30 January 2013

being a good cook

“That’s one of the things that people don’t realize. A generation or two ago, your repertoire was small, and you only cooked with what was available locally. So you didn’t need [written] recipes — if you only have 50 recipes, after a while you don’t need recipes. But today everyone’s looking at the food channel, and our shows, and they go, ‘Well, I’ll do Asian tonight, and I’ll do Pho soup, and then I’ll do a Brazilian dish.’ They want to do something new every night. So under those circumstances, you do need to follow a recipe because you haven’t made baking powder biscuits 832 times … So I think a good rule for people is, start out with 25 recipes, ones that cover a range of things you like, and make them so many times you don’t need a recipe anymore, and that’s how you start to be a good cook.”

~Christopher Kimball
Americas Test Kitchen


  1. I've got a cupboard full of cookbooks...I make the same 10 things over and over.

  2. This paragraph makes a good point. My girls watched me cook supper (mostly) without recipes for years. Then when they had a sleep over at a friends house when they were in their teens, they thought it strange that the mother used a recipe to make her delicious meal. "Perhaps she was making something new or special for her guests," I told them.
    Karen A.

  3. Great info. I agree that the choices can be overwhelming! 25 good recipes... plenty. :)

    Blessings, Debbie

  4. I have just recently discovered Christopher Kimball on Country Cook and it was the first cooking show in a very long time that had something that made me want to run to the kitchen and start cooking!


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