GBAChef: What age did you start cooking.

FAST6191

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BTW: What age did you start cooking anyways ?
It's almost like a tv-drama "big brother" that started cooking for his 7 siblings tim, annie, joe, michael, ethan, xenja and joanna in order to support the leftover family and therefore gained superb cooking skill-
nevermind that 's stupid

I can't help but imagine a selfsophisticated bloke in a kitchen, making crazy intricate meals, just for the fun of it

Rather than have an interesting question buried in a thread about mayonnaise thought we might as well have a return of gbachef with a thread on it.
To that end what age did you start cooking? No being cute saying baking is not cooking. Unlike many times I will also count putting things in the oven from a pack in the freezer as this.

The answer for this for me... I don't really know. I can point to what age I got a tool kit, though I used the others lying around before then. Cooking though...
I used a table knife to cut up strawberries from when I still needed a step stool to see the counter. Was not a great event moving to proper knives later on, remember peeling (with a knife) and coring cooking apples around 7 but there was probably stuff before then.
I was involved in aspects of cooking early on; mixing things in a bowl, making pastry, kneading bread (plait bread is a favourite to this day), chopping things...
Can't remember the first time I warmed soup or pasta out of a can in a pan (microwaves are something we never really bothered with growing up, and I am not old enough to have been before they were reasonably common or still rich person toys) but it would not have been too much later, doubtless was being watched over though for the first few times. Had gas wherever we were at as well as some seem to find that scary (personally I have more apprehension about electric). Would then have not been notable to be the first loose pasta from a pack (though might have been noodles there), and similarly don't remember the first time I chucked some frozen vegetables in a pan of boiling water.
Would have been a tiny older before I was left to my own devices to cook some meat that might have bothered me had I hosed it up but still south of double digits. Putting chicken breasts with some seasoning in an oven is no different than chucking some breaded or battered freezer fodder in the oven and having that cook though. Recall having to use the step stool and stand by the side because I was not tall enough to get it out of the oven (was halfway up a wall with door opening down rather the floor standing sideways opening I am more used to today. Would not have been much different in age before being guided through steak on the bbq either.
First full meal by me for more than me is going to be similarly blurry; do sandwiches and salad for a lunch count? Bagged salad was not a thing back then and even to this day I don't use it (thus everything would have been peeled and cut), would have mixed up sauces, sliced/grated cheese and sliced the bread for the sandwiches too, before plating and arranging on a table. Pasta and something from a pack in the oven? By and large my parents did most cooking but everybody helped as it were. Other than snacks then never ate in front of the TV or in our own rooms, sat down to something at a table basically every night with whoever was there (late/night shifts and working away troubling things there) and that never stopped.
Ratios, substitutions, dietary fiddling (dairy, eggs, nuts, wheat, meat... it is where the taste is but I can deal with it if I have to), bulking/thinning on the fly because surprise guests, reuse of leftovers, experimentation, equivalents/function reasons for things, making something from whatever was cheap at the (super)market or about to go off, how to pull things back when you screwed up, seasoning... all formed within that too. I got burned, I got sliced, I got abraded, I trapped fingers in things, got sprayed in the eye, unintentionally dyed my clothes, broke things, dropped things and in doing so learned not to do it again.

So yeah the traditional gradual acquisition of skills approach was used for me, and my siblings, starting very early. Probably my mum more than my dad but both cook very well and I certainly picked up a lot from him (meats and sauces more there). Started rather young it seems, and if my experience at university was anything to go by then at least by that point a rarer one (though in retrospect makes sense of some of the more bizarre cooking rules in the handbook there).

As far as the charge of making intricate meals then depends. If you mean the stuff like you might see in food photos then I am still from the UK; everything here is slop and if you make a lasagne, shepherd's pie, curry... that does not look like slop it is because you have no sauce and thus might as well not have bothered and while they say the first bite is with the eyes then much like those that grew up eating smash not liking mashed potato (met that a few times) or only knowing sweetcorn from a pack/tin then a plate of curry is going to get my mouth watering way before two small colourful dollops (drips wiped off of course) of something on a giant plate and an arrangement of sugar lattice work that I have to do a force analysis on to consider deconstructing lest I risk eye damage. There are often a lot of moving parts but that is because it is cheap (more work someone else does, more you pay for the same amount of calories and usually worse it tastes). However laziness also rules the roost here; stir fry is a skill I mastered for a reason, I don't really care for marinading things, the only things that take hours are things I can wander off and leave (or I am making borderline industrial quantities of, mostly to avoid work later). I will put the effort in (or at least more of it) for cake though.
 

