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(article, Culinate staff)
Once upon a time, people did spring cleaning. Nowadays, the turn of the year is frequently a time to check over and clear out, buy new things and start afresh. Los Angeles Times food writer Russ Parsons recently took a look at this habit from a cook's perspective, and decided that what we all really need is not more stuff but a few basic techniques: # Paying attention # Keeping things simple # Shopping carefully # Tasting as you go # Getting organized beforehand # Using tools, not gadgets # Practicing as much as possible You don't need to become a celebrity chef, Parsons notes. Just trying to become a better cook, little by little, is all it takes.