View Poll Results: How good are you at cooking?
I'd literally starve without someone to cook for me (or go broke buying takeout). 4 1.67%
I can operate the toaster, the tea kettle... that's about it. 5 2.08%
I get by on processed foods like Hamburger Helper, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and so on. 14 5.83%
As home cooks go, I'm not the best, but I'm not the worst either. 82 34.17%
As home cooks go, I'm pretty good. 101 42.08%
Not a professional cook, but my cooking is so good that I could pass for a pro. 27 11.25%
I am literally a professional cook (chef, caterer, etc.). 4 1.67%
Some other option Homie left out. 3 1.25%
Voters: 240. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-23-2018, 02:19 PM
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How Good Of A Cook Are You?

I love reading about and participating in discussions of cooking here on the Dope, and in my ~five decades on this rock I think I've managed to become a slightly OK cook. There are things I do well, there are things I do poorly, and there are things I couldn't do if I wanted to. But I'm leaps & bounds better than my mom, who can barely cook a simple casserole.

Specifically, I like to use fresh ingredients when I can get them, and I'm in a transition process of cooking more from scratch and less from processed ingredients. I can make pretty good spiced carrot fritters, vegan chicken curry (which is neither vegan nor does it have chicken in it*), various pies & cakes, and some other things. But I'm not above throwing a frozen pizza in the oven, either.

So how good of a cook are you?

Poll to follow.

*Vegan Chicken Curry is a joke Mrs. Homie and I came up with to describe my curry. It's vegetarian (no meat), but not vegan (uses cream).
  #2  
Old 12-23-2018, 02:53 PM
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When I was 16 and again when I was in college I had people offer me job's at country clubs based on what they tasted. I can both bake and cook. My apple pie is known in at least 5 states. My chocolate chip cookies totally fucking rock. I was told this past Thanksgiving that the only reason one person comes to our gathering instead of staying home is for my lasagna. I can and will make curry dishes at any time.

I like to cook like I like to eat.
  #3  
Old 12-23-2018, 02:56 PM
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I have been known to screw up scrambled eggs.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:58 PM
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Living abroad, I've often had to improvise to make my favorite dishes. When I serve them to guests, I always get rave reviews. I hear "You should open a restaurant!" a lot, especially for my Italian and Tex-Mex cooking. I once won a chili cookoff in Moscow, with expatriates voting.

Even when backpacking in Britain 40+ years ago and living on $5 a day, I came up with a rice and veg dish that I still love to make. I learned a lot from my dad, who had vocational training but never (so far as I know) sought a position as a chef. He always had (so to speak) bigger fish to fry.
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Last edited by terentii; 12-23-2018 at 02:59 PM.
  #5  
Old 12-23-2018, 03:03 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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I voted "as far as home cooks go, pretty good." When I'm thinking of "passing for a pro," I'm thinking of culinary school types, who have learned all of Escoffier and stuff like that. I'm certainly good enough to open a family style restaurant and not have it fail for the quality of the food, but I'm certainly not anyone who could handle haute cuisine at my current level, and my plating is atrocious. My brother is the one who does that kind of stuff, from the food straight down to the presentation. He's excellent at that. I'm more the slap good food on the plate type.

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-23-2018 at 03:05 PM.
  #6  
Old 12-23-2018, 03:05 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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I can operate the toaster, the tea kettle... that's about it.

