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What is missing in your culinary education and why?

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General Discussion 55

What is missing in your culinary education and why?

gfr1111 | Aug 9, 2010 10:36 AM

Please name up two things that are missing in your culinary education and explain why.

For me, the most important thing for which I have no education is knife skills. After forty years of cooking, I'm still pretty deliberate in the way I cut things and nothing is chopped exactly the same size. I blame this on the fact that where I lived for the first thirty years of my life, there was no possibility of any culinary instruction. (Also, there was no Food Network, few instructional books of which I was aware, etc.) I see now that there is a cookware store near my house that offers a specific course in knife skills. I'm going! (I'm also reading Jacques Pepin's book on technique, which i discovered recently.)

Second, I can't bake bread worth a darn. Of course, I was using all purpose flour and the "Better Homes and Gardens" or "Betty Crocker" cookbook. (I can't remember.) I could never understand why my bread came out so tough and dry. (It had a nice crust, though, somewhat akin to the armor plating on a tank.) I tried variations on the basic recipe, but never used anything but AP flour. When I complained about the results to a bread-baking friend, her first question was what kind of flour was I using? At that point, I didn't know there were other kinds of flour, except whole wheat, which in the Midwest was considered a little weird. However, why would anyone publish such a terrible recipe and specifically call for AP flour? Anyway with the new 21st century enlightenment about bread and a new cookbook, I am going to try again.

Okay, I'm not confessing to anything else. I still think I'm a pretty good cook. What about you?

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