bad!)
3. I looked through that pic of Ryanís cabinet, and I am proud to say that I have most of those things that he does Ė just wish mine was that organized! And I envy his spice rack Ė where does he get those lovely containers? Are they sold that way? Costco maybe?
4. Iím growing my own basil this year, and itís so lovely. Next up is definitely cilantro. Parsley I can get cheap enough at Kroger, and I donít care for rosemary, so Iím good to go!
5. Great research links on this one, and yes, I love Alton Brown, too. I donít agree that all of Food TV is drivel (I thought EVOO was cute!), but there are other great avenues for learning how to cook Ė including the Pioneer Womanís site. Have you gone through one of her recipes yet? Step-by-step with pictures! The woman is a genius.
This was a helpful blog entry for me, if nothing else but to validate that Iím going in the right direction. You can do it, too! Come join me in the kitchen!