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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Old 11-27-2008, 06:51 AM   #1
cmcadams
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Default When did you know you were a cook? (lots of photos included)

There's a difference between cooking, and being a cook. Lots of people are capable of cooking, but a cook is more than that, to me. A cook is someone that can tackle a variety of things with a pretty good chance of making something good out of it, with or without recipes. I think maybe I'm saying it's about a level of confidence with cooking.

What made me think about this is the years of turkeys in my past, with a lot of trial and error, and lots of mistakes. The first time I tried smoking one was in a Chargriller, and I used soaked cheesecloth over the bird to help keep it moist. The wind picked up, and the cheesecloth caught on fire. Fun! The bird was ok, but got overcooked and dry (thank God for the gift of gravy!).

Now, I've got a bird on my BGE, and it's just churning along, and I know it will be ready around noon, to sit in a cooler for a bit before everything else is done. I know that at 9:30ish, I need to make some bread dough for rolls and loaves. I know that the mashed potatoes will get put on about noon, etc.

So, to get to a point... What made you realize you were a cook, and weren't just trying to cook?

My real epiphany in this was prime rib... When I knew I could spend over $100 on a piece of meat and have no fear of it not being a great meal.

Just for fun, I've added a variety of photos of things over the last year, foodwise:

































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Last edited by cmcadams; 11-27-2008 at 07:52 AM..
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Old 11-27-2008, 06:56 AM   #2
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Somehow I knew I should not have looked at this without eating first, now I'm drooling!
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:02 AM   #3
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Awsome Pic's,Thanks

And you are definatly on to the KEY of Cooking. It is a confidence level or comfort level. Learning and pairing are the essencials. But the confidence is the Key.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:03 AM   #4
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I first knew when my kids starting eating my food.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:04 AM   #5
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Great Pics, its been a good year!

I grew up in a family of "Cooks". My grandmother and mother ran catering businesses for over 40 years. Guess it was inevitable that I would find the joy in cooking!
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:08 AM   #6
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Nice pics Bro! I have to agree on the prime rib test, I buy them all the time now and have no fear!
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:21 AM   #7
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Great pics Curt. To answer your question, it was probably my soph year in college when I cooked a spaghetti dinner for the 54 people on our floor in the dorm using a two burner hot plate! Each floor was given monies to do something for the holidays. Most bought a couple of kegs. We decided on a dinner and they picked me to cook it since I was Italian. BTW, turned out great and after we ate we went to the other floors to drink their beer.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:27 AM   #8
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I have always enjoyed being in or around the kitchen since I was youngster. I also found that if I hung out and helped enough that I was able to have goodies before anybody else got anything.
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Old 11-27-2008, 07:52 AM   #9
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Thanks for the pictures Curt.....always a pleasure.....yeah, when I realized it was more than just "cooking" was when I started looking at seasonings and thinking how I could incorporate them into whatever I wanted to make....not having a fear on not following the directions that someone else set out for me.....i.e. cookbook.....are there some failures, sure thing, but, half of being a cook is knowing how to fix that which is beyond repair....
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:00 AM   #10
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nice collection of shots, curt!

i'm just a guy that likes to cook and sometimes it comes out pretty good
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick's Tropical Delight View Post
i'm just a guy that likes to cook and sometimes it comes out pretty good
I've seen enough of your stuff to see false modesty there. :)
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:04 AM   #12
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Wow, you're not only a cook, but a food stylist too!

I've been cooking since I was tall enough to reach the stove, in self-defense, my mom was not the greatest cook in the world (Refrigerator Stew was especially nasty!) I started trusting that I didn't have to have a recipe in my 20's, when I started making my own lasagna sauce. I do a lot of cooking "by nose," when ingredients smell good together, they almost always taste good.

Still use recipes as guidelines, but I rarely follow them to the letter, which is why most baking is DH's domain.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:05 AM   #13
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I knew I was a cook when I did stuff like like this. My friends can't do it.





I knew I wanted to barbecue when I seen how easy it was. I even made my own smoker!
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmcadams View Post
I've seen enough of your stuff to see false modesty there. :)
Thats for sure!


I had my revelation when I was 17 and living on my own. I was sick of fast food, so I started experimenting and discovered I could cook better than my mom (not a terribly hard task). I soon got better than my dad too and I actually thought about becoming a chef my sr year of hs. Luckily I figured out that there were easier ways to make a living, and this has stayed my hobby.
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:14 AM   #15
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Great looking food ! Very inspiring pron.

I have been cooking for more than 50 years and thought I was a pretty good cook until I found the Brethren a couple of years ago. Now I feel like I am finally beginning to learn to be one thanks to the generous help and advice of all the great cooks on here.
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