My mother was the younger of two sisters, her older sister was the cook and Mom did the washing up... this was her explanation of how she came to be a bride without cooking skills. This was an amazing concept to me as my mother became a wonderful cook. She believed that it was worth taking the time to do things "the right way" which generally meant making it yourself the long way.
To illustrate how very far she had come she would relate the story of a frantic call to her sister, Virginia, regarding spaghetti. Mom didn't know how to cook it because she didn't have a stockpot wide enough to accommodate the long noodles. Aunt Virginia had to explain how they would soften and melt into the pot once she put them in the hot water. (because of this story I shake my head at Rachael Ray selling an oval deep pot "for spaghetti.")
By the time I arrived on the scene Mom was a great cook, baker & cake decorator, she made great dinners every night, cooked staggering holiday meals, and was intimidatingly accomplished at entertaining. Yet somehow, according to my mother, I am a self-taught cook.
Because I have so much to say on this subject this will be an ongoing post.
How did you learn to cook? Comment, or blog about it and drop a link to your post in the comments.
This post was prompted by Sarah Joy Albrecht, who is thinking about teaching kids to cook this month & is giving away a cool set of Bento supplies to one lucky person on her blog. http://www.sarahjoyalbrecht.com/2009/10/09/october-giveaway-japanese-obento-set/