I can make sandwiches and warm up stuff out of cans. I'm never going to starve if left home alone. But anything complicated, like anything with more than, say, three ingredients? I know I'll eat better at a restaurant than if I try to make it myself.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:09 PM
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Decent, I'd say. A step behind my dad and uncle, and two behind Grandma, who I'm still certain was the best cook in town. But I'd like to think that something gets passed down the line.
  #8  
Old 12-23-2018, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I voted "as far as home cooks go, pretty good." When I'm thinking of "passing for a pro," I'm thinking of culinary school types, who have learned all of Escoffier and stuff like that.
My sister-in-law could open a catering business. Doubtless she has never heard of Escoffier.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:21 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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My sister-in-law could open a catering business. Doubtless she has never heard of Escoffier.
Yeah, perhaps I'm thinking too much of a traditional culinary school education. In terms of being good enough to have people pay for my food, then, yes, I think I could pass for a "pro" there. I have actually worked once as a "guest chef" at a pub-grill type of place ten years ago, so I guess, technically, I have had a pro cooking gig.
  #10  
Old 12-23-2018, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I voted "as far as home cooks go, pretty good." When I'm thinking of "passing for a pro," I'm thinking of culinary school types, who have learned all of Escoffier and stuff like that. I'm certainly good enough to open a family style restaurant and not have it fail for the quality of the food, but I'm certainly not anyone who could handle haute cuisine at my current level, and my plating is atrocious. My brother is the one who does that kind of stuff, from the food straight down to the presentation. He's excellent at that. I'm more the slap good food on the plate type.
Same here. I will tackle any dish that sounds appealing, I understand spicing, and can make soups, stews, stocks and sauces from scratch. I can make a killer burger or a complicated Indian dish; grill a hot dog or make my own Italian sausage; boil a potato or make an elegant seafood paella. People have always told me I should open a restaurant, but I've been smart enough not to do so.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:32 PM
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People have always told me I should open a restaurant, but I've been smart enough not to do so.
Amen. That has to be one of the most thankless, hardest industries to get into and survive.
  #12  
Old 12-23-2018, 04:45 PM
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I also voted "good home cook". I can bake, roast, brew soup, make gravy, make chilis and curries, medium-boil an egg -- really, I've mostly succeeded at everything I've tried to cook, and my guests always enjoy the food, and I have a decent reputation among my friends for my cooking. But I don't have the speed or consistency to do it professionally. My cookies don't all come out exactly the same size, and some might be a little oval. My roast might finish before the potatoes do.

I have no interest in developing the skills to be a professional chef. I cook for fun, and to eat. That's good enough for me.
  #13  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:12 PM
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My sister-in-law could open a catering business. Doubtless she has never heard of Escoffier.
But she is influenced by him in any cooking she does. Just the act of creating and using a standardized recipe was pretty much his contribution to culinary, not to mention the brigade system of organizing a kitchen into separate tasks.


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Same here. I will tackle any dish that sounds appealing, I understand spicing, and can make soups, stews, stocks and sauces from scratch. I can make a killer burger or a complicated Indian dish; grill a hot dog or make my own Italian sausage; boil a potato or make an elegant seafood paella. People have always told me I should open a restaurant, but I've been smart enough not to do so.
Yeah, running any business is a pain, but restaurants are a whole different level. I am friends with several restaurant owners, and I greatly enjoy their tales of woe. I by happenstance got out of the industry and went another direction a few years ago, but had for quite some time put great consideration into opening my own high end restaurant, but am now rather glad that I did not.

My culinary skills are not completely wasted though. Now that I am out of the industry, and actually *enjoy* cooking again, my roommates, my friends, and even my employees get to experience what really is equivalent to 5 star cooking. Even my macaroni and cheese has caused people to threaten to kidnap me to be their personal chef.

I am also usually drafted to help family or friends to put together dinner parties, as, after spending years banqueting or catering for hundreds, a dinner for a dozen is cake.

Downside is that whenever someone takes me out to a "nice" restaurant, I am rather disappointed by what is on my plate, knowing that I could have done much better.
  #14  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:14 PM
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These categories are tricky. I chose the "could pass for a professional cook" because I think I'm better than "pretty good for a home cook", but I'm no Grant Achatz. I'm not even as good as the best chef in my little town. Not to mention, there's a whole hell of a lot more to being a professional chef than cooking. Can you cook the same thing reliably over and over again? Can you cater a meal for hundreds of people? Can you plate things attractively?

I can't really do any of those things (well I can plate OK, and I'm reasonably reliable at my standards. But not to the point of professional). What I can do is throw together a mean for a few folks that is really, really good. I keep a ridiculous number of herbs & spices around, I always have a freezer full of homemade stocks & sauces, I have an incredibly well-stocked pantry. My kitchen equipment is wide-ranged enough that I had to tell Mr. Athena to not buy me any more kitchen stuff for Christmas this year because I realized he bought me at least two really nice pieces for Christmas last year that I haven't used. And it's not just that I have all that stuff, I know how to use it.

