Bittman Basics

Now’s the Time to Become a Better Home Cook

Let me help you sharpen your skills

Mark Bittman
Heated
Published in
3 min readMar 23, 2020

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Photo: Aya Brackett

How fast we’ve gone from many of us barely cooking to needing to know how to cook at home, fast.

And while this may provoke anxiety — I’m right there with you — let’s focus on the positive: Given a little money (I understand that’s not always a given), the more you cook, the better you will eat. The more you cook, the better you will get at it. Within limits, the more you cook, the more you’ll enjoy it.

Convenience food cannot compare to honest food, real ingredients prepared at home, no matter how simply or quickly you do it. My goal here is to make the case for the numerous and wonderful benefits of cooking: to make you a cook.

My goal here is to make the case for the numerous and wonderful benefits of cooking: to make you a cook.

Cooking, at its heart, is simple and straightforward. Like most goal-oriented processes, you work through a few basic tasks to get from point A to point B. In cooking, the tasks include things like chopping, measuring, heating, and stirring. You use recipes instead of maps or instruction manuals. As with driving — or almost anything else — your basic skills provide the foundation. As you improve and gain confidence, you’ll become more creative. In the meantime, even if you’ve never picked up a pot or pan in your life, you can — and should — enjoy some time in the kitchen every day. I’m here to help both novices and experienced cooks do just that.

Why is home cooking so important?

Cooking is satisfying. When you combine good ingredients with simple techniques, you create something more delicious than fast food and usually as good as “real” restaurant food. Not only that, you can also customize the flavors and textures so that you eat exactly what you like, when you like.

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Mark Bittman
Heated

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at markbittman.com.