Friday, March 19, 2010

food for thought

i enjoy cooking. growing up my mom slowly introduced me to things like knife techniques, how to handle fruits and veggies, and more importantly for her, proper dish washing skills. i have no illusions about my mother's cooking. it's not mind-blowingly good. however, she did teach me a lot of what i know in the kitchen.

when i started getting interested in cooking american food i turned to PBS on saturday mornings for programs such as julia and jacques: cooking at home, jacques pepin: fast food my way, martha stewart everyday cooking, america's test kitchen (my favorite!!), and the like. but i understand that not everyone watches these shows or has food network to watch on cable TV (i certainly don't).

so if you have a very limited history of cooking but want to get better, what do you do? if you go to the bookstore you will be hit in the face with a tidal wave of books. which one do you get??

my suggestion would be to get "How to Boil Water" by the Food Network Kitchens.

it's a basics kind of book that answers questions like:
-what are the basic kitchen utensils/cookware?
-where should i store veggies in the fridge?
-do fruits go in the fridge or on the counter?
-should i wash chicken before cooking?
-how long can i store uncooked poultry?
-what's the best way to hard boil an egg?
-how do i uncork a wine bottle?
-how do i cook shellfish?
-what makes a soup good?

it's a beautiful book with great pictures, really nice graphics, and the recipes range for basic to old favorites to something challenging and new. if you've been recently bitten by the foodie bug and want to try cooking, consider this book.

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