Cooking & eating is a big part of my life; I can't imagine not having good food around the house on a daily basis. It's one of the best pleasures IMO.
  #15  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:23 PM
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Even my macaroni and cheese has caused people to threaten to kidnap me to be their personal chef.
Just out of curiosity, what would be the going rate for a personal chef? Like, $150k per year? $200k?
  #16  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:24 PM
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Cooking & eating is a big part of my life; I can't imagine not having good food around the house on a daily basis. It's one of the best pleasures IMO.
I love how you said this! Very touching!

I wish I had the time, money, and logistics to devote to being a great home cook. But I'm broke, and I live 100 miles from the nearest farmer's market. Hell, I live 35 miles from fucking Walmart.
  #17  
Old 12-23-2018, 05:50 PM
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I have been known to screw up scrambled eggs.
My mother is fond of recounting how I cooked & ate scrambled eggs for a week (and nothing else) to qualify for a Boy Scout badge.

Now, I'm pretty good at cooking but my presentation sucks.
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  #18  
Old 12-23-2018, 06:44 PM
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Downside is that whenever someone takes me out to a "nice" restaurant, I am rather disappointed by what is on my plate, knowing that I could have done much better.
For me, this is especially true for breakfast. For most restaurants, I know that if I order biscuits and gravy, that the biscuits will be giant doughy messes and that the gravy will be like Elmer's glue that someone waved a sausage over. I know that over easy eggs will be crispy or under-cooked, that the hash browns will be dry and leathery, the bacon either under cooked or reheated into leather, and that grease will be the overriding ingredient. Whenever I do find a place that somehow doesn't ruin breakfast, it usually manages to go out of business. There was actually (and briefly) a restaurant called "Biscuits" that opened in my neighborhood; the biscuits were the worst thing on the menu, and that was saying something.
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Old 12-23-2018, 06:59 PM
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I do OK. I put this on the table for our second thanksgiving party:

20 lb turkey
wild rice stuffing
cornbread dressing
pureed butternut squash
mustard greens & broccoli rabe
apple banana and pecan salad
ratatouille
crock pot new potatoes
home-churned cherry chocolate ice cream

The following additional items were farmed out as tasks to other people:

rutabaga casserole
devils on horseback
pumpkin cheesecake
cranberry sauce

I got everything on the table ready and warm (where appropriate) at the same time (or in waiting as the dessert) and it all came out excellent. That's a 13 course meal for 8 people, with fully 8 of the courses personally and simultaneously cooked by me. (There was also spiced cider punch, beaujolais nouveau, pickles & olives, and baguettes, and commercial turkey gravy on hand which I'm not counting as "courses")

I'm not ready to open a restaurant or anything but I am fully competent in the kitchen and greatly enjoy it
  #20  
Old 12-23-2018, 07:02 PM
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I said as home cooks go I'm pretty good, but I've provided quiche several times for a local coffee shop, and the owner just asked for my chili recipe.
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Old 12-23-2018, 10:24 PM
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Talented amateur, due mainly to preparing meals daily. Practice, practice, practice.

Living in NYC and eating in NYC restaurants, I can’t always say “I could do that better!” The chilluns are home for the holiday with their significant others; we had Brooklyn Chinatown dim sum this morning and Manhattan Chinatown upscale Szechuan for dinner. No way I could have prepared any of that in my home kitchen.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:52 AM
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I'm halfway between choices 3 and 4. I fall back on familiar things that are simple to make. I avoid spending longer than ten minutes in the kitchen, if I can help it: In, grab, prep, heat up, eat, that's my methodology.

