Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

The first things you learned to cook

As a 3 year old, I loved serving up (rock hard) scrambled eggs on (by that point stone cold) toast to my parents and sibs as a Special Weekend Treat. It was so satisfying to drag a chair to the stove, melt butter in a pan and stir the beaten eggs until they curdled.

The first full meal I regularly cooked at 9 or so consisted of baked lamb cutlets basted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil, a side of spaghetti with jarred red sauce with added finely chopped black olives (my secret ingredient!), garlic bread and Caesar salad. Now that people actually ate.

by Anonymousreply 88October 15, 2021 5:30 PM


by Anonymousreply 1October 13, 2021 12:56 PM

Scrambled eggs, beef patties, steak ums, cream of wheat - all around age 10.

by Anonymousreply 2October 13, 2021 12:58 PM

[quote]The first full meal I regularly cooked at 9 or so consisted of baked lamb cutlets basted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil, a side of spaghetti with jarred red sauce with added finely chopped black olives (my secret ingredient!), garlic bread and Caesar salad.


by Anonymousreply 3October 13, 2021 1:10 PM

pancakes, chocolate chip cookies. one time i made french fries peeling and cutting the potatoes all by myself. i was really craving french fries. i was around 9.

by Anonymousreply 4October 13, 2021 1:38 PM

Pancakes Barbara!

by Anonymousreply 5October 13, 2021 4:35 PM

The sun cooked me at 2. But you know I never had anything else to cook.

by Anonymousreply 6October 13, 2021 4:38 PM

Bouillabaisse, Lobster Thermidor, Paella, all with prunes.

by Anonymousreply 7October 13, 2021 4:38 PM

Ten (10) years old, approx.

Scrambled eggs, instant ramen, canned soup (Campbell's).

Moved on to cheese omelets (folded kind) and other things.

by Anonymousreply 8October 13, 2021 5:03 PM

Somewhere around 10 years old, I learned to make French toast. Next, my father showed me how to use a knife, so I could cut onions, celery, and carrots for the soffritto for him to make meat sauce for pasta.

At that time, my mother was such an awful cook, there was nothing to be learned there. Eventually she discovered Julia Child, but by that time, I was in college. She gave me the French Chef Cookbook, and sometimes we would cook from it together over the phone.

by Anonymousreply 9October 13, 2021 7:03 PM

Wow, seems like age 10 is the cooking age.

by Anonymousreply 10October 13, 2021 7:08 PM

Pizza from the Chef Boy Ardee boxes.

by Anonymousreply 11October 13, 2021 7:13 PM

Around ten. Choc chip cookies

by Anonymousreply 12October 13, 2021 7:18 PM

grilled cheese sandwich.

cinnamon sugar toast

jello pudding and gelatin

kraft mac and cheese

by Anonymousreply 13October 13, 2021 10:52 PM

spaghetti with jarred Ragu sauce and parmesan cheese.

Kraft Mac and Cheese

grilled cheese

cheese omelet

by Anonymousreply 14October 13, 2021 10:55 PM

Grilled cheese was something my mom taught me early on as well.

by Anonymousreply 15October 13, 2021 11:16 PM

My grandma taught me to bake bread when I’d stay at their house when my parents went somewhere. We’d have contests to see whose would rise fastest, highest, look more appealing, etc. Grandma always let me win. I was 8.

by Anonymousreply 16October 13, 2021 11:37 PM

I baked cookies with my beloved aunt at around 8. We made ginger bread men . I really miss her.

by Anonymousreply 17October 13, 2021 11:51 PM

11. "Pizza" made from English muffins, spaghetti sauce and cheese singles

by Anonymousreply 18October 13, 2021 11:52 PM


by Anonymousreply 19October 13, 2021 11:52 PM

I learned to cook a few simple things when I was young, too.

At age 8 or 9, I knew how to cook oatmeal, pancakes, bacon, and scrambled or hard boiled eggs. At age 10 or 11, I learned how to make donuts and plain cake from a recipe book, and figured out that you could make fried dough from those chilled Pillsbury biscuit canisters, and I could boil pasta. That's about it.

