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Tell VT: Dad's Best Cooking Tips

Tell VT: Dad's Best Cooking Tips

What did you learn about cooking from your dad? Share your answer below, and see what others have to say too. 

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My biological father died a couple of months before I was born, but I "heard" he was a vegetable man. He ate them all. My father-in-law would become my teacher for 20 years and introduced me to foods from the Puerto Rican culture that I quickly grew a love for. Every morning, he drank whole fruit juices he blended himself (and he wore out several juicers in the process !). He taught me how to make ginger tea (he called it) just by boiling a quart of H2O and grading a couple of thumbs of gingeroot and as the water developed its rolling boil he would turn it off, throw in the ginger, and let it sit until cooled. Then he would strain it, and pour me a cuppa, (Aussie term) and add milk & sugar. You drink this only in the morning,he said, as it is a "warming" tonic, not for cooling the body. At night you should drink "cooling" herb teas. He taught me to always eat a green salad with my entree, and be grateful when someone else feeds you. Besides his wife, Mercedes, he said I was the best cook in the world. He would rave over my dinners when he visited. We miss you SO much, Papi !

Start with the freshest ingredients available and you can't go wrong!

Making pan-sized pancakes for a growing family is much simpler than dozens of small pancakes. Set up two frying pans on the stove, adjust the temperature as needed, and be patient. Good things (delicious pancakes) come to those who wait!

Everything! I was lucky enough to have a father that went to cooking school when he was younger. He taught me to use my senses when preparing a meal. My mom always told people that she was the luckiest woman.

He taught me that the stove top had more then high as a setting...

My father is a master gardener and tree grafter. He always taught me that fruits and vegetables were the MOST important part of the meal. He taught me that REAL food, as fresh as possible, can be simply prepared and be fabulous. At the same time good herbs and spices can make the most humble meal spectacular. Cooking is an intuitive art.

How to cook everything breakfast- the perfect egg, pancake, waffle, you name it. Back in my meat-eating days it was hot dogs with everything on it- which I still do with vegan dogs/sausage. He also inspires me to make vegetarian reubens- his favorite. Oh, and who can forget the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich on toast with lettuce??

My dad was always a firm believer that you don't have to measure everything out exactly. On weekend mornings, when we'd make shakshuka together, he'd throw in some egg, some peppers, some tomato, some onion -- but he never pulled out a measuring cup. He just went with his gut and enjoyed the process. I think that's the best way to cook!

Cooking is simply a chemical reaction, following a recipe is an exercise in discipline. But given time and attention it becomes an art. Secondly, that my mother was a good woman, a good wife and a good mother even though she didn't like to cook.

I learned from my father to make and enjoy cheese fondue. He used to make it every Friday and serve it with all kinds of fresh bread, exotic fruits and pistachios. This would make an extraordinary family meal and precious family time and of course it took hours to eat. He also thought me the beauty of brunch, every single Saturday and Sunday he´d prepare a great brunch with eggs(the way you liked them best), lots of different cheeses, american pancakes with syrup, cafe latte and freshly squeezed orange juice. A tradition I have continued for my own family.

My dad did not have many recipes in his cooking repetoire, but when he did cook he made a production of it and it was always a special meal to us, with lots of pomp and just plain fun. I learned that food doesn't have to be fussy or gourmet to be satisfying and bring a family together.

My dad taught me the importance of a good pancake recipe!

Garlic is the best complement to any dinner meal. It ties everything together. He also taught me how to mince like a champ.

My Dad doesn't like to cook.He is too lazy.But he is a fantastic taster and relishes good cooking. He knows exact ingredients which will make the food tastier. He will comment on the taste of the food and give suggestions to improve the taste. It helped me a lot and brought heaps of praises from others and instituted a confidence in me.Hats off to my Dad. His favorite dish is rasam-tomato lentil soup.

Everything! My Dad was a single father of three, and taught us all to cook. He showed me how to chop, sauté, broil and bake. All of the recipes were in his head, and I learned them by helping him until I could make the dish myself. They are still some of my favorite dishes, and I always think of Dad when I cook them.

