Opinion: Knowing How to Cook

I was recently rejected for inclusion into Food Blog Search because not enough of my posts were recipes. That’s perfectly fine. Doesn’t bother me in the least since I really don’t post that many recipes (but I’ve since noticed the rules for inclusion have been worded differently). But that reminded me of one of my pet peeves. My mother and grandmothers taught me HOW to cook not just to cook. And there is a difference.

Knowing “to cook” means you can certainly cook you just follow a recipe and don’t know why certain things do what they do and other than coming up with your own basic recipes you can’t do much else without a base recipe in front of you. Knowing “how to cook” means you know what each ingredient does, why you need it, how much or how little to add and can create your own recipes with no assistance – a style made popular by Alton Brown, one of my foodie heroes. Some recipes I post I did improve upon what I found, that’s true. But several I actually created on my own because that was just what I needed at the time. Now I would never claim intellectual property on any of them – no way was I the only one to come up with it – I just happened to have devised my particular recipe. But I do know why I did what I did, and what I would change to make something suit me better.

Honestly, everyone should learn this skill. It helps tremendiously in the kitchen – especially once you’ve run out of an ingredient!

And recently I stumbled uponrecipe rules and frankly I agree with them! This is exactly what I am talking about.


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