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Cooking basics

(article, Culinate staff)

To accompany her latest memoir, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, the food writer Kathleen Flinn last fall set up a companion website titled Cook Fearless. The site includes two different pages devoted to basic cooking lessons. Flinn's goal isn't just to help people learn to cook but to help them learn to feed themselves well:

bq. The food industry spends billions of dollars to convince us that cooking is too difficult, it’s something beyond our grasp. The problem is this: if you agree and you don’t cook or you can’t cook, then you leave yourself at the mercy of others to feed you, and increasingly, this falls to multinational companies whose interests are primarily financial.

Plenty of other websites want to help eaters get empowered in the kitchen. They include blogs (the Reluctant Gourmet, Simply Cooking, and Basic Cooking, among others) and articles on magazine websites (Metro Parent, Real Simple, and Martha Stewart, for example). They tell you what tools to get and how to use them, following such techniques as braising, poaching, grilling, and the like. 

Most useful, though, might be Melissa Clark's Real Simple tips on what not to do in the kitchen, including boiling pasta in a pot that's too small (it will clump together) and adding garlic too soon to a hot pan (it will burn).