Welcome Home: Home Cooking Help

home cookin' iconAs a young bride, my Betty Crocker Cookbook was my best friend as I pretty much didn’t know how to cook anything.  I wish I could remember who gave me that cookbook…I’d like to hug their neck!

I remember very well the days of hovering near my now-ex sister-in-law watching her make mashed potatoes and hoping she didn’t notice.  I didn’t have a clue and I didn’t want to admit it.

I was embarrassed.  And when you are embarrassed, you often don’t ask for help.

But help is exactly what the clueless homemaker needs.  She needs a mentor to come alongside her and show her the how-to behind even the most menial of tasks. She needs to build her confidence by doing the very things she is afraid she can’t do well.

For me, it was cooking.

I couldn’t imagine a time when I would be able to cook without a recipe.  Our weekly menu plans were full of gourmet recipes because that’s what you cook when all you can do is cook from a recipe.  I didn’t know how to use what was in my pantry to make a meal because my pantry leftovers didn’t come with recipes.  I didn’t understand food.

15 years later, I’m better, but still learning.  I can cook from my pantry.  I know what spices go with what kinds of foods and I experiment daily and most of the time it comes out quite tasty!

I realize now that understanding the intricacies of food and the simple techniques that make you a better, more efficient cook can be the key to enjoying being in your kitchen and cooking for your family.  That’s why this week’s Welcome Home is all about those little things that make cooking more efficient and interesting!  Because frankly, if you know what you are doing, you will naturally spend less time and brain power in the kitchen!

Many of the following links are YouTube links, so please be aware of that with the children around (although cooking is a fairly harmless topic).  And don’t forget to link up any homemaking encouragement you might have below!

Basic Knife Skills
How to chop herbs
How to chop an onion
Perfect Scrambled Eggs
How to make Mashed Potatoes
How to make Cream Gravy
How to use Spices
How to make Chicken Stock
How to Hard Boil an Egg
How to Quickly Peel a Hard Boiled Egg
How to make Egg Noodles
How to Steam Vegetables

Any other how-to’s you’d like to see here or have one of your own?  Leave it in the comments section!

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13 thoughts on “Welcome Home: Home Cooking Help

  1. I invited company over sometime in the first few weeks after we were married. I made the mistake of asking them what they would like tea or water to drink since I had some tea bags. They said tea. The problem was I had never made tea. I asked our guest to tell me how to make it. She told me to boil some water and then throw in the tea bags. So I did. However, I didn’t take the paper off the individually wrapped tea bags. Oops! Oh, the silly blunders we make in those early years of housekeeping.

  2. I am from California and my husband is from the South. When we were first married I offered to cook a special breakfast for him…anything he wanted. He asked me to make biscuits and gravy, which for me meant a packet of gravy mix dumped into boiling water and a can of pillsbury biscuits:). He had never heard of such an autrosity! So I called my mother-in-law and asked her how to make them. I naturally love to cook, so learning hasn’t been quite so painful for me, but I will never forget my husband’s face when I explained how I was going to fix his breakfast!

  3. my early years of marriage were filled with many bloopers. My poor husband had to put up with a lot. It does make me realize how important it is to train our daughters so they don’t have to have such a steep learning curve!! A subscription to Simple and Delicious by my mother in law helped greatly!!
    Blessings,
    Jill
    P.S. I had to laugh when I saw the link to “how to boil eggs.” I really couldve used that 11 years ago!!

  4. I remember the very first meal I (tried to) cook as a married woman. It was simple enough, a sausage pasta sauce with pasta. Well, I tried to cut the sausage up into bite sized pieces while it was raw… that didn’t work. Then… I burnt the pasta. Did you know you could burn pasta? I didn’t! The hotel we were at didn’t like us too much after we set the smoke alarm off. My husband spent a half hour scrubbing that pot clean. I’m ashamed to say it was not the last time I would burn pasta, or rice, or potatoes, or pretty much everything. We had a friend who would not eat at our home for that first year,

    My how things have changed. That friend now comes to our house because we have better food than his parents cook! I never use a recipe except for baked goods. When I do use a recipe at dinner it’s for inspiration only, I never stick to it. Having said that, in the three homes we have lived in since marriage I am yet to live in one that has a properly working oven, so I haven’t a clue how to do things in there, except for red meat roasts and roasted salad vegetables (things like tomato and broccoli and onion that don’t need to be cooked a certain time). Oh I’d love to be able to cook a roast potato, or white meat roasts, or racks, all sorts of things! No point in even trying till I have a proper oven though.

    I’ll admit, though, I still haven’t got a clue how to boil an egg! I have one of those automatic 6 egg boiler/steamer things. I measure the water in the tube, pour it in, and wait till it buzzes :D

  5. I have been married yrs and am NOW an at home wife—-I soo need help in learning how to cook from scratch, what to have ALWAYS on hand in the kitchen, and how to sew—-I need an AMISH home study course—lol.
    …PLEASE send me any sites, books, etc. QUICK—-I don’t want to be late !!!!!!!
    please please please…..
    I want to learn to cook, sew, etc. PLEASE

  6. This one made me smile…
    We’re now 15+ years into marriage, but those first few years (when we had no money and I was lacking cooking-experience)…we ate a lot of beans on toast sprinkled with cheese…how is that for gourmet? :)

  7. Oh, these make me laugh. I’ve so been in these shoes. Okay some days I still wear these shoes. I think there are more of us out there that have had to learn some of these basic skills on our own through trial and error. Once a Month Mom is a great resource (onceamonthmom.com). I also have used several Rachael Ray Recipe books. My husband is an awesome cook. And he cooked the first four years of our marriage. I have no idea how he learned to cook. I’ve asked him several times where he’s learned a particular skill and all he can say is, “I dunno, I just know.” His mother doesn’t even cook that good and his sister is so jealous because he’s a better cook than she is. He just doesn’t understand how I could not know how to cook. But the good news is, he eats what I put in front of him and he’s very supportive, only offers suggestions when asked, and never complains about my cooking. That’s a good man. ;) Thanks so much for sharing some of the basics and making it “okay” for us to not know these little things too many people assume everyone knows.

  8. Thanks for the encouragement Amy! I’ve been married 10 years and feel very comfortable in the kitchen. But last week we got the news that our son has some food allergies, like big ones. So we are now a wheat/gluten and peanut free home. It seems I am about to learn a whole new way of making some foods so that it is healthy for everyone in our family. This is still such new information, so while I’m excited to learn and get my son feeling well, a part of me is a little discouraged too. I appreciate your encouragement in this area today. :)