I tried, but failed on many occasions, to make fudge. My mother was the only person in our family that could make it correctly. You had to heat it just right or it would be to soft or too hard.

by Anonymousreply 20October 14, 2021 12:17 AM

R20 What's fried dough? I can imagine, but is there something more to it?

by Anonymousreply 21October 14, 2021 2:18 AM

R21 It's a common food item found at circuses, carnivals and the beach, or least it used to be. It's a kind of bread dough-like concoction and rolled flat, deep-fried and sprinkled with confectioners' sugar or whatever suits your taste buds. It's junk food, but tasty.

by Anonymousreply 22October 14, 2021 2:33 AM

[quote] I tried, but failed on many occasions, to make fudge. My mother was the only person in our family that could make it correctly. You had to heat it just right or it would be to soft or too hard.

R20, I made fudge once, when I was maybe 13. I did the soft ball stage and all that. Some things are easier if you don't know it's supposed to be difficult. Anyway, I think there are fudge recipes out there that don't require heating the mixture to the soft ball or whatever stage.

This Eagle brand (sweetened condensed milk) fudge recipe might be worth a try.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 23October 14, 2021 2:48 AM

Chicken Tonight

by Anonymousreply 24October 14, 2021 2:50 AM

Yes R23, that's how my mother did it as well. The simmering liquid fudge had to form a ball in a small kettle of water of just the right type of shape, if I remember it correctly.

by Anonymousreply 25October 14, 2021 2:53 AM

That was probably in middle school cooking class and the first thing we made was pizza on English muffins.

by Anonymousreply 26October 14, 2021 2:58 AM

Creamed chipped beef over toast.

by Anonymousreply 27October 14, 2021 2:59 AM

My neighbor taught me how to cook "Eggs Goldenrod." Toast (soft white bread). Hard-boiled eggs, whites separated from yolks. White sauce (butter, flour, milk) with the egg whites (chopped up) mixed in. Pour the white sauce on your toast. Sprinkle the egg yolks (crumbled) on top. Paprika or cayenne powder.

by Anonymousreply 28October 14, 2021 3:03 AM

I remember being in first grade and standing on a stool in our kitchen, following the instructions on a cake mix box. Greased and floured the pans. Poured in the batter. Everything was too big and disaster lurked everywhere. But I got it done.

My mother put them in the oven and took them out when baked. I did it often. I stood on that stool to ice them, too.

by Anonymousreply 29October 14, 2021 3:04 AM


by Anonymousreply 30October 14, 2021 3:10 AM

I had an epiphany at 8 years old that if I learned to make chocolate chip cookies I could eat as much cookie dough as I wanted. I swiftly moved on to cake batter. Good times.

by Anonymousreply 31October 14, 2021 3:13 AM

So, everyone is really believing that OP was cooking up breakfast for the family at 3?

by Anonymousreply 32October 14, 2021 3:14 AM

^^ OP is Jesus^^

by Anonymousreply 33October 14, 2021 3:19 AM

I don't recall ever cooking anything until I was about 17. I went to a cabin with two of my friends (a cabin belonging to the parents of one of them). They were both straight guys I was on teams with and in classes with. We caught fish, and I cooked one in a frying pan. At home, my mom or dad did the cooking. I was not a fem type so I was not interested in cooking or housework. But now I'm a pretty good cook.

by Anonymousreply 34October 14, 2021 3:28 AM

Corn muffins from a mix.

by Anonymousreply 35October 14, 2021 3:35 AM

My neighbor across the street was an only child with lots of toys that she didn't have to share. I had several sisters and brothers. I was at her house and noticed her Easy-Bake oven. There were little packets of cake mixes and she (my neighbor) had never even tried to bake anything in it. I, of course, had to try this Easy Bake oven. I mixed up a packet of cake mix with water and maybe an egg. Then stuck it in the oven. The heating element of the oven consisted of ... an incandescent light bulb. Anyway, cake came out good. That was the beginning of me making cakes - with cake mixes.

by Anonymousreply 36October 14, 2021 3:58 AM

I remember standing on a chair to reach the stove and stirring chocolate pudding mix from a box, which seemed to take forever while my arm got tired. I loved the pudding but not the process and lost interest in cooking right then (my mom wasn't very interested either but had to do it, so I guess she wanted some help with the tedious bits). Based on which house that kitchen was in, I must have been 4 years old.

