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a home + living guide for the post-college, pre-parenthood, quasi-adult generation


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a glossary of basic cooking methods

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the myth of the 
AD cook |
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Growing up, I was never one of those girly girls who loved to spend hours in the kitchen, pretending to be grown-up by baking brownies and cookies and apple pies just like mom did. The kitchen was always entirely my mother’s domain, and while I very much appreciated the results of the magic she worked in that room – her home-cooked meals were so much tastier and healthier than anything you’d get in restaurants that she pretty much spoiled me for life – the actual process of getting good food on the table was something that I more or less took for granted. Back then, it just never occurred to me that one day in the future, I’d actually move out of my parents’ home and those beautiful meals of my mother’s would stop appearing miraculously on my dinner table each night at 6 p.m.

So I do not consider myself naturally inclined towards the domestic duties of life. (Anyone who knew me in my childhood could confirm this as well. As a semi-ambitious young thing intent on a glorious future as a career-woman-type, anything remotely connected to traditional notions of housewifery pretty much scared the bejeezus out of me.) I learned to cook not because the act of cooking had always intrigued me – to be perfectly honest, it hadn’t – but out of pure necessity. Faced with the other options of either eating poorly or going broke from eating out every night, I took the only viable solution: learning how to cook, and preferably well.

When people confess to me that they’re not good cooks, I know that what they’re really saying is that they don’t feel comfortable cooking. Bad cooking is rarely about lack of talent; it is primarily about lack of confidence and lack of experience, both of which go hand in hand, really, feeding off one another in an insidious cycle. The less you’ve cooked, the less you feel like you know what you’re doing when you're in the kitchen, and the more likely you are to question your instincts regarding when food tastes right. The inevitable result: overcooked, over-salted, and over-seasoned dishes that only confirm your suspicions that you are somehow simply genetically pre-disposed to being hopeless in the kitchen. After a few disastrous meals, you become convinced that you are fundamentally and undeniably a bad cook.. You tell yourself that there’s no sense in trying to fight something that’s part of your nature. You give up, because you’ve bought into the myth of the bad cook.


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