Transferring practical skills to the page...
Welcome back to Elle's Kitchen.
Cooking and baking are practical skills, so it can come as a surprise to find out that you can learn them by reading. Yet, there are many books out there devoted to food and cooking that go beyond the recipe and teach the reader how to cook and about the foods they use.
My daughter started cooking when she was six, and most of the cookbooks we bought her contained helpful practical information that went beyond a simple recipe. How to tell when the liquid is 'simmering'. How to grease a pan. These simple, yet necessary skills were easily absorbed as she read the books. She didn't read them cover to cover, she chose a recipe and then learned what she needed to complete that particular recipe. And in that way, she was able to transfer the written information into practical skills.
Do you know what makes American cocoa behave differently to European cocoa in a recipe? I do - it's all to do with Dutch processing, and I learned about it by reading an article. Nigella Lawson often uses muscavado sugar in her recipes, and yet by reading I learned I could substitute soft brown sugar (which is much cheaper!) with little difference in taste. Okay, so Nigella might disagree, but to the uneducated, you'd never know! You can learn so much about foods, about baking and cooking from the written word.
You might think 'Only chefs should write how-to articles on cooking'. Not so. In fact, Nigella Lawson is proof of that, as she has no culinary qualifications to speak of - she was a journalist. She was a WRITER, just like you and I. I didn't think I had skills to teach, being a very modest home cook (surrounded by chefs and bakers) until my son asked 'How will I know when it's boiling?' and my daughter asked 'What colour will the meat turn when it's cooked?' You have skills to teach too.
Write a how-to article that teaches the reader some aspect of cooking and baking. Send it in to me, and I'll award a Merit Badge to my favourite, and share it in the next newsletter. You have until 26th May to send it in.
HawaiianPeach proves that even if your only skill in a kitchen is making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you can teach skills to someone.
Excerpt: Reach into the bag and pull out two units of bread. These are called "slices". Someone was nice enough to cut the loaf into these "slices" before the loaf of bread was put on the store shelf where you picked it up in the first place. (If you're one of those people that bake your own, you'll have to take an extra step here...find the bread knife and cut two slices from the loaf, if you didn't slice the whole loaf before you put it in the bag. Also, if you have time to bake your own bread, I don't like you). Place the two slices on your "plate".
Have you ever wondered how to tell when the potatoes are just the right consistency for potato salad? How do you know when they're underdone or overdone? What does it mean when it says 'fold' the ingredients? Angelique's writing again! will take you through this recipe and help you at each of the 'problem points' along the way.
How would you like to win some REAL food on WDC? You can! There are four auctions to bid on, including one savoury, and a raffle to enter. Yum!
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