I have occasionally spent more effort on food, and did a creditable job, so I am capable, I just choose not to be.
  #23  
Old 12-24-2018, 01:15 AM
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I also voted "good home cook". I can bake, roast, brew soup, make gravy, make chilis and curries, medium-boil an egg -- really, I've mostly succeeded at everything I've tried to cook, and my guests always enjoy the food, and I have a decent reputation among my friends for my cooking. But I don't have the speed or consistency to do it professionally. My cookies don't all come out exactly the same size, and some might be a little oval. My roast might finish before the potatoes do.

I have no interest in developing the skills to be a professional chef. I cook for fun, and to eat. That's good enough for me.
No need for me to reply since you took the words right out of my mouth
  #24  
Old 12-24-2018, 06:30 AM
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I can cook, sorta. I can throw together a simple meal, like pasta, or grilled chicken with a salad. I can make a birthday cake for a kid's party. But my cooking is nothing special. I've never been asked for a recipe. I really like food, though, just prefer to have someone else do the work.
  #25  
Old 12-24-2018, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Living in NYC and eating in NYC restaurants, I can’t always say “I could do that better!” The chilluns are home for the holiday with their significant others; we had Brooklyn Chinatown dim sum this morning and Manhattan Chinatown upscale Szechuan for dinner. No way I could have prepared any of that in my home kitchen.
I'm fairly certain that if I lived in NYC and had that kind of food available all the time I'd not be half the cook I am now (and that would be just fine). I fully acknowledge that a large part of my motivation for cooking is that, living in the middle of nowhere like I do, there are so many things that if I don't make them, I'd never get to eat them. Even basic things like decent Mexican or anything other than generic "Chinese" food (as opposed to dim sum or Szechuan) aren't available here.
  #26  
Old 12-24-2018, 08:02 AM
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Cooking is one of those things with very narrow bands between the lowest skill levels. There are only a few relatively simple lessons to master and then, quite suddenly, you're very competent. A little more practice and you're pretty much at the "really excellent home cook" category.

Making a dish that "passes for professional" just means that you've perfected a few specific techniques and have found/inherited/developed a truly excellent recipe. There are people who have opened (successfully or not) restaurants and food trucks with just a handful of recipes like that.

Passing beyond that level gets into developing encyclopedic knowledge of preparation techniques and food interactions, memorizing dozens of baseline recipes and their variants, perfecting complex mechanical skills through endless repetition (shucking oysters, butchering meat, forming a baguette) and so on. That's what culinary school is for. It's about a lot more than making a few tasty dishes.

Like Chefguy, I'm good enough to cook most anything that I fancy and smart enough not to try it professionally.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 12-24-2018 at 08:04 AM.
  #27  
Old 12-24-2018, 08:46 AM
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I'm pretty good. It started when I worked second shift and got home at 11pm. I had roommates and needed to be a bit quiet, but needed something to do. The whole world was going to sleep just as I got off work.

I just whipped up some home made spaghetti the other day. All you need is flour and eggs. Well, and a rolling pin. No tomato sauce or tomatoes? A little butter and cracked pepper is wonderful.

I can almost always find stuff in the fridge to make a nice meal.
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  #28  
Old 12-24-2018, 09:06 AM
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I selected as home cooks go I am pretty good.

Back in the pre-OSHA days I got my first job, at age 14, in a local Italian restaurant. By age 15, I was cooking on the line. (For the few people here familiar with Omaha, this was at the original Caniglia's in Little Italy) I worked in various restaurants until I left college. I do pretty good in my home kitchen and out on the patio with my grill and off set smoker.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:38 AM
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I can make a few simple, quick meals:

- jacket potatoes (served with ham, cheese or salad)
- baked beans on toast
- omelettes (served with ham, cheese or salad)
- stir fry (admittedly from packets!)
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Old 12-24-2018, 10:08 AM
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Not the best, not the worst. I can definitely get by in the kitchen, but in recent years, my wife has done the vast majority of the cooking, while I've done most of the cleaning, laundry, and yard work, so I'm out of practice with all but a few core dishes.
  #31  
Old 12-24-2018, 11:46 AM
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When I have time, I can do pretty good. I've got a subscription to Cuisine at Home, and I read it cover to cover. I can handle most dishes it offers up, I just lack the time and energy to do so. I'm looking forward to retirement where I can rediscover my skills.

