I am not an expert cook. I have not studied culinary arts nor have I attended cooking demos and shows. But my husband and many others like my cooking. They even suggest that I put up a restaurant. What is my secret?
Well, probably genes have played a major part, because my maternal grandfather and mother and aunts and uncles can cook. And they can cook well. But growing up, my mother has not really brought me into the kitchen to drill me with cooking. She was just afraid that I would get hurt. Eventually, however, I found myself cooking special dishes. I would read a recipe and then modify it, especially if I don't have the complete set of ingredients.
So I guess that is it. My cooking is really nothing but a giant experiment. Whereas scientists test chemical formulas everyday, I test different ingredients. I just imagine what would taste good in this dish and what else I can combine with it. Then I come up with my own recipes. I am also very lenient with the use of herbs. Oh I love herbs and spices. But since it is hard for me to grow them, I just buy bottled spices and they work just as well.
My advice to would-be homemakers or homemakers who claim that they cannot cook and yet would want to, just don't be afraid. Maybe at first, you try to follow the recipe. Then little by little, add some, lose some and you will realize that it still tastes the same. I mean, it is already edible, just not as special as in the recipe. But sometimes, as you experiment, you will realize that what you made is even more delicious than the recipe.
Spend time in the kitchen. Watch cooking shows on TV. Read recipe books for tips. And experiment and experiment. Sooner or later you will really hit the mark.