Cooking Basics

Basic Rules of Cooking

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The first rule is that there are no real rules, there are only guidelines. One of the basic precepts that guide me not only in my cooking but also in my life is that rules are for the guidance of wise men and the blind obedience of fools. I cannot claim to be the originator of this tenet but I firmly believe in its validity. In the same way, I do not claim to be the originator of the recipe outlines on this site. They come from a variety of sources which I will try to give credit as and where it is due at least is so far as I am able.
The second rule is that you should feel free to adapt and change these recipes to meet your own needs. If you do not have the exact ingredients at hand, use something comparable. At first, it will be more difficult for you to know what is comparable and more importantly, compatible. The beauty of this style of cooking is that the more you experiment, the more proficient you will become. With time, people will be amazed that you seem able to ?whip something up? without asking for special ingredients and without referring to a cookbook.
The third and most important rule is that you should not expect perfection the first time out. Even if you get it, you may not be able to repeat it the second time because you don?t know exactly how you did it!! Many people become frustrated with me when they ask for my recipe for a given dish and I tell them that I do not have one.

Now that the ?rules? are out of the way, let?s get to the disclaimers:

All the ?un-recipes? in these pages come from my head unless specifically noted otherwise. This means that you should try them out yourself before serving them at that all important first meal with your mother-in-law-to-be.

The ingredients section will not be what you are used to. I think in terms of proportions rather than finite measures. What good does it do to tell you 1.5 pounds of meat if you are attempting to feed 20 people or your scales are only in kilos? Where helpful, I will try to give indications how much to prepare per person though even this is dicey since all appetites are not created equal. Sometimes I will be forced to use measurements to give you a necessary yardstick, but I try to make them proportional and easily scalable. I use cups and ounces since that is the most prevalent system but have included approximate equivalents at the end of the book.

When attempting something for the first time, read the general section at the beginning of each category for extra hints and tips that may not be repeated in each recipe.

As we have stted earlier, it is not the intention of this site to provide you with endless recipes but rather to become a resource that you can refer to any time that you are trying something new. If you want more you should consider purchasing our Un-Cookbook which includes recipes as outlined in each section. Our entire database of Hints and Tips (over 600) is also available on CD-Rom. Check out our Products page for more information

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This page last modified on:January 20, 2000