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I want to learn to cook for people

(23 Posts)
DDIJ Fri 12-Jun-20 21:16:05

This sounds ridiculous, I know. I want to be able to cook for people, but I won't be having anyone over for years, if ever.

I can follow a recipe, but I lack confidence. I am on my own but I would like to be able to cook for people if the situation ever arose. I'm going to start practicing. What should I try to make?

OP’s posts: |
Etinox Fri 12-Jun-20 21:20:20

Reading between the lines it sounds like you’ve got a confidence & loneliness problem rather than a culinary one?
Look into Foodcycle and you’ll get lots of skills and support.

DDIJ Fri 12-Jun-20 21:25:44

Thank you. I'm not lonely.

OP’s posts: |
Sarahlou63 Fri 12-Jun-20 21:27:24

What do you like to eat? Always a good starting point to make something you enjoy and then scale up.

PurpleDaisies Fri 12-Jun-20 21:31:27

What sort of food do you like to eat?

When I have people round I like to try and cook things that don’t need to much work in the kitchen at the last minute. That makes it much less stressful!

I’m veggie so that rules out lots of things here, Everyone seems to appreciate a good pie. Curries and chillies can be dressed up with sides to make them nice things to make when you’ve got people round.

Pudding that can come straight out of the fridge of the oven is good. Something like a key lime pie, lemon tart or chocolate self saucing pudding could be good.

DDIJ Fri 12-Jun-20 21:31:35

I don't cook or eat nice food at the moment. I like most things.

OP’s posts: |
SeaToSki Fri 12-Jun-20 21:37:38

I would start by making something that you can freeze easily. That way you can practice making a dish for 4 or 6 people and then eat one portion and freeze the rest for later.

I would recommend going to deliaonline.com and having a look there. There are videos to teach anyone how to cook. Also her recipes are very straight forward to follow and very reliable. Just remember to read the instructions all the way through before you start.

When you are choosing something, think about how long you want to spend cooking, what you would like to eat, what ingredients/equipment it needs and if you can afford to buy the ones you dont already have.

Do you want to try baking/breakfast/salads/stews etc?

Some of her dishes that are my favourites are
chicken with tarragon sauce
good old shepherds pie
lemon pasta with herbs
very chocolatey mousse

Sarahlou63 Fri 12-Jun-20 21:41:17

DDIJ

I don't cook or eat nice food at the moment. I like most things.

So first you need to learn to cook for yourself. You really can't go wrong with Delia Smith's recipes - many years ago she had a book called "Cooking for One" so you could start with that, or just check out www.deliaonline.com for ideas.

Modestandatinybitsexy Fri 12-Jun-20 21:41:47

I think everyone appreciates a good roast. Practice roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and whichever meat you like best.

Sarahlou63 Fri 12-Jun-20 21:41:54

@SeaToSki - snap! grin

PaulinePetrovaPosey Fri 12-Jun-20 21:44:03

Make easy food you love to eat. Anyone you cook for isn't expecting Michelin star food, they're hoping for good company and a full tummy.

For the people I really love (so, I want to make them happy not impressed) I often make this Ottolenghi chicken/ rice/ cardamom dish https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/chicken-with-caramelized-onion-and-cardamom-rice]

...the salmon curry here [ https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/22/nigel-slater-readers-favourite-recipes]

Or this squash lasagne https://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/squash-and-fennel-lasagne]

They're all easy but I love to eat them.

Find your equivalent and cook it a few times for yourself!

dreamingbohemian Fri 12-Jun-20 21:48:57

I'd recommend starting with a one-pot kind of dish, like a pasta sauce or a stew. They are fairly foolproof, and once you learn one version you can make all sorts of other ones. You can dress them up to be more fancy when you have people over, for example by using nicer fresh pasta, fresh parmesan, great bread, nice wine etc.

DDIJ Fri 12-Jun-20 21:51:32

Thanks, that's a good idea about freezing stuff. It's the quantities that worry me, among other things.

I can cook for myself but I just don't do it. I am scared of cooking for other people.

OP’s posts: |
WorriedAboutMom Fri 12-Jun-20 21:52:55

BBC Good Food website is pretty good and their recipes are rated too. Stick to the 5 star rated recipes and you should be fine.
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/category/dinner-party

dreamingbohemian Fri 12-Jun-20 21:54:13

Maybe this is a stupid idea but perhaps learn how to make homemade salad dressing, a nice vinaigrette? That way even if you just serve up a nice salad (which is just chopping things) it feels more special if you have a fresh dressing.

Diorissimo1985 Fri 12-Jun-20 21:54:17

I find Nigella’s recipes pretty easy and she is a big fan of entertaining - I like At My Table as the meals are delicious but not too faffy.

dreamingbohemian Fri 12-Jun-20 21:55:40

Are you afraid you'll mess it up, or afraid you'll do it okay but they won't like it and judge you?

If it's the first, then it's just a matter of practice. Cook for yourself more and you'll be fine smile

DDIJ Fri 12-Jun-20 22:01:06

Are you afraid you'll mess it up, or afraid you'll do it okay but they won't like it and judge you?

I don't think I'm afraid of them not liking it. I think it's more that I will mess it up or that it will be obvious I haven't done this before. I find it terrifying and it may not even ever happen.

OP’s posts: |
Sarahlou63 Fri 12-Jun-20 22:06:24

DDIJ

*Are you afraid you'll mess it up, or afraid you'll do it okay but they won't like it and judge you?*

I don't think I'm afraid of them not liking it. I think it's more that I will mess it up or that it will be obvious I haven't done this before. I find it terrifying and it may not even ever happen.

So 'do it before' you try doing it for someone else. I was terrified of making two things, puff pastry and mayonnaise, mainly because both take patience, which I don't have - I practiced, got it wrong (dogs didn't mind!) and did it again until I got it right. Only then did I make them for other people.

dreamingbohemian Fri 12-Jun-20 22:15:27

Ah I totally understand. I felt the same way once! But once you make the same dish a bunch of times, it is hard to mess it up.

The other good thing about doing a pasta sauce or stew is that you can make it ahead of time so there is no time pressure. You can always fix it if something goes wrong.

Wigeon Fri 12-Jun-20 22:21:47

It sounds like you’re afraid you’ll mess it up because you lack experience and practice. Once you’ve just cooked more often for yourself, you’ll have confidence that you can cook for others because you know that when you cook, stuff turns out ok.

Totally agree with others that you should start with food you like. BBC Good Food is brilliant (weirdly, there is a similar site called BBC Food - not that one), and agree with a PP who says go for the 5* recipes. You can search by an ingredient (eg “salmon”) and just see what comes up. There are lots of straightforward recipes on there.

Good luck! You may even learn to love the simple pleasure of cooking and eating your own food!

PurpleDaisies Fri 12-Jun-20 22:26:29

What sort of thing might you start with? People could recommend simple but tasty recipes.
I love a recipe thread...

ilovebagpuss Sat 13-Jun-20 14:14:33

Hi start with making a portion of something simple for yourself like chilli And rice then when you are happy with it write the recipe down or screen shot it. Then if you were having people over you could do a veggie or meat chilli with plain rice chuck a few peas or herbs in the rice. Then put a few dishes of add ins out like lemon wedges grated cheese shop bought dips nachos. Bottle of wine and you are away everyone digging in passing bowls.
Daft as this sounds I also draw a plate sometimes with the meal on just for myself to see if it’s enough so if you bought a lovely meat pie then added new potatoes buttery carrots peas etc you can see if it looks about right.

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