So at present I put down that "I'm not the best but I'm not the worst". I do pretty good with a pressure cooker and a roaster.
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:30 PM
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As home cooks go, I'm not the best, but I'm not the worst either.

My standard answer to this type of question is : "If I'm the one cooking, you won't have the greatest meal of your life but you're definitely not going to starve and you're not going to rush to the bathroom either."

In other words I can cook. I like to think I have a knack for trying interesting flavour combinations. I can follow recipes all right. But the thing is, I'm lazy about it. I stick to the dozen easy meals I master and only try slightly more elaborate stuff on holidays, when I have the time, and only if I'm in the mood. Yet, I find cooking fascinating and would love to have the motivation to do more.
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Last edited by Les Espaces Du Sommeil; 12-24-2018 at 12:32 PM.
  #33  
Old 12-24-2018, 12:41 PM
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Not the best, not the worst. I'm certainly a step or two above being dependent on packaged food and can follow most standard recipes with a fair to high degree of success. Soups, stews, pastas, roasting, sautés, pan-frying - no problem. However I am not much of an intuitive cook and I avoid the most arcane and demanding recipes( partly because I'm lazy and don't enjoy hours of prep ), as well as baked goods generally.

I can do( and have done )a successful turkey dinner for multiple people with all the standard sides. But I'm also just as likely to get lazy and do the turkey and a couple of sides - then pick up a couple more at a restaurant to save time and energy . I like eating the food, but get no great sense of satisfaction from making it.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 12-24-2018 at 12:42 PM.
  #34  
Old 12-24-2018, 02:46 PM
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I could pass for a pro, meaning the mean of pros, and not those outliers who do the artsy-fartsy stuff. I'm not an artist, and cupcake wars and cake wars aren't real cooks.
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Old 12-24-2018, 02:48 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I'm fairly certain that if I lived in NYC and had that kind of food available all the time I'd not be half the cook I am now (and that would be just fine). I fully acknowledge that a large part of my motivation for cooking is that, living in the middle of nowhere like I do, there are so many things that if I don't make them, I'd never get to eat them. Even basic things like decent Mexican or anything other than generic "Chinese" food (as opposed to dim sum or Szechuan) aren't available here.
If I had been blessed with deep pockets, I might have never become a good home cook. Unfortunately, dining out regularly in New York requires big bucks.

So tonight the whole family sits at the family table for homemade Corsican-style fish soup with rouille and shredded Gruyere (me); a fresh baguette (baked by little Pianola); and an elaborate salad including pomegranate and pears (the Ukulele Lady). We used to do boulliabaise, but realized we prefer a simpler maritime dish.
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  #36  
Old 12-25-2018, 08:22 AM
Athena Athena is offline
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
So tonight the whole family sits at the family table for homemade Corsican-style fish soup with rouille and shredded Gruyere (me); a fresh baguette (baked by little Pianola); and an elaborate salad including pomegranate and pears (the Ukulele Lady). We used to do boulliabaise, but realized we prefer a simpler maritime dish.
Damn, if I'd read this yesterday I'd've jumped on a plane. Good fish and seafood are hard to come by here, with the exception, of course, of Lake Superior whitefish and trout and the occasional perch or walleye. I wouldn't be so rude to come empty-handed, though; I'd bring along the tourtière I made for today's dinner: pork shoulder braised in Guinness with cinnamon and allspice, goose confit, some more ground pork (can't have enough pork), mushrooms, potatoes to bind it together, all in a butter crust. Judging on just the filling, it should be a good one.

The salad you mention wasn't this one, was it? I made for Christmas Eve family dinner last night. I was dubious about it as I put it together - the pears seemed a bit too wobbly - but it turned out pretty damn good.
  #37  
Old 12-25-2018, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
If I had been blessed with deep pockets, I might have never become a good home cook. Unfortunately, dining out regularly in New York requires big bucks.

