Contributed by Lindsay Shugerman, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Congratulations! You’re a newlywed!
You’ve made it through the wedding (and the wedding planning!) and now you’re ready to begin the rest of your lives together.
Just one question: did anyone mention cooking skills? You know, the ability to turn the stuff from the grocery store into edible meals? No? Well, now it’s time to learn! Here are the top ten basic cooking skills every newlywed needs.
10. Keep your sense of humor
When you mess up a meal (or when your partner does) — and trust me, it will happen — make sure you maintain your sense of humor.
That doesn’t mean laughing at your husband or wife’s attempts to cook what used to be a steak or once resembled potatoes. It does mean laughing at your own mess ups, and joining your spouse in finding the funny side of theirs.
9. Be willing to learn
Most people don’t go into marriage, or even adulthood, knowing how to cook very well. But unless you have the budget to eat out every day, now is the time to learn. Being willing to learn those critical basic cooking skills now will make your meals better for years to come.
8. Learn how to use fresh ingredients
It’s amazing how different food tastes when it’s made with fresh ingredients. A critical basic cooking skill is to learn how to select and use fresh produce, meats and seafood. Not only will your meals taste better, they’ll be healthier, too. And that’s a great way have more years together to share your lives.
7. Get the timing down
One of the cooking skills you’ll need to master is the art of timing all of your food so it’s ready to serve at the same time. Nothing’s worse than having the vegetables done, the rolls burnt and the roast only half cooked. Or when everything needs a burner at the same time, and you have more pots than burners.
Before you start cooking a meal, look at the cooking times so you can plan when to start each dish for a perfectly timed finish.
6. Learn to expand on simple recipes
One of the basic cooking skills that will keep your meals interesting is starting with a simple dish, like spaghetti and sauce, and adding your own personal touches. A few extra vegetables in the sauce, a blend of cheeses or the addition of sweet Italian sausages to the pot of meatballs can add a new dimension to an ordinary meal.
5. Get ready to cook for a group
There’s a saying that you don’t just marry your spouse, you also marry your spouse’s family. And I would add their friends, ex-roommates and coworkers, too. And no where is that more true than at the dinner table.
When you get married, you may find that it isn’t so much going from cooking for one to two, as it is one to a whole table full. Start by learning a few easy to prepare meals that work well for a family dinner or football game buffet, and then add to them as your cooking skills improve.
4. Learn how to follow recipes
Once you master basic cooking skills, and move on to creating your own masterpieces, you can leave the recipes behind. But when you’re just starting, learning how to read and follow recipes is critical.
Not only will the food come out better, you’ll be building your cooking skills by following directions created by experts.
3. Master the art of the food budget
Sure truffles, lobster, and wild mushrooms are all delicious. But if you have a typical newlywed budget, those pricey food can bankrupt your family finances quickly. Planning meals, and then setting and sticking to a food budget can make it easier to stay on track, and keep your new home happier.
2. Keep it simple, sometimes
Not every meal should use every pot and pan in your kitchen. Part of the art of cooking is knowing when to make a fancy meal and when to opt for the one pan stir fry or the simple casserole and salad kind of meal.
1. Get to know your spouse’s tastes
The number one basic cooking skill every newlywed needs to learn is what their spouse likes — and doesn’t not like. If she prefers burgers, make sure the meals you cook include some of those. If he likes big salads, work those into the menu. While your tastes in food might move closer over time, being aware of your partner’s taste now will make meal time better for both of you.