5 Thoughts: Lessons Learned by an Autodidactic Home Cook

1. THE SMALLER THE KITCHEN, THE greater the discipline. And the organization.

2. Thrift rules. In other words, there are no such things as “leftovers” — only the beginnings of future meals. (Thank you, Tamar Adler, for this bit of back-pocket wisdom.)

3. Keep your most-used recipes hanging over your main prep-counter/stove. Keep also a folder for (annotated!) recipes already cooked, in addition to filing future-use recipes by preparation media (“skillet,” “sheet pan,” “slow cooker,” etc). Organization, remember?

4. If you’re not keen on actual structured meal plans, draw up at least a weekly rotation outline (i.e., “Stir-Fry Monday,” “Eggy Tuesday,” “Broiled Sandwich Wednesday” and the like). It obviates the Eternal Question: “What shall I cook tonight?

5. If it’s not joyful, it’s not going to be worthwhile — in gastronomy, yes, but even also in living. Cut yourself some slack! and cook on, sister-brothers!

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