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Summer Wise: Cooking Prep

May 30th, 2009 admin

I’ve always had a hard time keeping myself entertained during summer break, so I thought it might be kind of fun to do a series of posts about how you can use the break to prepare for next year. So watch for these “Summer Wise” posts over the coming weeks, and let me know if you have any ideas!

Top Ramen, Be Gone.

So, clearly, today I wanted to give you a few suggestions about cooking. If you’re going to be lucky enough to have an apartment for school, you’ll have a real kitchen to work in, but even if you won’t I’d recommend getting a jump on your cooking skills. (After all, you’ll have an oven and stove someday so you may as well prepare now.)

Learn the Basics

While you’re home, take the opportunity to practice in the kitchen. If your mom or dad cooks, ask if you can help (you’ll learn more by doing than by watching!). Even just sitting and chatting with the family cook during meal prep can help–I learned a lot of my cooking skills by quietly observing my mom as she prepared dinner. (Sorry, Mom, should have stepped up to help with that…)

If nobody cooks at your place, this is your chance to fill that mold. There are tons of websites that offer how-tos. I am a huge fan of Cooking Light Magazine (nobody paid me to say that, promise!), and they have an AWESOME collection of Cooking 101 videos and articles, teaching you everything from grilling techniques to how to make a marinade.

Try it Out

Once you’ve learned some basics, grab a recipe and try it out.

Cooking Light is also my go-to source for recipes. While you can buy their magazines and cookbooks, they have a huge online recipe collection you can browse for free. Their food is healthy, fresh, and mostly pretty easy to make. They even have a section devoted to meals you can make in 20 minutes–they range from basic chicken dinners to Mediterranean dishes. (On a side note, the only cookbook I use is one of theirs–I like it because it has more than just casseroles in it!)

Feed the Fam

Practiced? Good. Now give yourself a real test–and butter your parents up for that new laptop, maybe?–by making dinner for your family. If you want to really force yourself to learn how to cook, make it a weekly commitment.

Here’s to a little less Easy Mac in your everyday life!

photo from Cooking Light

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. VTAMethodman  |  June 2nd, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    This is a great idea for students. I started my love for cooking while working in a kitchen and I’ve only become good due to that training. I’d suggest that students actually work in a kitchen over the summer if they are serious about learning to cook.

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