Tell VT

Tell VT: What cooking practice really spooks you out?

Are you a little wary of rolling your own sushi or toasting pine nuts? Are you a tad afraid to torch a crème brûlée? Does pickling or preserving make you nervous? No worries: you are not alone. Here at Vegetarian Times, we are constantly facing—and conquering—our cooking fears! Right now, VT editors are incubating ideas for the magazine’s Technique department; thus, we want to know: What cooking practice really spooks you out?

Share your answer below, and see what others have to say too. Our favorite responses will be published in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

October 2010 p.10

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I have never canned food before because I am terrified of doing it unsafely. I finally took the first step to overcoming my fear. With much guidance from my mom, I purchased canning supplies and made three batches of my great-great grandma's prize-winning chili sauce. It was hot-packed, not canned, but a step in the right direction!

Kyra - 2010-08-28 14:48:06

When I was little and still eating meat, my mom would prepare spare ribs by parboiling them in water and then use the water to boil the egg noodles that went with the spare ribs. Parboiling meat seemed like such a cannabalistic cooking practice and probably encouraged me to go down the path of being a vegetarian.

Laura in Duluth - 2010-08-19 15:02:42

mushrooms in general just freak me out.

Laurie Lyckholm - 2010-08-15 17:47:09

Working with Filo dough.

E. Gallaher - 2010-08-13 07:36:43

Fried okra. It just can't get it to come out like my mother did. Also, with all the fresh yellow squash available in West Texas in the summer, is there any way to cook it so that anybody would want to eat it? Totally vegan, of course; thanks, Eve

Eve Ainsworth - 2010-08-11 17:49:16

Making tofu & tempeh from scratch freaks me out. My veggie friend, Reina, and I are working up the courage to try it for ourselves! Wish us luck!

Millie - 2010-08-11 11:32:45

Homemade soy yogurt. I have tried a few times,with the kind I can get in my country (I don't live in America any more),and nothing has worked. I can't seem to be able to get the proper bacteria anywhere here,and we only have one type of soy yogurt. It's pretty much the only vegan food I have tried and can't seem to get to work.

Meagan - 2010-08-10 02:29:16

Sour dough for sour dough bread. It just doesn't seem that it should work in the way that I understand the directions for it. Not much intimidates me when it comes to cooking,but I have hesitated when it comes to sour dough bread.

Celeste - 2010-08-10 02:26:37

Making sour dough for sour dough bread. I'm just so afraid of doing it wrong and making everyone sick. I'm also so afraid that maybe I've read the directions wrong. Still haven't tried it,yet. Maybe one day,I'll just go for it.

Anonymous - 2010-08-10 02:25:08

Flipping an omelete on the frying pan scares me. I would cut veggies for it, beat the egg but I am afraid if I try to flip the omelete, it will crumble.

Aditi Chopra - 2010-08-09 19:46:21

Cooking beans without having soaked them overnight. I just can't trust that they will be fully cooked otherwise, and I don't want to be the one who gives everyone at the dinner table a stocmachache for the night.

Penny - 2010-08-06 06:57:25

It would freak me out trying to set my pan on fire with alcohol! I would never try because I thought you had to leave it up to a professional :) I also don't know what the benefits of doing it would be aside from just being flashy.

Kelsy Marr - 2010-08-05 16:42:52

Argh, it has to be phyllo dough! No matter how many times I try to use it, I end up tearing it and making a mess and getting extremely frustrated! HELP!!

Bethany - 2010-08-05 15:03:32

Cooking eggs in a pan any way but scrambled. I love "over easy" eggs but just can't seem to make them at home.

Sarah Weisiger - 2010-08-03 09:01:21

As a culinary student, I am pretty open to trying new things and experimenting, but after finishing my first baking course, I need to share with the public the thing which frightens me the most. Trans fats. We need to start educating people on the dangers of these fats and also educate them on how they are being snuck into everyday foods. With everything we know about this subject, why is it so widely used? Shortening is still used in almost every baking application today. As a future culinary professional, I feel an obligation to eliminate these harmful ingredients from all cooking and hope other companies eventually follow suit.

Erin C - 2010-08-02 19:19:31