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    Posted on Oct 30, 2015

    30 Qualities Of A Good Home Cook

    Pick and choose.

    A good cook...

    1. Can make something out of nothing and turn scraps into a meal

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    Yes, herb stems can be useful. We promise.

    3. Has a desire to nourish and please, and focuses on the enjoyment of the people eating their food

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    That's one happy kid.

    4. Has no fear (or is at least able to set fears aside)

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    Homemade bagels don't bite.

    5. BUT also knows his or her limits (you can be a good home cook even if you have a comfort zone)

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    We all burn toast every once in a while.

    6. Is curious, with a tendency towards experimentation

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    Sometimes weird food pairings are strangely good. Like gravy and cheese curds.

    7. Is at peace with eating a less-than-amazing meal in the name of learning

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    Most of the time your pie won't look like this. And that's okay.

    8. Is patient

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    Patience = all this bread.

    9. Can scale up quickly (is able to cook for 10 or for 2)

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    You accidentally invited 20 people for what?

    10. Knows a few techniques that are transferrable and that work for what he or she likes to eat: roasting, stir-frying, making a dressing

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    Be the hostess with the roast(est).

    11. Brings people together over food

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    Good food always guarantees a good time.


    12. Has respect for the freshest and best ingredients that his or her budget allows

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    Frozen peas for the win.

    14. AND has an encyclopedic knowledge of what's in his or her kitchen at any time

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    No grocery list needed.

    15. Is willing to try again

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    And again and again.

    16. Knows which foods/flavors complement one another

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    Butter flavors are the best kind of flavors.

    17. Follows recipes

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    Food52 has a lot of them. In case you didn't know.

    18. BUT can adapt recipes as he or she goes along and is willing to think outside their boundaries

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    Not recipes are the best.

    19. Loves cooking as much as eating

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    A mutually beneficial relationship.

    20. Develops a broad vocabulary and understanding of cooking as his or her knowledge develops

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    Notably, the difference between a squash and a pumpkin.

    21. Tastes as he or she goes

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    Tasting here means wine and food, of course.

    22. Does not overcrowd the pan

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    But does make sure it's full.

    23. Isn't afraid to use high heat and really char things

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    Smoky and sweet, the perfect combination.

    24. Uses a tiny bit of acid (lemon, vinegar, etc.) to brighten up a dish

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    When life gives you lemons, make lemon bars.

    25. Adds enough salt but does not over salt

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    Juuuust enough.

    26. Learns from his or her mistakes

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    Practice makes perfect, duh.

    27. Has a healthy appetite

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    And is a member of the clean plate club.

    28. Wastes as little as possible

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    Don't waste, taste.

    29. Respects those who have come before him or her and the knowledge they can impart

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    Kristen Miglore is really good at this.

    30. Embraces the mundane: enjoys chopping a carrot, boiling water, and (maybe) washing dishes

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    Maybe. Most times the cook should leave this for the non-cooks.

    Catherine O'Donnell contributed to this post. For more, visit Food52.