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Who taught you to cook?

Who taught you to cook?

  • My parents/legal guardians

    Votes: 20 48.8%
  • Relatives who were not my parents

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • Friends

    Votes: 1 2.4%
  • I taught myself

    Votes: 12 29.3%
  • I am still not confident cooking meals from scratch

    Votes: 7 17.1%

  • Total voters
    41

Fallowfox

Are we moomin, or are we dancer?
Some users were discussing obesity, and this made me think about how we learn about and are introduced to food.
A second question I'm going to ask is about how you were introduced to sport and athletics.

My parents did not teach me to cook; I taught myself. When I was growing up my parents mostly purchased microwave meals; the only meal they did know how to prepare was vegetable stew/'casserole'.
My parents did not play sports with me as a child.

What was your experience, and how has it shaped your attitude towards food and health?
I think that a lack of transmission of cooking knowledge and the joy of exercise from one generation to another is a large part of the reason for prevalence of obesity in countries like the UK.
and maybe if we think about this now, we'll make some different decisions if we are ever fortunate enough to be blessed with our own children.
 

Frank Gulotta

Send us your floppy
Chef Mike
 

Punji

Daedric Prince of Secrets
I will suggest that this counts as learning with 'friends'.
A fair and reasonable approach, but my instructors were professional chefs doing their jobs. Any sort of friendships I had with them was just a part of it.
 

Filter

ɹǝʇlᴉℲ
My parents cooked most of our meals. They emphasized eating a variety of foods, to get most of our necessary vitamins naturally. Only eating out or having junk food on special occasions. Although a list of recipes was handed down to me, some in my family for multiple generations, I mostly taught myself how to cook. Experimenting is fun.

We all played sports, with an emphasis on physical and mental health. Despite not being especially athletic myself, I've remained physically active as an adult. Not a gym rat by any means, but walking, bicycling, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and other things like that.

There's no obesity in my family that I'm aware of, on either side. I think we're all in the healthy weight range, in fact, but my 23andme results indicate that I'm genetically predisposed to weigh "about average". The average in 2021 is overweight, about 35 lbs. more than I weigh, considering height and age. The write-up suggests that something in my environment is influencing me to me weigh less than others who share similar DNA. As nobody is coercing or encouraging me to eat differently than I do, and my family isn't overweight, a family cultural influence sounds reasonable.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
No one really taught me, I grew up on my own for the most part. However, most recently I've found a partner who has been very supportive of me helping them out in the kitchen. So I'm picking up some skills from them here and there. Maybe I'll eventually be confident enough to make more than basic pastas. As for sports, I was never really into them. I never got exposed to them by adults or siblings and for the most part, a lot of my childhood exercise was just from basic running/walking/biking outside for hours at a time. The first and only time I ever gained any serious weight was when I was forcibly bedridden for three years...but that was about it. Oh, and as a teen I also walked about 30 minutes to and from school every day so...there's that. Not intense exercise mind you, but it was more exercise than taking a bus. I think how we're getting to places in general plays a lot in how sedentary our lifestyles become.
 

Foxridley

A fox named Ridley
Sort of a mix of being taught by my parents and being self taught. I cooked a few meals under my mom's instructions, but I didn't start cooking regularly until I was off at school and I got tired of microwave dinners. Even then, though, I would often call/text home for cooking advice.
 

GarthTheWereWolf

Captious Lycanthrope of Forum Legend
I used to bake with my grandmother when I was a wee Garth. Taught me to follow recipes.

My mom never cooked healthy and everything she made either came from a can or an instant meal box. Was very akin to dump dinner philosophy for cooking.
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I finally got sick of how awful the food was when I was 12, so I enrolled myself in a cooking class at community center. Wasn't super helpful, but taught me some basics like how to prep foods, safely chop things, and some of the mother sauces such roux, béchamel, velouté, and tomato sauces. Was enough for me that I took over cooking all the family's meals up till I moved out.

From there have just picked up things here n there from internet things like Chef John or food network shows like Alton Brown.

Nursing has taught me nutrition, portion sizes and other proper diet stuff since its part of patient teaching I have to perform for various medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease.

Never did organized sports growing up, but I was very active on own anyway biking everywhere I went and working out at gym.
 

