Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Several weeks ago a Martin Gommel posted a blog entry entitled 100 Things I've learned about Photography. If you are into photography, there are some real gems of information in there.

Making a list of things you've learned about a particular subject is worthwhile activity. If you are like me you often forget what you've learned. Writing it down re-enforces it in you brain; you'll remember it quicker next time you need to.

I'm not at the point in photography to have a list of 100 things I've learned (I'm not sure I can fill a top 10 list). I can, however, fill a top 13 list of things I've learned about cooking. So without further ado:

Thirteen things I've learned about cooking

1. Cook with others - you'll learn something new.
2. Cook for others - nothing will spur you on to be a better cook then that look of appreciation when handing someone a meal, a loaf of bread or even a homemade cookie.
3. When trying out a new recipe do as much prep as possible before you start. The same goes of old recipes.
4. Acquire and use prep bowls of all sizes - they are invaluable and you can never have too many.
5. There aren't many foods that don't benefit from the addition of cheese.
6. Place an oven mitt over the handle of anything that comes out of a hot oven.
7. Cooking without a recipe exercises the creative part of your brain. Closing following a high-quality recipe exercises your technique. You need to do both.
8. Try to overcome food dislikes and periodically retry food that you thought you didn't like. You might surprise yourself.
9. Learn how to make roux - it'll make pan and b├ęchamel sauces a breeze. Sauces finish a plate.
10. Learn to make your own chicken stock. It'll blow away the store bought stuff.
11. Practice chopping. Carrots, onions and potatoes are cheap. Consistency is better than speed.
12. Use your good friends as new recipe guinea pigs - they'll tell you when a meal stinks.
13. Be mindful of presentation, even for you and your family. Good presentation will make food taste better.

So there you go - 13 tips you can use next time you cook.

Can you make a top 13 list of things you've learned about something?

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