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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  #51  
Old 12-26-2018, 02:24 PM
MikeG MikeG is offline
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I went to culinary school but only worked very briefly in a commercial kitchen. I can cook pretty much anything but my baking is super rusty because my gf is a literal blue ribbon winning baker so I just let her do her thing!
  #52  
Old 12-26-2018, 07:24 PM
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I would never call myself a chef, but I cooked in a high-end resort for a while. Now that the nest is emptied, my wife and I usually get by on frozen dinners.
  #53  
Old 12-27-2018, 11:45 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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I reckon I'm about "short-order cook" level. Not sit-down restaurant good, but I know the theories and I can apply them. I grill more than I cook in the house, but my Thanksgiving turkey has become family legend. Thinking of two things I did within the past week: I feel that if you can temper an egg and make a proper roux, you're above average.
  #54  
Old 12-27-2018, 12:22 PM
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I reckon I'm about "short-order cook" level. Not sit-down restaurant good, but I know the theories and I can apply them. I grill more than I cook in the house, but my Thanksgiving turkey has become family legend. Thinking of two things I did within the past week: I feel that if you can temper an egg and make a proper roux, you're above average.
Now, you can't just say that without sharing.
  #55  
Old 12-27-2018, 02:18 PM
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I can follow directions, I know what I like, and I'm not afraid to use appliances or make a mess. Most of my heavy cooking is done for special occasions, and there's usually a lot of experimentation involved. My dishes tend to look really bad, but taste really good.
  #56  
Old 12-27-2018, 02:48 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Now, you can't just say that without sharing.
It isn't that special, really. I just brine the bird for 24 hours (brine is mostly just vegetable broth), rinse, stuff it with aromatics, give it an oil rub-down, power-roast at 500 for half an hour, then back down to 350 until it's done. Rest for half an hour and carve. It's not anything special, but the family apparently has never had turkey that wasn't bone-dry.

Last edited by Max Torque; 12-27-2018 at 02:48 PM.
  #57  
Old 12-27-2018, 05:33 PM
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I guess I would say I am a good home cook. I do things like soufflés and so forth, I do most of the cooking when we have dinner parties, and people seem to enjoy what I make.

I would not like to be a professional chef. The hours suck, and I don't want to cook for strangers. It tastes different when you care about the people who are going to eat your food. Although it is one of the joys of my life to put something down in front of the family, or our friends, that they don't recognize, have them taste it, and then say "this is GOOD" and watch it disappear down their gullets like piranha on a drowning horse.

I cook on the weekends. And it is nice, on a Friday night, to have my wife sit in the kitchen, open the first bottle of wine as I lay out the ingredients, and let the conversation blossom as I chop and mix and fry.

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  #58  
Old 12-27-2018, 06:35 PM
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I can follow most recipes pretty well, and am reasonably imaginative when coming up with something new, as long as it's within my wheelhouse (stew, soup, salad, and pasta dishes). And there's a few things that I do my own spin on that are terrific (gumbo, pasta carbonara, and lamb stew).
  #59  
Old 12-27-2018, 07:40 PM
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I’m a danged good cook. I used to make fancy dishes years ago, but these days, I prefer quick and easy—but tasty.

I don’t follow recipes per se, but if I’m making something new, I glance at a few recipes to get a feel for the meal and make it my own.

My daughters turned vegan on me a few years ago (traitors!) so I usually make two versions of meals: 1) bloody and 2) ewww.

Actually, a lot of my vegan dishes are pretty good.

My nephew is a culinary school trained chef at a fine restaurant. He gives me a few pointers now and then ... but, when he was little, I gave him the pointers!
  #60  
Old 12-27-2018, 11:12 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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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.
God, I WISH I could get good freshwater fish here. I grew up on 1960s Friday Night perch fish frys in Northeast Ohio.