I don't recall doing any more cooking until I was 8, when the neighbors' grandma came to stay with them for a visit and taught my mom how to make bread. She let me watch and help, which was a lot more fun than stirring pudding forever -- not hard, just waiting for the dough to rise and then kneading, which was like playing with clay. The results were even better than chocolate pudding, nothing smells as good as homemade bread baking. Thanks to that grandma, I've never been afraid of yeast and am comfortable baking.

by Anonymousreply 37October 14, 2021 4:03 AM

[quote] I was not a fem type so I was not interested in cooking or housework.

You don't have to be a fem type to be interested in cooking, food, and a clean house.

by Anonymousreply 38October 14, 2021 4:04 AM

[Yquote]ou don't have to be a fem type to be interested in cooking, food, and a clean house.

Never said I didn't want a clean house. I thought the meaning was clear. I wasn't interested in housekeeping. And I wasn't interested in cooking. Boys who were interested in these things at age 9 or 10 when I was a kid were often the fem type. That was just my experience among the kids I knew. Of course cooking is not necessarily a feminine occupation, sorry if I offended anyone.

by Anonymousreply 39October 14, 2021 4:11 AM

Understood, R39. Thanks for explaining.

by Anonymousreply 40October 14, 2021 4:17 AM

French toast. With Sunbeam Batter Whipped! white bread.

by Anonymousreply 41October 14, 2021 4:29 AM

I'm pretty sure I learned some cooking before 10 years old, but my memory is kind of foggy of the years before 10 (i had a head injury at age 16), but i do recall that i was full blown making chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, i was responsible for making my own breakfast by then (scrambled or poached eggs or wheatina), salad dressings, salads on occasion - all by myself. So I have to believe i was cooking/baking long before 10.

by Anonymousreply 42October 14, 2021 4:31 AM

[quote] And I wasn't interested in cooking. Boys who were interested in these things at age 9 or 10 when I was a kid were often the fem type. That was just my experience among the kids I knew.

Some boys learned to cook because their mothers weren’t interested in it

by Anonymousreply 43October 14, 2021 4:35 AM

"I baked cookies with my beloved aunt at around 8. We made ginger bread men..."

Didn't she ever wonder why you made them so muscular and anatomically correct?

by Anonymousreply 44October 14, 2021 4:51 AM

Being Czech, it was Poppy Seed Kolache. I was about 5 or 6-years old. A grandma that I rarely saw came for a visit.

Thereafter, everyone expected me to make it during the holidays.

It looked just like this.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 45October 14, 2021 4:59 AM

r45 that looks delicious.

by Anonymousreply 46October 14, 2021 5:09 AM

French toast

by Anonymousreply 47October 14, 2021 5:48 AM

Around 9 or 10 I thought myself to cook. The first things I cooked were potato salad and spaghetti.

by Anonymousreply 48October 14, 2021 5:51 AM

[quote]The first full meal I regularly cooked at 9 or so consisted of baked lamb cutlets basted with garlic, rosemary and olive oil, a side of spaghetti with jarred red sauce with added finely chopped black olives (my secret ingredient!), garlic bread and Caesar salad.

