Learn How to Cook or Bake
Learning how to cook for yourself is like any craft or hobby, you have to start somewhere, so let's begin.
For most of us, learning to cook starts as something we pick up from our parents growing up. Mom would be baking in the kitchen or dad would be setting up the braai and the children would ask to be involved. This is the best way to learn the basics of cooking but not everyone has parents that show them how to cook a meal or bake a cake. When you have no one to show you the basics it is up to you to teach yourself and we are going to look at some essential steps in the process to get you started.
Before you begin, there are going to be some people out there who just aren't suitable to cooking, and particularly baking. I know from many years' experiences that some things just cannot be taught (or learned). For over 17 years of running the DIY-Divas workshops, there were more than a few people who should stay far, far away from DIY and I am sure this is going to be just as applicable to cooking. If you have no desire or inclination to cook - don't!
You don't need to fork out a fortune to kit out your kitchen, there are plenty of affordable cooking and baking solutions too!
1. Know your equipment
As with every craft or hobby you begin, it helps to know your tools and equipment. This is just as true when learning to cook or bake. You need to know what equipment you will use and how to use it. The same applies to all the accessories and utensils that you use during cooking and baking. Once you understand the tools you need and how to use them you are one step closer to achieving your goal.
2. Understand the terminology
Just as knowing your equipment gives you the knowledge of the tools you need, so does the terminology. If you don't understand the difference between baste and boil, you are going to find it difficult to complete a recipe. Do yourself a favour, go online and find a basic recipe and any words that you encounter that you don't understand, pop them into the search bar to understand the meaning.
3. Keep it simple
With any new craft you learn, starting out simple is the best way to proceed. You are not going to be able to make a Black Forest chocolate cake on the first try, while a batch of biscuits or cupcakes is more achievable. As they say, practice makes perfect, and this is true of any craft. The more you practice the more confident you become and then you can move on to tasks that are a bit more challenging.
Whether you are learning to cook or learning to bake, there are a couple of meals you can make that start with the basics. For cooking, why not make a breakfast consisting of an omelette, scrambled eggs, or French toast, and if you are baking try making a batch of biscuits or cupcakes. Both these options are as basic as can be and will help you gain experience.
4. Practice makes perfect
Don't give up too easily if things don't go right the first time. Not everyone is perfect right out of the gate, and you are going to have a few flops along the way. Learn from your mistakes. If a recipe turns out bad, look at what you did wrong. Was the recipe incorrect, did you mix it wrong, was the oven too high? Learning from mistakes is how we move on and improve our skills.
Building your skills will eventually lead you to a place where you can create your own meals or bake your own creations.