JuanMena

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I began to Cook for myself at the age of 5-6. Heck, maybe even smaller than that. I'm not sure. I was already out of kindergarten and I think that was in '98/'99.

But like, doing complete meals I think that was when I was 11/12 years old.
Rather than have an interesting question buried in a thread about mayonnaise
I used to do Chocolate cake with Mayonnaise.
Not kidding :)
 
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notrea11y

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Uhh, what have I done..

I suppose it was around age 18 for me.
In school (that one subject at "Realschule/Mittelschule" where you learn to cook)

Chili con carne was my thing, and salads.

Oh and cutting my thumb when trying to chop the onions :rofl2:
 
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FAST6191

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I used to do Chocolate cake with Mayonnaise.
Not kidding :)
As in an ingredient like some might do a chocolate Guinness cake or in place of some kind of cream filling/frosting like some have?

Because I can see both happening if you have the right type of mayonnaise. It is also not like I have never had salad cream on biscuits.
 
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JuanMena

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As in an ingredient like some might do a chocolate Guinness cake or in place of some kind of cream filling/frosting like some have?

Because I can see both happening if you have the right type of mayonnaise. It is also not like I have never had salad cream on biscuits.
@Veho answered your question, I think?
Yes, Mayo is used as an ingredient in the cake mix.
It was cheaper for me to do it that way because around that time eggs were way expensive.
 

FAST6191

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Yeah I was thinking along the same lines; cake is basically a way to bind fat and some sugar with some starch/carbohydrate, and eggs usually make for a nice binding agent. As that serves as several of those in about the right proportion then makes sense, might even make for something interesting.

I am curious about eggs being expensive though; chickens (and similar birds) seem to be popular almost everywhere humans live which tends to mean eggs come along for the ride. Will have to do some reading there; usual guesses are disease or some battery farm sold out all the eggs they normally have on the market to somewhere making them scarce for general consumers. Granted if they did get expensive I would probably go for chickpea flour instead; used that a few times when I was too bone idle to go get some eggs and it worked great, at least with hummingbird cake*.

*bonus here is as it uses olive oil (tried sunflower and rapeseed oils as well at points, not as nice but still very nice) rather than butter like most cakes it technically made it a vegan cake as I did not include any chocolate chips in that one which also marked the first, last and so far only vegan cake I have ever had that tasted good (and I do try them from time to time, let's not go into how disappointing the vegan doughnuts the other day were).
 

JuanMena

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I am curious about eggs being expensive though
That was in 2011 if I recall correctly.
Back then everything was too expensive for reasons I can't recall. But I do recall buying 1Kilo of eggs (around 12/10 pieces depends on size) in $80MXN, today's change that's around 5/4 dollars.
Doing a quick research it says that around 2010 and 2012 there was a avian flu.

bonus here is as it uses olive oil (tried sunflower and rapeseed oils as well at points, not as nice but still very nice) rather than butter
Mmm... yes, quite interesting, I too use oil instead of butter in my mixes.
I only use butter to coat the mold with it.

technically made it a vegan cake as I did not include any chocolate chips in that one which also marked the first, last and so far only vegan cake
It sounds like you add Chocolate Chips to everything you bake :rofl2:

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

If I remember correct,when I was 6 -7 Years.:P

I made my Mom a "Räuberbrot".

- Bread (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mischbrot)
- Butter
- Salami
- KUNER Mayonaise (from out of a Tube...^_^)
- Perlzwiebel - sliced (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_onion)
- Emmentaler Cheese Slices
- Gurkerl - sliced (Pickle)
- Tomato - sliced
- Radish - sliced
- hard boiled Egg - sliced

Like a classic "belegtes Bot" .


She liked it.:lol:
Nice! Looked at the picture you linked and it looks tasty.
 
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FAST6191

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That was in 3011 if I recall correctly.
Back then everything was too expensive for reasons I can't recall. But I do recall buying 1Kilo of eggs (around 12/10 pieces depends on size) in $80MXN, today's change that's around 5/4 dollars.
Doing a quick research it says that around 2010 and 2012 there was a avian flu.


Mmm... yes, quite interesting, I too use oil instead of butter in my mixes.
I only use butter to coat the mold with it.