I learned just about everything I know about cooking from my dad. If I have a question about cooking, I call my dad first. But most of all, I learned that food can taste really really good!

Never be afraid to combine two seemingly unrelated ingredients and anything in the refrigerator is fair game for the inside of a burrito.

My dad taught me everything I know about cooking. He was a short order cook for years and brought that knowledge home with him. I now know how to cook cheap, easy, quick meals and they don't taste bad either. Of course he wasn't a vegetarian, but I've learned to make my favorite childhood meals into something healthy and meat-free. He even has made the effort to make me vegetarian meals when he didn't have to and I thank him for that.

Some of the most important lessons I've learned from my Dad are that cooking is an adventure and a process of creative expression. Everyone in my family loves to cook, but he above all others emphasized to never be scared of trying new things, experiencing cultures through cuisine, and making imagination the number one ingredient. He gets so excited about discovering new ingredients and is so thrilled to both teach and learn from others... it's hard for that to not be contagious.

My father was not a cook by any means, and I don't have many memories of him in the kitchen when we were growing up although since he retired he's been trying more. What I did learn from him is the value of brown butter-he would always overdo the melted butter and it would turn brown and now sometimes nothing comforts like eggs or popcorn made with brown butter!

Cooking is a way to share love. I learned that you read recipes, but then make them your own, a handful of this, a pinch of that, and then taste it. Artificial ingredients are NOT the same as the real thing, and slow cooking makes things more flavorful. Most of all, cook in large quantities, invite the family and send home the left overs!!

My dad didn't even know how to turn the oven on until a few months ago. He sure knows howto grill though. :)

If it dosent taste like anything to begin with dont bother, cook with good things to make better things. (he dosent like tofu)

My dad taught me one of the most important things in making a great meal – how to grow my own vegetables. When I was in high school, we had a 1-acre garden and I dreaded the daily chore of weeding, but now I know that the tastiest, freshest ingredients make the best meals...and the tastiest, freshest vegetables grow in my own backyard. I'm now teaching my kids the joy of growing your own food.

My dad hates all fruits and most vegetables. All he eats is plain rice, crackers, potatoes, and corn. His experience has taught me the importance of variety in my diet, and I will definitely be exposing my children to a wide range of healthy food.

Gazpacho! He had a vegetable garden in our backyard and when the tomatos, cucumbers and green peppers were ripe, they all got pureed into a the best soup any of us kids had ever tasted. Years later, when he was in assisted living, I would make his recipe and bring some over to him.

My dad always praised a meal that offered color variety. Sitting down at dinner time he would often say things like, "Look at this colorful plate! Red tomatoes, green asparagus, yellow squash. It looks delicious!" That appreciation for color variety has informed my cooking ever since. I didn't realize it when I was little, but I now understand that it's a great way to build a meal - a colorful plate is not only appealing, it's a healthy and well-balanced one, too.

'Mr. Mom' taught me that cooking can be a science and that practice makes perfect. If at first (second, third, fourth...) your creation doesn't succeed to your expectation, let perseverance take hold and TRY TRY AGAIN!

One of the most important lessons my dad taught me (other than to never hold back on butter and garlic!) is that food is about more than nourishment--it's an extension of hospitality and love. The first question to any visitor..."what would you like to eat?"

To keep cooking fun, and to make it a family experience rather than a mind racking challenge. Whenever I start going too perfectionist on my cooking I try to call to mind cooking with my dad and just having fun. Its a great way to bond with your child and create lasting memories :]

To be absolutely fearless! If it sounded good to the cook, then it had to be good, right? We were making frittatas, paninis, crepes and wraps (we called them burritos) long before they were chic. And, if a dish didn't quite live up to its potential then a little Tabasco or ketchup was always on hand to help things out.

Everything! My dad is an amazing cook and was eager to share that knowledge as I grew up. The greatest lesson I learned was that homemade always tastes better and usually doesn't take that much more time.

All vegetables taste good when you saute them in garlic.

My dad was a fantastic impromtu cook and never wrote down any of his recipes. He taught me to trust your instincts and always go with your gut!

