Cooking Is Not Scary

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blueberry bakery secret

There is something I want to address.  While we are food bloggers, there is one thing we do that scares people.  That of course is cooking.  I am not suggesting people are literally afraid to turn on the stove or an oven, yet when it comes to making something from scratch a lot of people are hesitant.  They say they just can’t cook.

That is not true! Not by a long shot!  Cooking is not too hard unless you are trying to perfect a classic your first time picking up a knife.  Alison’s first time making a chicken ballotine was a challenge.  We could see Jacques Pepin on the screen managing it in a few minutes!  He made it look easy but that’s because he has the experience of knowing the recipe by heart!

I’m not suggesting you should try that as your main course for tonight’s dinner, but I am saying that every time you make a new recipe that there will be a challenge.  You have to assemble your ingredients in the right order and then there’s nervously re-reading the recipe while in the middle of cooking.  Your hands possibly coated in a wet or sticky substance.  You are trying to turn the page but you don’t want to smear raw chicken all over.  It can be hectic.  Yet, in the end it’s worth the hassle.  Even if your dish doesn’t turn out perfect chances are you and your family will be enjoying it even if it was a flop.  

chvie biscuits raw

Some of my favorite family memories are over the kitchen table watching everyone silently pick at the food on their plates wondering if it’s edible as the chef claims.  The laugher will set in and before you know it we’re all wiping our tears from laughing so hard.

Someone suggests a much easier meal or pizza and then we’re all pitching in to cook, because we’re hungry.  Those other cases where your dish isn’t exactly like the photos but it tastes good.  You’re receiving compliments and now you know you really have to watch the garlic so it doesn’t burn.  Hopefully you are more confident about making that dish again.

The surprising fear was that people don’t want to bake.  Perhaps they know less about baking from scratch.  I will vouch for the extra trouble and tell you that those brownies out of a box mix never taste as good as the ones you make!  A lot of those box mixes aren’t even taking the hard part out of your hands.  The important factor in brownies is mixing the batter just enough not measuring out your dry ingredients!

Fernet-Branca Brownies

The real monster it seems is homemade bread.  I am completely biased because our Mom has always made bread from even before we were born.  Seeing her kneading the dough and helping was part of what made me want to learn how to cook.  Sure sometimes your hands end up with a coating of sticky dough but that’s just a troubleshooting issue.  Like rebooting your wifi router, fixing your bread dough is only a few easy steps.  If it’s not rising there a slew of tips like using a hot damp towel.  Or if it’s too wet and sticking you need more flour.  

However, maybe the problem lies in you never having had a slice of fresh bread straight out of your oven before.  It’s hard to get store bought bread when you know a recipe that is a hundred times better and you can have it still warm with your house smelling like fresh bread!

What I really want to say is that while we post recipes, we never really know what our readers are thinking.  If they are having problems that we didn’t have.  Or are they just afraid to attempt a more complicated recipe because they envision smoke or touching a raw chicken.  So why not let us know what is putting you off of a freshly baked loaf of bread or a pot roast?  Maybe we can help talk you through it!

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