Knowing how to cook is, in my opinion, one of the most important skills you learn in the process of “adulting.” A lot of people do not cook for a variety of reasons, but if your reason is fear of the unknown (what is julienne?! how do I mince my garlic?) then this post is for you!
Even though I have been cooking for a long time now, and experiment with multiple cuisines and techniques, there are still a lot of things I’m not so good at. My knife skills are nothing next to my mom’s, and I’ve been avoiding baking for as long as I can remember. But taking risks and trying new things is what has helped me accumulate as much food knowledge as I have now.
As I mentioned in my Basics of Meal Prep post, when it comes to cooking your own meals, you don’t have to be a world-class chef. If you are already pretty skilled, good for you! But if you’re not, the most important thing in learning how to cook is not to measure yourself up to the blog post picture or the chef you see on TV. Heck, when I try and replicate recipes from my mom, most of the time the final product does not look exactly like hers, and that’s okay!
Here are my top 3 reasons for learning how to cook:
- It develops organizational and multitasking skills. I remember reading recipes and as soon it asked to do multiple things at once, it was immediately crossed off in my mind. I dreaded multitasking in the kitchen because I always ended up burning/ruining something. With a lot–and I mean a lot–of practice, know I can effectively organize my time and cook up to three dishes at once.
- It keeps my wallet happy. We have talked about how cooking at home is so much cheaper than eating out, and I cannot stress it enough. By developing knowledge of how much food exactly costs, I make more informed purchases from my groceries to eating out at restaurants.
- You know what goes into your food. If you have a dietary restriction, or are watching certain intakes (in my case, it’s salt), making your own food gives you control on how much you put into your meals. It also gives you creative freedom on modifying dishes to your liking–for example, my partner does not like almonds, so when a recipe or dish calls for it, he just skips it altogether.
If you are not living with someone that knows how to cook, YouTube is a great resource for developing cooking skills. The internet is a wonderful place in that if you have a question about food, chances are somebody has already answered it.
YouTube has helped tremendously in upping my cooking skills, from learning how to chop an onion properly to deboning a fish. You don’t have to be a pro or chop the onion as finely as the person in the video–believe me. Pinterest has also been a huge help in helping me catalog recipes and find new ones; sometimes I just type the ingredients I have and something comes up! I really like following Gordon Ramsay and The Domestic Geek as well as the super famous Tasty on Youtube. If you are not very into videos, the blogs I consistently read and follow are Budget Bytes, Pinch of Yum, and Mexico In My Kitchen.
If you want the encyclopedia of everything cooking, The Kitchn has been super helpful!
Do you cook?