Thursday, 16 May 2013

Day Zero Project: Learn to cook 10 meals

I'm not a cook. Not by a long stretch. In our house, ever since we moved in, Mr Click has had sole control in the kitchen, with very good reason; I once cooked a pack of mince without taking it out of the pack (in my defence, I didn't know it was in there when I turned it on). Where we lived before Mr Click was the only one who hadn't succeeded in setting fire to a wok, flambé-ing a baked potato or melting a steamer so that makes him a great cook as far as I'm concerned.

My style of cooking tends toward the open-packet-press-a-button variety. If it comes from a tin or a packet then I'm fine. I also include most egg dishes under the heading of 'packet food' because they kind of come pre-packaged and are pretty effortless to cook. I have to admit, I still use a student cookbook for getting the timings right on things like boiled eggs, my brain just can't handle those numbers!

In fact, I'd say 90% of my cooking problems come from my inability to get the cooking times right. If you're cooking for yourself it's not the end of the world if your veggies are a bit cold because you put them on ten minutes too early; if you're cooking for other people then it's a bit embarrassing.

So the plan is to have my husband walk me through how to cook ten meals from scratch so I can write down exactly what time I need to put things on at (I used to have a cheat sheet written out for cooking a roast dinner that literally said 'when X has been cooking for 10 minutes being Y to the boil' it was perfect for me).

They're all fairly straightforward meals but I'm determine to get the hang of them and get my confidence back in the kitchen so I can start experimenting with recipes from books. We're going to start tomorrow with cooking a roast chicken but also on the cards are Shepherd's/Cottage Pie, casserole and stew as well as maybe a curry or two.

I'm thinking that the best time for this is once I've got my OU course out the way so I can't use studying as an excuse to get out of Mr Click's cookery lessons.

I'm really looking forward to it. It'll be nice to pay him back for all those yummy meals he's cooked since we moved in, plus when he's out and I'm in I won't have to rely on boring standbys like soup!


  1. I just started cooking last fall. I've had some epic fails, but I've had so success too.

    It is a fun thing to learn.
    Best of luck!

    1. Thank you, it is nice to make something and have other people enjoy it and know you did it all by yourself.

      So far I've been educated in the cooking of a roast pork dinner and making enchiladas. I've written out little recipes for myself, next time we do them I'll be a bit more involved and then the time after that I'll be on my own!

  2. Good luck with this challenge! When I do a roast I always have a list of stages and what times they need to go in/on. There are too many components to keep track of in a roast!

    I love food and cooking, but my husband is not so keen. He just sees food as a way of sustenance and doesn't give much thought to whats he's eating. This does mean that I don't always get great feedback. I have to gauge how good it is by how quickly he eats it; if it disappears in ten minutes then I take it as being good, if he's just pushing it around his plate then not so good. It's very frustrating, especially as he's so darned fussy!

    1. That's what I have to do as well. I can't really think backwards, so if everything needs to be on the table at 1pm I can't go, 'well then this needs to go in twenty minutes before everything comes out, and this needs to go in forty minutes before I dish up'. Well, I probably could if I sat down and thought about it, but I think making little cheat sheets are probably easier.

      Sounds like it's tricky to gauge his reaction. My husband's the complete opposite and probably would happily tell me if I'd cooked something that wasn't so good, which is why I let him do all the cooking, hehe.


Let me know what you think. :-)