Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: The Art of Cooking and Baking
By Carol Gray
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Cooking is an art and baking is twice the art. What makes cooking an art is the freedom to do your own thing. There are techniques, procedures, and rules involved in cooking and baking. However, many people who have never had a day of culinary training are excellent cooks. Cooking and baking are both terrific opportunities to stir up those creative juices. So if you havenít taken the initiative to explore different combinations of foods, do so, today.
Before you begin down the road of creative cooking, here is something that you should know. No two cooks are the same. You can give two people the same exact recipe to prepare a cake, and they will both have different results. Thatís all right, though; let your imagination take control. Time is essential in creating scrumptious eatables. Have you been in a hurry to make a particular dish? I have, but as a beginner, I donít recommend that strategy. As you gain more experience over time, you will learn short cuts and still end up with a tasty dish.
I remember learning to cook by my mother. It was always interesting to watch her prepare those ole country dishes from scratch. For the most part, I never saw her use a recipe. She learned from watching her mother, too. Thatís the best way to learn. Yet you will never become an expert at it, until you venture out there, and do it yourself. I recall the time when I first made biscuits. They where hard as rocks, tasted like rocks, and looked like rocks, too. They where terrible, but I didnít let that stop me. My mother and father would both say, ďKeep trying, they will get better.Ē They were right. I kept making those biscuits, and now itís just as easy as one two three. Iíve learned a great lesson from my cooking experiences. Never quite; giving up too soon, is what makes people fail. Here is another thing Iíve learned, never say, ďI canít cook.Ē Why is that important? Itís important because, youíll never go pass the words spoken from your mouth. I have an aunt would has said for years, ďI canít make yeast rolls, I canít makeÖTherefore, she never succeed because of the debilitating word, ďCanít.Ē Youíll talk to yourself while you are cooking; I do it all the time. Say positive words about your cooking, and cut off the negative ones. Follow my recipe for becoming a successful cook by eliminating, taking way, or getting rid of the word ďCanít.Ē
Healthy cooking is becoming a priority for many cooks today. People are not as quick to eat from the can as they use to be. Opening a can a precooked food and heating it up, leaves a lot to be desired. However, if you are familiar with using your imagination, you will be able to enhance the flavor or alter the taste. I know; I do it all the time. Here is how I doctor up green beans from a can. I add onions, ham or bacon and allow them to cook briefly, so the taste can infuse together. Real healthy cooking, of course, is to get fresh beans from the market or your garden. Itís cooking time now! Some people might feel like thatís too time consuming, but the taste is absolutely worth it, I assure you. Nothing is better tasting than fresh produce. If you have to, use frozen vegetables, they actually taste better than canned ones do to me. They are closer to being fresh and are nutritionally better for you to. Did you know that nearly all vitamins and nutrients are destroyed when food is heated to over 100 degrees? So thatís why we need to become experts at preparing fresh food for our families and our friends. If you are interested in living longer and healthier, consider seriously cooking your food slightly. I remember my mother cooking beans and greens for hours. That procedure is not necessary today. Pinto beans can be done in one hour now days. Learn to cook them; they are a great source of fiber.
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