Girl, you know you wrote this post just to tell us this.

by Anonymousreply 49October 14, 2021 5:53 AM

Spaghetti, bishes!

by Anonymousreply 50October 14, 2021 5:59 AM


by Anonymousreply 51October 14, 2021 6:02 AM

My mom would not let me make spaghetti until I was 16. She was afraid I would burn myself with the hot water.

by Anonymousreply 52October 14, 2021 6:10 AM

I made by first Potage au Gelee at age 7.

by Anonymousreply 53October 14, 2021 6:15 AM


by Anonymousreply 54October 14, 2021 6:53 AM

By the time I was 5, chicken cordon bleu was already so passé, but my mother insisted I must know it. Veal piccata, trout meunière, duck a l'orange , all lamentably outdated but also required learning. We settled on a proper French omelette as a timeless recipe, so I mastered that around 7. If only we'd had that foresight to anticipate avocado toast. I could have turned that out in my sleep by then.

by Anonymousreply 55October 14, 2021 6:56 AM

Cake, brownies and chocolate chip cookies Mom even bought me my 1973 copy of Betty Crocker's Boys And Girls Cookbook. The photographs were inspiring.

by Anonymousreply 56October 14, 2021 6:58 AM


Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 57October 14, 2021 7:06 AM

r55 oh PLEASE. r57, please stop fucking posting these stupid dead or alive posts!!! wtf?!

by Anonymousreply 58October 14, 2021 7:47 AM

Oatmeal, at age 6. We were visiting my Irish grandmother and her kitchen was her domain. She woke up at 6 am one morning to find me cooking oatmeal on the stove, with the telltale chairs pulled up to pull the pan and the oatmeal box out of the cupboard. "What do you think you're doing?" she asked. "Making oatmeal" I replied. "How do you know how to make oatmeal?" "Well, grandma, the directions are written right on the back of the box!". She considered this entire exchange to represent my inherent genius, and could hardly wait until a polite hour to call all of her cronies.

Eggs and bacon were figured out and mastered by about age 9, along with grilled cheese sandwiches. Egg in a hole was a fancy variation on a basic fried egg. My dad loved to make biscuits and gravy and stirring the gravy was an important job he relegated to whichever child was underfoot.

My mom was a piano teacher, and taught up until dinner hour, so on those nights when we were hungry and impatient, my older female siblings or I would make whatever culinary masterpiece was within our personal skill sets. That often meant browning ground beef and preparing hamburger helper, which was a new product at the time. I was probably 12 when I started doing that.

by Anonymousreply 59October 14, 2021 7:52 AM

I was about age 5 and I would come home from kindergarten around 1130. I would heat up Campbell’s chicken noodle soup by myself. I had to use a stepstool to reach the stove top. I did not know it was condensed and therefore did not add any water. I didn’t know any better. I would have my soup and grab my ice skates and go down the street and go ice-skating after.

by Anonymousreply 60October 14, 2021 8:05 AM

r59 - you are from the UK, correct?

by Anonymousreply 61October 14, 2021 8:07 AM

i recall making the most excellent strawberry pie from our home-grown berries at age 12. No, it did not have abhorrent rhubarb in it. Everyone loved it. Yes, truly...they were not being nice. the entire pie was consumed that night.

by Anonymousreply 62October 14, 2021 8:09 AM

r60, nope, not from the UK. If you're wondering about egg in a hole, it's just one name for the idea of cutting a hole in a piece of bread, putting it into a buttered pan, and cracking an egg into the hole. I think there are lots of expressions for it.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 63October 14, 2021 8:36 AM

Osso Buco at six

by Anonymousreply 64October 14, 2021 9:45 AM

I was 16 and spent a year cooking my way through Julia Child's cookbook--the one cued to her TV shows, not the two-volume one. I would make a cheese soufflé but my family wanted hot dogs. Sucked to be me.

by Anonymousreply 65October 14, 2021 10:49 AM

R63, my teenage babysitter was in high school around 1955 and she told us about learning to make "Eggs In A Frame" in her Home Economics class.

by Anonymousreply 66October 14, 2021 12:21 PM


by Anonymousreply 67October 14, 2021 12:24 PM

Oh, yes, Southern mother taught me well. All of them, really. Showing interest in the kitchen, by force or whimsy, eggs at like 5-6 along with grilled cheese, and then whatever.

Pasta, eggs, grilled cheese...every child should be able to make these before they leave the house. lol

Laundry too.

by Anonymousreply 68October 14, 2021 12:32 PM

When I was ten my mom would set the ingredients for dinner out on the counter and give me verbal instructions on how to make dinner for a family of seven.

