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View Diary: Cooking for Kossacks Part Two: Stocking Your Pantry (39 comments)

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  •  Solid ... More good advice from the Diarist! (16+ / 0-)

    If you are just starting out .....

    Find simple, tasty recipes. Print them out and keep them in a binder and stock your pantry with the basics needed to make your favorite things.

    Before you realise it you will be looking at a full pantry where everything is useful, and you know how to use it.

    For kitchen equipment I followed the rule I have in the workshop:

    I never buy a tool until I have a need to use it. It's expensive for the first dish, and free for ever after.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 03:09:29 PM PST

    •  never underestimate the value of a used cookbook (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, LynnS, elfling


      I picked up all my Grady Spears books used.
      I got my Mex-Tex on the bargain table at Hastings, pre-loved.

      Troll used bookstores for the classics -- Julia Child, James Beard, etc.
      My mom gave me the red-and-white-gingham paperback for my 1st wedding anniversary. I still have it, much dog-eared, with additions to suit our family's tastes in the margins.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:39:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My favourite book is one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LynnS, BlackSheep1

        my Mom has in her kitchen ... She got it from her Mom.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:05:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My two favorites are: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1, twigg, LynnS, Ahianne

          Betty Crocker cookbook -- this is how I taught myself to cook and I still turn to it when I can't remember what temperature the turkey needs to be if it is stuffed vs nonstuffed, etc.

          Master Recipes by Stephen Schmidt.  

          The Master Recipes book is great in that it starts with a basic recipe -- lets say for Quiche.  Then it shows you variations on the theme using different spices, different ingredients, etc.  There are basic recipes to cook any vegetable and then variations on that recipe.    The recipes are all delicious and easy to understand, and some of the variations are quite sophisticated -- if I were first learning, it would have been daunting, but by showing you how the recipes are all just variations on the easy recipe, you quickly learn how to be creative yourself with what is at hand.

          The GOP -- Hating Women, Gays and People of Color since 1854

          by Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:54:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm glad you brought up temperatures (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LynnS, Chinton, BachFan, Joy of Fishes

            Especially in a Diary Series where the premise is "Keeping it simple".

            For many years I obsessed over oven temperatures. I had to get it "just so". If it said 375F, then 375F it had to be.

            Then I got an Aga.

            An Aga basically has two large ovens (plus hot plates). The temperatures of those ovens can basically be described as "Hot" and "Fucking Hot".

            You could temporarily reduce the temp of the Hot oven by inserting a cold steel sheet, and cook more delicate items, but basically you are stuck with two temperatures.

            I have done some of my best cooking with an Aga, and never again will I worry about oven temps.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            by twigg on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 08:37:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  When I find a recipe that works for me, (0+ / 0-)

      I put in a table. The ingredients and amounts (measured by weight because I prefer to use a cooking scale rather than measureing cups) are listed in the leftmost column in the order they are added, and the steps go in the columns to the right, with the last steps in the rightmost column.

      I got the idea from the Cooking for Engineers website. This pancake recipe is a good example of what I mean. Although it's not the recipe I use, the layout is similar; scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the recipe card.

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