it’s the first thing you discover when you realize that you can either

a) eat ramen and frozen food for the rest of your life,
b) go out to eat every single night and be poor, or
c) start cooking.

you go into that kitchen, and you look around, and you realize that you have no idea what you need, and even less idea of what you have.

so, if you’re like me, you start by picking recipes at random and substituting one kitchen implement for another, one ingredient for another, and learn at random. if there’s one thing i’ve learned, it’s that with a lot of patience and a big sense of humor, you can make just about anything with just about nothing. thankfully, if you’re like me you learn the following:

a) have a good secondhand store nearby (savers! wooh!) and add to the arsenal of implements slowly and cheaply
b) you start to learn which ingredients you really shouldn’t substitute anything else for and, if you budget right, have them on hand when you need them
c) which recipes you really can do and where to find doable ones