Things like spaghetti and hash. Nothing terribly complicated.

by Anonymousreply 69October 14, 2021 12:52 PM

My father skipped out when I was about 4 years old. My mother relied on summer school programs to keep me supervised while she was working. In about 3rd grade, I found myself in a boy's Home Economics class. We made egg salad, which made me throw up. I hated it then and I would not touch that horrible shit today. We also made Mexican Wedding Cookies.

The teacher entered our cookies in the county fair. I got a blue ribbon in the Abandoned Little Boys Division, or whatever. So suck on that, bitches!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 70October 14, 2021 12:57 PM

R61, it’s interesting you read R59 as being British, because to my British eyes it was so very American. Oatmeal, hamburger helper, biscuits and gravy, grilled cheese sandwich.

by Anonymousreply 71October 14, 2021 1:42 PM

There's a picture of me, aged 2, making fairy cakes (what Americans call cupcakes, but smaller) with my Mum. I'm guessing that's my first bake!

by Anonymousreply 72October 14, 2021 1:49 PM

R71, when R69 read the name of the American dish "eggs in a hole", he may have thought of the name of the English dish "toad in a hole". Who but the British would name a food after a particularly ugly (in a cute way) amphibian?

by Anonymousreply 73October 14, 2021 6:54 PM

I taught myself to make a solid stir fry and a delicious eggplant parmesan from watching TV. I remember my mother said to my father, "He may not like to hunt or fish, but he knows how to cook."

by Anonymousreply 74October 14, 2021 7:00 PM

My mom was a very good cook, but she never really let me cook anything. In 7th grade the boys had to take two weeks of home ec while the girls had to take two week of shop. We learned how to make sloppy Joes. I made them at home and they were pretty good.

by Anonymousreply 75October 14, 2021 7:12 PM

Cats and dogs.

by Anonymousreply 76October 14, 2021 7:40 PM

Adam and Eve on a raft and wreck'em.

by Anonymousreply 77October 14, 2021 8:19 PM


by Anonymousreply 78October 14, 2021 8:24 PM

Oh! I wish I could remember. The last good cook in my family before me was my great-grandmother but she died when I was five so I never got to learn from her. Just learned on my own. I've enjoyed reading everyone's remembrances. If you have a kid in your life, share your cooking knowledge.

by Anonymousreply 79October 14, 2021 11:26 PM

The first thing I learned how to cook was grilled cheese.

by Anonymousreply 80October 14, 2021 11:41 PM

I made the Lucy's lemon bars from this Peanuts / Charlie Brown cookbook. I also made a lasagne from the church parishioners' cookbook (went to Catholic school).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 81October 14, 2021 11:50 PM

Forgot my visual aid. Pretty sure we it was the french one I used.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 82October 15, 2021 12:05 AM

OMG R81! I had that cookbook too and totally forgot about it until your post!

by Anonymousreply 83October 15, 2021 12:37 AM

R82 I remember that Chicken Tonight commercial, my friend would just burst out singing it all the time, so annoying.

by Anonymousreply 84October 15, 2021 12:43 AM

Who among us doesn't enjoy chicken when we can reel it in?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 85October 15, 2021 11:25 AM

I don't know why some of my posts just seem to disappear.

My last post on this thread was about making "Baked Alaska" in 6th or 7th grade Home Ec and how we thought it was so fancy.

I learned to cook before then; by 10 i was making a variety of things without adult help. My post is upthread...i'm the one who had a head injury when i was 16 so my memory isn't that sharp.

by Anonymousreply 86October 15, 2021 11:30 AM

We made blueberry muffins from a mix. There was a small can of blueberries in the box. Really good with butter. I can't remember what brand the mix was, but I don't think it was Duncan Hines or Krusteaz.

by Anonymousreply 87October 15, 2021 5:21 PM

Buttercream frosting to go on Betty Crocker cake mix.

by Anonymousreply 88October 15, 2021 5:30 PM
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.


Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!