So tonight the whole family sits at the family table for homemade Corsican-style fish soup with rouille and shredded Gruyere (me); a fresh baguette (baked by little Pianola); and an elaborate salad including pomegranate and pears (the Ukulele Lady). We used to do boulliabaise, but realized we prefer a simpler maritime dish.
Nice. On past Christmases, I've made seafood paella with shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, and Spanish chorizo, which is always a hit. This year we're going to a friend's home for a large group potluck. I'm making a platter of pork and shrimp lumpia with a sweet chili dipping sauce, which may upstage the salmon and ham they're serving.
  #38  
Old 12-25-2018, 01:40 PM
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I expect that my inherent level of ability is about average or perhaps a bit below, but I've had the advantage of learning good recipes and techniques from my grandmother and others, which is enough to put me into the above-average category. I can't come up with new recipes from scratch, but I'm scientifically-minded enough to follow existing recipes, and I have enough of the art in me to modify those recipes to my own taste.
  #39  
Old 12-25-2018, 02:03 PM
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MoonMoon MoonMoon is offline
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I chose “something else”. I can cook, pretty competently, but I choose not to. I dislike doing it, and food just isn’t that important to me. I can meet my nutritional needs without cooking “real” meals OR eating hamburger helper, so none of the options really fit.
  #40  
Old 12-25-2018, 03:14 PM
enipla enipla is offline
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I posted above, but reading this thread makes me realize how different things are for folks.

The closest grocery store is 15 miles away. The closest restaurant is 5 miles. There is no pizza or anything else delivery at our house (not even mail). So All dinners are home cooked.
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I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from here.
  #41  
Old 12-25-2018, 05:20 PM
kopek kopek is offline
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I went "As home cooks go, I'm not the best, but I'm not the worst either." I am much better with open flame and/or gas stoves than I am electric. Give me the right cookstove or smoker and I'm damn good; with more modern tools I am a lot more average.
  #42  
Old 12-25-2018, 05:27 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
Just out of curiosity, what would be the going rate for a personal chef? Like, $150k per year? $200k?
Heh, I wish. Maybe if you are head chef at a palatial estate for one of the .01%'ers. More typically you are looking at $45-50k a year. Depends on your clientele and your skill of course.

And, as a kidnapping victim, I may not be able to negotiate even that good a rate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
For me, this is especially true for breakfast. For most restaurants, I know that if I order biscuits and gravy, that the biscuits will be giant doughy messes and that the gravy will be like Elmer's glue that someone waved a sausage over. I know that over easy eggs will be crispy or under-cooked, that the hash browns will be dry and leathery, the bacon either under cooked or reheated into leather, and that grease will be the overriding ingredient. Whenever I do find a place that somehow doesn't ruin breakfast, it usually manages to go out of business. There was actually (and briefly) a restaurant called "Biscuits" that opened in my neighborhood; the biscuits were the worst thing on the menu, and that was saying something.
I actually don't mind cheap places, diners and the like. I'll scarf down breakfast at Bob Evans any day you want to take me. I'm not really expecting much, and my expectations are delivered upon.

It is the nice restaurants that people try to take me for special occasions that always leave me disappointed.
  #43  
Old 12-25-2018, 05:43 PM
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Now, I'm pretty good at cooking but my presentation sucks.
That's me too. When I watch the fancy-schmancy (to use a technical term) cooking shows, I am impressed in how the food looks on the plate, and I agree it probably does add to the overall enjoyment of the dish - particularly if you paid for it.

My serving style is pretty much based on the 'Here's your prison slop. Next!' methodology. In other words - get it on the right kind of plate while it's still hot, make sure everything is there in appropriate portions, and that the knives and forks look as if you at least tried to find a matchng set at the thrift shop.

But it's good food, and I get no complaints (probably because they'll be sent to the warden).
  #44  
Old 12-25-2018, 05:43 PM
Balance Balance is online now
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I'm a pretty good home cook. I'm not afraid to tackle any kind of dish, and almost always produce something worthwhile. I treat recipes as guidelines. I improvise and invent new dishes, and the results are generally pretty good (with the exception of certain deliberately zany experiments). Judging by the reception of and requests for my specialties, those could pass for professional cooking in terms of taste, at least.