Firuthi Dragovic

World Serpent, overly defensive
Family taught me to cook. Thing is, when I'm cooking for myself I go REALLY simple. A meat, a side, cook a bunch of them so I have meals for the week. That's IT. They've tried teaching me more complicated dishes.... I don't see the point of doing it because "lots of flavor" has often been sensory overload for me.

I was heavily in sports as a child - swimming mostly (we're talking competitive "eventually set a couple American Paralympic records for a time" kind of swimming here), but for 6 years it was both swimming AND wrestling. That's easily 3-4 hours of activity a DAY. And EVEN THEN I was still kinda big, like border between the two highest weight classes in wrestling kinda big. Senior year I pushed down to the third-highest weight class.

When college came around and there were no limits to portion size, I grew FIFTY pounds in my freshman year despite being on the swim team - and had gained another forty by the time college was over. I'm still significantly heavier than that.

As much as I may have seemed to enjoy myself as a child, I struggle to exercise now, from a mental perspective. It's like that phase of my life ended and there's no way I can get it back - not even when I need to lose at least a dozen inches off the waist (I have a big frame to the point where people might have trouble spotting that I am, in fact, morbidly obese) to overcome metabolic syndrome.

Scary part? My body doesn't seem to register "full" properly and it treats a number of "healthy" options like they're the plague. Teaching me portion sizes and eating only part of a meal is basically a lost cause.... and I'm testing this bit now, but getting me to eat leafy greens is nearly impossible. I got intestinal distress from broccoli a few months ago (a food I used to love to the tune of "whole microwavable bags at once"), I could not consciously eat lettuce without drenching it to the point of defeating the purpose, and I MAY have gotten stomach issues from KALE of all things (we're going to try again in a couple of days). Doctor's prescribed diet is going to be flatly impossible at this rate.
 

Kellan Meig'h

Kilted Luthier
I learned to cook from my mother, my grandmother, two fast food restaurants and two steak houses. My wife however, has a thing about others, including me, in her kitchen. I'm buying a gas grill/flat top combo in the spring so I can cook what I know how to cook. Breakfast is best off a flat top, bar none. The unit I'm eyeing is actually a three burner grill with a griddle that sits on top of two of the burners for breakfast or burgers. Gotta have one burner for camping-style cowboy coffee. Learned to make that from my grandmother.
 

Blushroom

Mushroom with a Pen
I've got friends we're soon going to be taking cooking lessons from. Couples night sort of things while they teach us two degenerates
 

Marius Merganser

The Duke of Birds
My cooking skills are pretty limited, so I keep it very simple. I learned most of what I know from family or following simple recipes I find online. I don't particularly like cooking.

I was the short, skinny, nerdy kid growing up and I was terrible at sports. I played baseball with friends and there was phys ed, but that was about it growing up.
Most of my exercise now comes from my little birding adventures where I may hike between 5-15 miles at a time, usually once a week or two.

For the longest time I had a pretty hyper matabolism so I could eat as much of whatever the heck I wanted and never gain an ounce. That seems to no longer apply as of maybe 3 years ago when I started to gain some weight. I've been pretty good about avoiding the junk food and cutting back on red meat lately, and my newly developed acid reflux means I have to avoid a lot spicy and acidic foods.
 

Stray Cat Terry

테리 / 特里 / テリー
I've learnt some of the simplest ones, from one of my guardians!

As a smol eater, I focus more on balance of taste than quantity of a dish. (And I love spices) And that also make things convenient for me as it doesn't require me to take care of the raw/cooked balance of the large amount of ingredients!

Thus, however, I'm not very confident on cooking in quantity... Nor do I have to do so often as of now. But when I have to, I make it one by one, which means I have to go under same process over and over to multiply the same dish xP

Usually, for example--pan fried, requires some leftover 'compound' from the previous stage while such 'compound' shouldn't be affected by other factors outside the 'formula'. So, I'll have to use a new pan when making the same dish all over again.
But then, oftemtimes, my laziness can ruin such 'formula'. But but! I sometimes discover a new tasty method by 'ruining the formula'. Guess that's where the fun comes from cooking, for me at least!