I love tourtiere, but I go low-class on it...ground pork browned and braised with minced onion, potato, celery, carrot, and garlic, possibly mushrooms. Simple seasoning, just salt, pepper, parsley, maybe a touch of thyme or oregano. And a grocery store crust, because I’m no pieman.
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  #61  
Old 12-27-2018, 11:26 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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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.
Years ago Cook’s Illustrated magazine offered a recipe for “weeknight paella,” which included only four easy proteins: chicken thighs, garlic sausage (chorizo or kielbasa), shrimp, and either clams or mussels. It’s fantastic.

I love cheap food, too, especially at breakfast. Sorry to say that the great greasy spoon diners and coffee shops of New York are slowly dying out.

(Puts on “Eggs and Sausage” from the 1975 live Tom Waits album Nightwaks at the Diner)
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  #62  
Old 12-27-2018, 11:28 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SDo1617aXX4
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  #63  
Old 12-28-2018, 02:34 AM
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I'm good, but in my area of expertise (Medieval cooking) I'm a pro. As in, people pay money to eat the food I make.
  #64  
Old 12-28-2018, 01:57 PM
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I'm good, but in my area of expertise (Medieval cooking) I'm a pro. As in, people pay money to eat the food I make.
Are you the turkey leg cook at Renaissance Festivals? I'll have to drop by if you circuit through Michigan next year.
  #65  
Old 12-29-2018, 09:46 AM
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Are you the turkey leg cook at Renaissance Festivals? I'll have to drop by if you circuit through Michigan next year.
Ha Ha. No, I cook real medieval food for catered events, like weddings and office parties, that want authenticity bragging rights.
  #66  
Old 12-29-2018, 11:36 AM
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Not a professional cook, but my cooking is so good that I could pass for a pro.

Spent some time working in a reaturant's kitchen, where I held my own (then washed my hands). When I cook for friends I get compliments.
  #67  
Old 12-29-2018, 12:07 PM
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God, I WISH I could get good freshwater fish here. I grew up on 1960s Friday Night perch fish frys in Northeast Ohio.
I guess that's proof that no matter where you live, there's something you can't get. I would have assumed you could get ANYTHING in NYC. Though you did preface it with "good" - I remember seeing "Lake Superior Whitefish" at Whole Foods when I lived in Boulder. It was a far cry from what I grew up with.
  #68  
Old 12-29-2018, 04:08 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Ha Ha. No, I cook real medieval food for catered events, like weddings and office parties, that want authenticity bragging rights.
I never knew that that niche existed. It sounds rather cool.
  #69  
Old 12-29-2018, 04:16 PM
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It's a very limited market, especially where I live. But medieval weddings were a thing for a while.. I've never done more than 3 events in one year, and nothing (paid, that is, I still do SCA and LARP feasts for myself) for the last 2.

Last edited by MrDibble; 12-29-2018 at 04:17 PM.
  #70  
Old 12-29-2018, 07:56 PM
BobBitchin' BobBitchin' is online now
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I voted other.

A cook is well rounded, knows what boil, saute,reduce etc means.

I am not a cook, but I can prepare some food.

Steaks, burgers, fries, baked potatoes, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy (tube and pouch)...

I microwave hotdogs with the best of em, and I have yet to make a bad ham and cheese sandwich.
  #71  
Old 12-29-2018, 11:28 PM
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As home cooks go, I'm better than "pretty good." But "pass for a pro" seems like an overreach. Somewhere in between those two.

With the caveat that I only do vegetarian.
  #72  
Old 12-30-2018, 12:07 AM
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There is another part of being a good cook.

How good are you in the kitchen? No, this is G rated.

Clean while you cook. You don't need 4 measuring cups. Two knifes should do it. That cutting board that you chopped chicken on? Get it under the hot water and scrub it.

Before you know it, the oven beeps and things are ready and you haven't left an after dinner mess.
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  #73  
Old 12-30-2018, 08:08 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Clean while you cook. You don't need 4 measuring cups. Two knifes should do it. That cutting board that you chopped chicken on? Get it under the hot water and scrub it.