However, I tend to take a long time to prepare food, and I'm not very good at timing and juggling multiple dishes so that everything is ready at once, so I prefer to make meals that only require me to coordinate one or two things. I'm also not big on presentation. So, in terms of efficiency, complexity, and presentation, I couldn't pass for pro even with my best dishes.
  #45  
Old 12-25-2018, 07:03 PM
The King of Soup The King of Soup is offline
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Spotty. I graduated from the "Eat your mistakes" culinary academy, which keeps a dear school, as they say, but sometimes allows for happy accidents. If I like something, I learn to cook it because I can't afford to out much. Can't do desserts, though. Am really good at one thing, though.

Last edited by The King of Soup; 12-25-2018 at 07:04 PM.
  #46  
Old 12-25-2018, 07:04 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Not the best, not the worst. I'm really good with soups and stews, but so so with frying or baking. And I just plain suck at getting multiple dishes done at the same time. Those steaks are going to be cold by the time I get you any potatoes.
  #47  
Old 12-25-2018, 07:26 PM
Acsenray Acsenray is offline
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I chose I’m not the best but not the worst.

It’s just the two of us for the holidays this year so I needed only to provision a small meal for Christmas Eve and leftovers for Christmas.

I came across a pheasant at the supermarket, which I had never cooked nor eaten, so I picked it up, along with a bunch of broccolini and a bag of Brussels sprouts.

I sought the simplest of recipes, roasting the pheasant with salt, pepper, and olive oils, and finishing with a little butter to brown the top.

I steamed the Brussels sprouts in the microwave, again with salt, pepper, and olive oil, then browned them in the broiler.

I sautéed the broccolini on the stove, again with salt, pepper, and olive oil.

To that I added a nice bit of cheese.

I’m sure others could have done much better, but it was an edible and pleasant meal that included a new experience. Nothing spectacular, but nonetheless satisfactory.

Last edited by Acsenray; 12-25-2018 at 07:27 PM.
  #48  
Old 12-25-2018, 11:51 PM
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Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Heh, I wish. Maybe if you are head chef at a palatial estate for one of the .01%'ers. More typically you are looking at $45-50k a year. Depends on your clientele and your skill of course.

And, as a kidnapping victim, I may not be able to negotiate even that good a rate.



I actually don't mind cheap places, diners and the like. I'll scarf down breakfast at Bob Evans any day you want to take me. I'm not really expecting much, and my expectations are delivered upon.

It is the nice restaurants that people try to take me for special occasions that always leave me disappointed.
I have zero problems with cheap eats. I have big problems with crappy cheap eats.
  #49  
Old 12-26-2018, 09:20 AM
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puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
For me, this is especially true for breakfast. For most restaurants, I know that if I order biscuits and gravy, that the biscuits will be giant doughy messes and that the gravy will be like Elmer's glue that someone waved a sausage over. I know that over easy eggs will be crispy or under-cooked, that the hash browns will be dry and leathery, the bacon either under cooked or reheated into leather, and that grease will be the overriding ingredient. Whenever I do find a place that somehow doesn't ruin breakfast, it usually manages to go out of business. There was actually (and briefly) a restaurant called "Biscuits" that opened in my neighborhood; the biscuits were the worst thing on the menu, and that was saying something.
Whereas, my breakfast at home is a bowl of cereal with milk, and maybe some berries, accompanied by a pot of tea. Cheap restaurants have horrible tea (the water being barely lukewarm, even when the teabags are okay) but I generally enjoy when someone else cooks eggs for me.

I'm surprised you've had such bad luck with eggs, though. I feel like eggs are easy, and most every diner and hotel restaurant does a decent over-easy egg. And while I've been served both soggy and leathery bacon, I feel that decent bacon is the norm. (I always ask whether the waitress recommends the bacon or the sausage, though, and accept her advice.)

Last edited by puzzlegal; 12-26-2018 at 09:20 AM.
  #50  
Old 12-26-2018, 02:19 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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I voted for "As home cooks go, I'm not the best, but I'm not the worst either." I'm a competent, but not very imaginative, cook.
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