Plus, I have served some of my 'mad scientist' dishes to my friends and they found them yummy--but the aesthetic(?) is duh XD
It's humble, but I like how I do so far UwU

P.s.
Beef steak is by far the most challenging for me, and oh cooking the steak is such an act of art! (Oh but I don't know exactly which steak dish as I believe there are more than one way of cooking a steak)
It really refreshed my older mindset--'cooking is all about efficiency but especially the speed as long as it's eatable'--which was kinda cheap, to be honest.

P.p.s:
Olive oil is such a revolutionary ingredient!
 
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T

TurbidCyno

Guest
I mostly learned from those around me as I grew up. Picked up a bit from family, coworkers and friends. Mostly Polish/German-American, Barfood, BBQ, and Mexican-American. So I wouldn't say my repertoire is particularly on the "healthy" side.
 

TyraWadman

The Brutally Honest Man-Child
Mom and dad taught me the basics-
How to operate a stove
How to know when meat is cooked properly


No actual recipes beyond that. But I've always been a picky eater and eat most things plain (no sauce, dressing, seasoning).
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
There's some things I suppose I kind of picked up half by osmosis (I assume being allowed to "help" in the kitchen might technically qualify as parents teaching me, but it's not like I can recall a parent ever taking me aside and going "here's how you do X cooking task"). Some things I probably picked up from TV.

I don't know if it's strictly a subject compulsory schools have to teach, but at least since about middle school (probably earlier, too, but I can't remember much that far back) I've had Home Ec type classes where cooking was the lion's share of the classwork.

My repertoire mostly consists of "I'm pretty decent at following a recipe" and bolognese sauce (usually bastardized to hell with the addition of this, that, and the other thing that definitely aren't in any "proper" recipes). In the last year or so I also started making some kind of faux-Indian monstrosity that usually turns out pretty nice (and then I make boyfriend make me mac n cheese bake with the leftovers XD). I don't actually like cooking so I might do it... maybe once a week on average, if that? Do a bit more baking, because it doesn't tend to need to be babysat to the same degree so it doesn't grate on me as much.

(Yes, I made turkey for Christmas - that fell solidly under the "following a recipe" header and I was freaking out a little bit when the damn bird wouldn't behave like the recipe seemed to suggest it should.)
 
Sort of a mix of being taught by my parents and being self taught. I cooked a few meals under my mom's instructions, but I didn't start cooking regularly until I was off at school and I got tired of microwave dinners. Even then, though, I would often call/text home for cooking advice.
I rarely use the microwave.
 

Pomorek

Antelope-Addicted Hyena
Interesting topic and a lot tell.

An important starting fact is that in my country, there have been real food shortages all the way until the end of the 80's. Oh the wonderful joys of communism... And even afterwards, despite the shortages have ended, there has been a lot of financial inflation and/or imbalance between incomes and costs of living. Because all of this(I presume, my parents' stance on food was that it has to be first and foremost filling. The taste is very much secondary.

It's pretty funny to think now, but I grew up without really knowing how tasty food can be. Back then, eating was for me something akin to a boring and not very appealing chore, just to get rid of/prevent the hunger. Strangely enough, and to my great dismay, this did not prevent me from getting kinda fat in my adolescent years - but it had to be just a hormonal imbalance, as the problem largely corrected itself over the next decade.

Especially that I'm not physically active for the most part, but let's keep to the food topic for now. I guess what helped is that I'm physically unable to eat too much and too fast - trying to do so makes me sick. So while I'm not thin like a stick (it would be impossible because of my skeletal features anyway) and I do have some... let's call them, metabolic reserves - they're still limited and don't define me.

As can be expected from the story so far, I didn't pick up much in terms of useful cooking knowledge from my parents. I had to learn things almost from scratch, which occasionally was causing spectacularly failing experiments. By trial and error (and online sources), I managed to get half-decent at this. Still the biggest change was when I met my wife; she's very skilled at cooking and has learned most of this by herself. I've always been content with helping her with all manners of preparations (and dish-washing afterwards), the main part of the job belonged to her. But it turned out I learn well enough by just observing, and when forced to by the circumstances, I found myself fully capable of following even some rather involved recipes. It's still much better when we can share the workload, those meals can get really elaborate on occasions!

