13. Watch Good Eats
You know what’s a good TV Show? Good Eats. For the rest of the summer, consider watching a lot of it.
When I moved to college, I did not know how to cook. I was also not interested in cooking. I would watch cooking shows the same way I would watch professional sports. “Wow. It’s really cool how that person can do that. I’m impressed.” Then I would turn it off without thinking of applying any of what I just saw to my life. I can’t make a field goal, and I can’t make a lemon meringue pie.
Then I saw Good Eats. For the first time, a show made stuff make sense. It also made it seem accessible. Good Eats does more than just explain what to do, it explains why you do it. It goes into the actual science of cooking with visual tools and guides that turns the entire process from something somewhat mystical to series of sensible, defined steps.
It also guides you through what pieces of kitchenware are truly necessary and which are useless. In addition to cooking, the show also goes through the history of a dish going back centuries sometimes. There are also skits and comedy things that, while not hilarious, are great at breaking up what would otherwise be somewhat dense programming.
Now it’s worth noting that some of the recipes aren’t the most delicious. If you’re just trying to get food out of the whole process, there are better shows to watch. This show is much better thought of as a series of 101 courses on very specific things. You won’t be able to make the best, but when you do eventually start applying other recipes you’ll be better suited to understand exactly why they are good. Because you will understand cooking itself better.