It sounds like you add Chocolate Chips to everything you bake :rofl2:
Never really seen eggs measured by weight before. They might be graded by weight (as in large, medium, small) but everywhere I go are sold by numbers until you start hitting industrial quantities.

On chocolate chips then I actually rarely use them, however they do work really well in said hummingbird cake.
As far as coating the mould/tin then greaseproof paper tends to be what I go with here.
 
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JuanMena

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Never really seen eggs measured by weight before. They might be graded by weight (as in large, medium, small) but everywhere I go are sold by numbers until you start hitting industrial quantities.

On chocolate chips then I actually rarely use them, however they do work really well in said hummingbird cake.
As far as coating the mould/tin then greaseproof paper tends to be what I go with here.
Oh~lala mr Fancy.
Yeah, here eggs are sold in Kilos or pieces. You can buy 1,2 or 4 eggs alone or 10Kilos if you need to.
 
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For some reason, I see this question as what age did you stop needing someone else's recipe to cook (assuming we're talking about actual cooking and not just heating stuff up).

Other than dabbling here and there for school I wasn't given much access to cook anything at home so it wouldn't have been till I moved out around 19 or 20. But I was obsessed with soaking in as much of the theory side as possible for the previous decade.
 

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I learned to cook very early in life, both out of interest and out of necessity. Both of my parents worked when I was growing up, and while my mum would always cook a nice meal in the afternoon, if anyone needed a little snack between coming back from school and her coming back from work, it was up to them to sort it out. Eventually, as my siblings and I got better at it, we started being a little more picky about what we eat, me especially, and we began cooking our own dinners, so mum would complain that she has leftovers to deal with. A good problem to have, if you ask me - less work for her in theory, but she always insisted on cooking for everybody regardless of whether we were hungry or not, so not so much in practice. Bit of a mess too, since the amount of dirty dishes tripled, but hey! That's the price of having too many cooks in one kitchen. My sisters and I spent a lot of time cooking and to this day that room in the house "belongs to me", as opposed to my better half. I love cooking - it's very relaxing, and it allows you to let your creativity shine. As far as I'm concerned, every adult should learn how to cook, it's a vital life skill.
 
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FAST6191

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For some reason, I see this question as what age did you stop needing someone else's recipe to cook (assuming we're talking about actual cooking and not just heating stuff up).

Normally I would expect someone that knows how to cook to be able to see a selection of spices (with name/ingredients on them) and decide which one they might like on chicken or something, be able to make a variety of sauces and carbohydrate types (need not be the cheese sauce, red sauce, stew and stocks of most western cooking but something akin to those for your chosen style of cuisine), and be able to knock something up from a limited list of ingredients (think what is cheap down the market/in the supermarket and what is in the cupboard/fridge type scenarios).

Needing a recipe is fine by me as well. I would certainly encourage people to be able estimate by eye, know visual cues of what they are making, taste and adjust, substitute or bias things to taste but proof is in the pudding is a phrase that exists for a reason.

Here though I was aiming more for what age were you given access to knives, allowed to heat things in a pan (maybe even a frying one) on a cooker/stove/bbq, allowed to use an oven, even if it was only to put something from a packet in the freezer and wait 40 minutes, and other things the "world should be wrapped in cotton wool" set force on their kids and mean we both have a proliferation of fat people and those keeping food delivery services/takeaway afloat by their inability to make their own food.
 

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7. But in actually using herbs n spices, 10. Both parents went to work, and being the eldest, had to get my step brothers up, fed, n ready for school. In a sense, I became mother to them. Sometimes they called me Mom, when in need of something. :)
 
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i was 14 when they teached the basics at school, not gonna be a chef, but i don't mind working on something in the kitchen either.
and till up today my friends still like what i make, just as long as i don't have to follow a book or the like.
i try to make my own idea based on what i tasted in at a restaurant. mostly it'll be allright after a few tries.
 
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Tom Bombadildo

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I've been generally able to cook since like 10 or so, but I didn't really seriously start cooking things (so I guess like "free handing" ingredients and making "serious" from scratch dishes and stuff like that) until I moved to my own place at around 20, about 7 years ago now.

Nobody really taught me that much, I think I learned more from watching the food channel than anything, Good Eats and such shows I usually watched as background noise if nothing else was worth watching, but of my parents I'd say my dad probably taught me the most, despite my mom doing the most "cooking". Mostly because she would only do simple stuff like hamburgers broiled in the oven or spaghetti with premade sauce or just regular ol' baked chicken and such, whereas my dad always makes dishes from scratch.
 
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