It's a good place to boast a little, I'm proudly boycotting all manners of fast food. ;) Haven't been to any such chain in my life, the only exception was when my good fox bro invited me to KFC. That, and the pizza - if you consider a home-made one, or one from a pizzeria, to be a junk food too. Cause my order of preference is as follows, depending on what's available: home-made from scratch by myself - home-made using "prefabricated" dough - one from pizzeria (actually going there, I don't think I ordered a delivery in my life) - frozen one from supermarket.

Interestingly, it seems like my parents got better at cooking in the last decade. Guess this could have been my wife's influence too, some dinners she invited them to have showed them just what can be done in the kitchen, and how good can it get.


Now, to get back to matters concerning physical activity. As one can imagine, in a society which didn't have surplus of food for the longest time, a "needless" physical activity is considered something to be avoided. This stance is strong among the older generation even today, I recall my sister's friend being asked by her mother why is she exercising, cause "it will get her tired" - and yet another friend of ours was jogging only around midnight cause people were giving him funny looks otherwise (also me, when I took to cycling just for fun, was occasionally being asked why am I even doing this when I have no need to go anywhere!...).

School was trying to correct such stances, but with abysmal results. The teachers didn't care about such unimportant details as individual differences - and so, being naturally very stiff in the joints, I was forced to make stretching exercises just like everyone else, which was like a torture to me. I'm pretty sure I was getting some tendon damage, judging by the pain - but nobody was giving a damn about that! Luckily, eventually I got an unrelated little accident, which while minor, gave me a medical excuse to skip this PE hell altogether and permanently. No, I did not cause it consciously, but thinking about it now I'm pretty sure that I attracted just such an event.

As mentioned, somehow I came to like cycling, just for the sake of it. And long walks in nature, including rough terrain. Other than that - I actually conform to the societal stances. The bad experiences from school make me intolerant to any exercises, sports and such. Now, don't get me wrong: I can work. I've been known to carry a whole set of furniture up to a fourth floor all on my own (in limited-size pieces of course), dig pretty big ditches with a shovel, transport blocks of pavement tiles with a wheelbarrow - and only the hastened transport of enormously huge and unwieldy wooden boards managed to exhaust me for real. But the moment I have to do exercises - that is, an effort which is being done all in one place and without immediately visible results - I very much furiously nope the hell out of there.

Another related thing is that I didn't have a car so far, so I'm used to actually going to places, and to carrying the groceries in huge amounts, sometimes for considerable distances. So at the end of the day, I don't think I'm very unfit, even as my lifestyle is rather sedentary otherwise. My specialty is sustained long-term effort - if you don't push me to go too fast or to take too much in one go, I can move a mountain for you, it will just take a longer while.
 
I've learnt some of the simplest ones, from one of my guardians!

As a smol eater, I focus more on balance of taste than quantity of a dish. (And I love spices) And that also make things convenient for me as it doesn't require me to take care of the raw/cooked balance of the large amount of ingredients!

Thus, however, I'm not very confident on cooking in quantity... Nor do I have to do so often as of now. But when I have to, I make it one by one, which means I have to go under same process over and over to multiply the same dish xP

Usually, for example--pan fried, requires some leftover 'compound' from the previous stage while such 'compound' shouldn't be affected by other factors outside the 'formula'. So, I'll have to use a new pan when making the same dish all over again.
But then, oftemtimes, my laziness can ruin such 'formula'. But but! I sometimes discover a new tasty method by 'ruining the formula'. Guess that's where the fun comes from cooking, for me at least!

Plus, I have served some of my 'mad scientist' dishes to my friends and they found them yummy--but the aesthetic(?) is duh XD
It's humble, but I like how I do so far UwU

P.s.
Beef steak is by far the most challenging for me, and oh cooking the steak is such an act of art! (Oh but I don't know exactly which steak dish as I believe there are more than one way of cooking a steak)
It really refreshed my older mindset--'cooking is all about efficiency but especially the speed as long as it's eatable'--which was kinda cheap, to be honest.

P.p.s:
Olive oil is such a revolutionary ingredient!
I like spicy food too.
 

Yakamaru

Woof? Woof
Learned on my own due to living alone. Got my love for cooking through my dad though.
 
I learned alls my culinary expertise from youtube and 'chef microwave'.
 
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