Before you know it, the oven beeps and things are ready and you haven't left an after dinner mess.
Totally my style. My wife always leaves a big mess, though.
  #74  
Old 12-30-2018, 08:58 AM
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There is another part of being a good cook.

How good are you in the kitchen? No, this is G rated.

Clean while you cook. You don't need 4 measuring cups. Two knifes should do it. That cutting board that you chopped chicken on? Get it under the hot water and scrub it.

Before you know it, the oven beeps and things are ready and you haven't left an after dinner mess.
Yep, clean as you go and cook mise en place. My gf otoh, destroys the kitchen. We both end up serving great meals, though.
  #75  
Old 12-30-2018, 10:21 AM
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It's a very limited market, especially where I live. But medieval weddings were a thing for a while.. I've never done more than 3 events in one year, and nothing (paid, that is, I still do SCA and LARP feasts for myself) for the last 2.
I had no idea that this was a thing. This website has a lot of recipes, though.
  #76  
Old 12-30-2018, 10:38 AM
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I had no idea that this was a thing. This website has a lot of recipes, though.
A Boke of Gode Cookery is my go-to, but also period sources, many of which are online.
  #77  
Old 12-30-2018, 02:11 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is online now
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Originally Posted by enipla View Post
There is another part of being a good cook.

How good are you in the kitchen? No, this is G rated.

Clean while you cook. You don't need 4 measuring cups. Two knifes should do it. That cutting board that you chopped chicken on? Get it under the hot water and scrub it.

Before you know it, the oven beeps and things are ready and you haven't left an after dinner mess.
Cleaning as you go is good, but having other people to clean up after you is even better.

Before I cook, I always make sure my dishwasher is empty, so that I can just put dirty utensils directly in. I'm usually pretty good at keeping the mess down, so that when I am done, it just requires a few minutes of tidying up, and the kitchen is back to being clean (minus the dirty stuff in the dishwasher, which doesn't get run until after dinner)
  #78  
Old 12-30-2018, 04:48 PM
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I think I'm getting decent, but I only cook for myself, so who knows what others'd think.

Until a year ago, I didn't really have any facilities for doing more than stuff a frozen pizza in the oven, due to living in a shared house where kitchen space/time was at a premium. Improving my cooking has been one of my major projects and hobbies since I got the space. Sourdough pizza's been my favourite lately, though I've run out of homegrown tomato sauce now (which reminds me- my starter needs some love, I've been away for Christmas).

I've done a bit of waitressing, and used to harass the chef for cooking tips, which helped a lot. In fact, I still do harass him for recipes occasionally, just mostly via the internet now

I'm certainly a better cook than my parents, who know a few old faithful dishes and the rest is awful. Plenty of room for improvement
  #79  
Old 12-30-2018, 05:48 PM
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I'm a decent home cook. There's a lot of stuff I do well, some in which I'm exceptional, and a few I don't touch because I don't have the knack for it.

Having food allergies has prompted me to do a lot of cooking from scratch over the years.

No one would mistake me for a pro, but I can feed whoever is under my roof and feed them well.
  #80  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:17 AM
Eva Luna Eva Luna is offline
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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.
Likewise, but I have always said that if I didn't actually have to worry about making a living at it, I would open a little restaurant with maybe half a dozen tables and an insanely eclectic menu with lots of specials from global cuisines that don't get enough love in the U.S. (Georgian food, anyone?). Also I'd need to be rich enough to hire a sous chef and a dishwasher.

I've never actually taken a cooking class, but it would be awesome to have the time and the cash to get some actual professional training. I make a tasty cake, for example, but if I try to decorate it, it often looks like it was done by a six-year-old. And I'm sure that learning actual techniques from an actual pro by observation would be a very different experience than just reading a cookbook for instruction. Maybe when I retire...
  #81  
Old 12-31-2018, 09:26 AM
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If I won the lottery and could build a home to my own design, it would have a professional kitchen and a dedicated library.

