How do you cook?

You may want to get some recipe books or check out the links below. Make sure you have a sink, stove, oven and a microwave, as well as sufficient kitchen tools to get the job done.

Once you've decided what you want to cook - the simplest foods to cook are casseroles, which can be cooked using one pan on top of the stove - enter the keywords for your ingredients in a search engine; for example: lamb (or beef, or chicken, and so on), carrots, onions, recipe, casserole...

If there are ingredients you don't have or don't want to use, ask someone who knows about cooking to tell you whether you can leave them out or substitute with something else. For example, you can leave out wine, just use the equivalent of stock or water to make up the liquid level.

Or, put in all the ingredients you want to use and enter that list in a search engine. Remember to include the word recipe, and the type of dish you want to cook, casserole, stew, and so on..

Casseroles are a good start, because they teach you about the chemistry of cooking as you go along. For example, browning meat, putting ingredients in according to type: onions first, to cook slowly for flavor; dry herbs, spices and garlic next; hard vegetables before softer vegetables; things such as peas right at the end; wine before stock; letting the wine evaporate; thickening the sauce, and so on.

Casseroles are also good because they don't need fast and instant attention, and you can prepare all the ingredients first and have them lined up in order of use, all ready to go. Once the pot is simmering you just give it a stir from time to time. Use a wooden or plastic stirrer, and don't leave it in the pot.

Have everything written down, and make sure you have everything you need before starting to cook. Go through the process in your mind to be sure you've chosen the right pan, and so on. Keep a pen handy, to make notes if you need to for next time.

Wherever possible, use good quality ingredients. Olive oil (doesn't have to be extra virgin unless it's for salad dressing and so on), pure butter, the right meat, fresh vegetables...they don't cost more, or not much more, and they make all the difference.