Long gone are the days when women dominated the cooking scene. Many men are the primary chefs in today’s households, and proud of it. While you may currently be cooking for only one, the table may be set for two sooner than you think. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the same argument could be made for our female counterparts. Whether it’s your long-time girlfriend or a new pursuit you are trying to impress, having the ability to cook is a definite plus. Not only is it a surefire way to keep your date from the newly identified hangry epidemic, but it can also be a great way to show that you can be creative and have personality outside of your witty pick up lines.
Cooking can be a rewarding experience, even for the novice chef. For some, it calms them down after a long day. For others, it excites them. Some simply enjoy knowing exactly what they’re putting in their food, and consequently, their bodies. Anyone can cook a good meal, and over time, your cooking will begin to take on a personality that reflects your tastes and your past. Whether your cooking is based on your favorite childhood recipes, or influenced by the local fare in your city, cooking can provide significant value beyond saving money and sustaining life. With practice, anyone can become a great home cook, save some money, and fight the female hangrys in their lives. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Before you start, keep it clean.
Cooking is a challenge, but it’s even harder if you are keeping a dirty, unorganized kitchen. A mess in the kitchen can lead to a mess in your stomach, as unsanitary conditions can translate to unsanitary food. Not to mention, a girl who sees a messy kitchen is more likely to pass on trying the awesome chicken curry dish you perfected. Cleaning may be an annoying chore, but it is a necessary one.
In the beginning, cook for you.
Cooking is a very personal experience. You make all of the decisions, and the responsibility of the food being good is all on you. Worrying about what others think will only make you nervous, which can lead to some bland dishes. So until you get your groove, cook for yourself and adjust as you learn.
Don’t be afraid to fail.
If you are new to cooking and you refuse to bury your head in a cookbook, props to you! Winging it is the best way to learn how things go together. However, you will fail, and you will fail a lot. You will burn, under cook, over season, and under proportion, but this is all okay early on. Learn from your mistakes and remember those lessons the next time you step into the kitchen.
Try new things.
New spices, meat and other ingredients will require trial and error, but some research about the ingredients and how they are best used/prepared is encouraged.
Shop on the outer edge of your grocer.
In most every grocer, local or chain, you can find the freshest ingredients on the outside aisles of the store. Fresh veggies, meats, fish, and dairy products - the things we should be eating - are all located around the outside.
Taste as you cook.
When testing a new dish or adding things in a new culinary concoction, taste the ingredients as you use them. This will help your mouth and your brain understand what flavors are about to come together. You can figure out how salty, how sweet, or how spicy your dish is before you end up serving yourself a salt lick of a veggie dish because you used soy sauce AND garlic salt.
These are definitely the basics, but everyone must start somewhere. After some time and plenty of trial and error, you’ll end up looking like James Harden in the kitchen.