In the kitchen I'd have good equipment, but one of the main requirements would be lots and lots of counter space. large freezers and fridges of course, lots of storage, high grade knives, but what kitchen ever has too much space to spread out?
  #82  
Old 12-31-2018, 10:49 AM
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I have a knack for making things taste good, no matter what they are. I actually think my most useful skill in the kitchen is saving recipes-gone-wrong and turning them into something that's still yummy, even if it might not much resemble what it was initially supposed to be.
  #83  
Old 01-05-2019, 11:38 PM
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I'm pretty damn good at cooking. I could never be a pro because I can't get things done at the right times, I don't know what a lot of fancy-chef-phases mean, I don't want to, I like to drink while I cook, etc. But I do know what lots of spices are good for, what flavors go well together, how to get the best flavor out of various raw foods, etc. My room mate has said, more than once, that he should have put my cooking into the lease agreement. If you give me protein, vegetables, starch, garlic and other spices I'll make you something tasty. If you don't like garlic, you're a liar, everyone likes garlic. Deserts I can't do, though. I can offer you a tasty digestif, but I can't cook anything sweet.

I've got nothing on my paternal grandmother, though. If she had a bucket full of clams she'd make the stuff of dreams. She literally kept her deviled clams recipe locked up. To this day, even after we've found the recipe, we can't get it quite right. To say nothing of clam chowder and clams casino.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Two knifes should do it.
Two knives?! I have at least two knives on my person at all times, not to mention the home-defense tools I have stashed within easy reach. Besides, knives are easy to clean and forging them is so much fun.
  #84  
Old 01-06-2019, 12:44 AM
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I've been cooking for as long as I can remember. My mother even admitted that I was a better cook than her by the time I was about 12 or 13. I love watching cooking shows and finding new recipes- but I don't have the time, patience, or money to actually execute them. So for now, I stick to microwaveable dinners and mac n cheese boxes.
  #85  
Old 01-06-2019, 04:35 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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My level of expertise could be summed up as: what I do, I do quite well - and I'm smart enough not to attempt to do a lot.
  #86  
Old 01-06-2019, 10:23 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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I guess that's proof that no matter where you live, there's something you can't get. I would have assumed you could get ANYTHING in NYC. Though you did preface it with "good" - I remember seeing "Lake Superior Whitefish" at Whole Foods when I lived in Boulder. It was a far cry from what I grew up with.
I can buy decent trout. Things like fresh Great Lakes pike or perch, forget it.
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  #87  
Old 01-06-2019, 11:04 PM
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I'm really good.

I've had a love for and studied cookery all my life and I'm fearless. Have successfully tackled and triumphed over most everything, including pastries, breads, desserts and mains of all sorts.

Love making things from scratch that most people find to be too much trouble, including pasta, pie crusts, breads, cakes, candies, salad dressings, smoked fish, home canned goods such as jams, pickles and vegetables. Also make some cheeses, yogurt, wine, liqueurs and occasionally, beer. Used to raise most of my own meat, still keep a good garden and chickens for eggs. And I continue to do this for just me alone, though I eat much more simply now.

When I had husbands to cook for (one at a time), I enjoyed doing it more. The ex-husband confessed he stayed for 5 extra years just for the food. I did not take this as a compliment, just a waste of my time. But for this thread, it's sadly appropriate to mention.

My second husband built the dream kitchen I wanted, and I love cooking in it to this day. But I still remember making Hollandaise sauce on top of a cheap and nasty electric stove in a single wide trailer using just the heat from the oven, because the coil burners were incapable of maintaining a low enough temperature. The dream kitchen does make cooking tasks much easier.

I'm no pro and I know it. I have no idea how to scale up recipes, how to order and keep food for hundreds moving and fresh. I'm a tidy cook but I find it tedious to cook well for more than about 8 people at once. So I stay in my lane.
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