You learn to cook so you don’t have to rely on recipes — Julia Child
Julia is right, of course, but if you didn’t learn to cook when you were a child you have to start somewhere. I began teaching myself to cook when I was six or seven and received my first cookbook for my eighth birthday. I loved the process of cooking at least as much as the final results, and sometimes more so. It was the exploration of ingredients, the alchemy of transforming them, and my growing ability to make foods taste delicious that enchanted me.
If you want to become a good or better cook, my advice is to first become a good eater: savor your food, indulge your curiosity, be brave and daring, eat outside the box—both figuratively and literally. Get to know fresh foods in their own true season, rather than out-of-season foods from far away. Simple cooking will follow naturally and I’m here to help. This section includes the basic recipes every home cook should know by heart, along with techniques, recommendations for equipment, and more, with new posts weekly.
In Sonoma County, several farmers grow delicious dried beans, available at farmers markets and farm stands. Rancho Gordo, located in Napa, has an extraordinary selection, available in many local stores ...