When my mom was at work my dad took over the role of master chef. I loved when he would get to cook cause not only would the food taste better, he also showed me how fun cooking can be. When he would cook pasta, he would throw a piece of spaghetti against the wall, if it stuck, it was al dente. And when he did potatoes, if he had extra baked potatoes left over we would play hot potato. Needless to say, we never told mom.

Though he never quite said it out loud, my father taught me that "wrong" isn't a word that belongs in the kitchen. Many fond memories of cooking with my father revolve around two steaming pots of New Mexico-style green chile -- his, and mine. When my baby taste buds didn't want the same amount of spice as his big Daddy ones, I got my own pot and began crafting my own blend. Neither way was wrong, everyone is entitled to their own way in the kitchen, and everyone's tastes are a bit different. Such is the great blessing of cooking for yourself!

My dad always simmered a little red wine in his pasta sauce. I never saw my mom do that.

My father didn't so much teach me about cooking as about enjoying home cooked meals. He was a true admirer of my mother's culinary arts, and he was her most appreciative fan...and that was worth a lot

Grilling can be done 365 days a year. Don't be afraid to mix different flavors and make your own creations.

I can make anything from a recipe and that you can't rush flavor.

My dad taught me any leftover can be good when made into sandwich form (think last night's spaghetti). He also taught me that you can put anything fun into pancakes (think Halloween candy). Generally, he was right; although, he did have a few misses. I have taken his creative methods for avoiding food-waste into omelets and my family is generally very happy. Thanks Dad!

I remember my Dad making the best French Toast! For many years I would not eat it if he didn't make it. He also made the best fried potatoes. One of my favorite breakfasts was his scrambled eggs with vienna sausages and velveta cheese (I know, that sounds terrible now (45 years later -- ha ha) But later on he became a master soup maker. His minestrone was incredible (also his broths were wonderful!) And zucchini baised with onion and tomato sauce (yum!). I really miss my dad, and his cooking!

My father kept things simple: it doesn't have to to be just has to taste good =)

My dad never cooked much, but he did know one thing: how to make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world! The secret? Get rid of the spoon and use your hands!

Our family has a wonderful tradition that our dad always made and still does make. Being Jewish, matzo brie or 'fried matzo' is a very special treat. No one makes it like our dad. You wet the matzo in water and then soak in eggs or egg beaters like you would for french toast. Then you fry on a skillet until done. There is nothing as yummy as this and when Dad makes it - it is always great!

Growing up, my dad was the chef in our house and, besides the underlying lesson that it was ok to defy gender roles, the most important thing I learned from him was ingenuity in the kitchen. He followed me into veganism later in life and yet he refused to give up the traditional Irish and Hungarian meals he grew up on. He has since perfected stuffed cabbage and 'chicken' paprikash recipes that would wow even the most die hard carnivore!

Growing up, my dad was the chef at our family-style italian restaurant, so i learned a lot from him. He always stressed the importance of hygiene and food safety. Wash your hands frequently and keep plenty of clean utensils nearby to avoid cross-contamination.

On weekend mornings, we'd make "Silly Man" toast. He taught me butter, sugar, and cinnamon are a wondrous combination.

My dad was super busy working two jobs to provide for us seven hungry kids - needless to say, he didn't have much time to cook. What he did prepare however, is something I continue to enjoy several times a week - kettle popcorn popped with vegetable oil and salt. It is my favorite indulgence! Recently I have discovered kettle corn sprinkled with heavenly truffle salt. I don't think there is a better snack! Quite addictive!

My Dad always did different techniques of cooking. He always cooked from scratch and I loved that, no cutting corners. It was like his cooking was home, healing, magical. I learned from him how to to make the best tasting gluten dishes, to Asian, to Mexican, to soul food. Home felt like just that when my Dad was cooking and showing me his secrets. Some how though, I cook and it's just not as good as my Dads, when I was little I use to eat off his plate because if just tasted better I guess that's the power of the Patriarch. His signature was cooking a meal all day Friday for us to enjoy for the whole weekend.