Resources for a beginner learning to cook
So, I really want to improve my talent in the kitchen. I think I should start with the basics though. I've always concentrated on following recipes, or trying to emulate what I see on television, but I feel like without a good foundation on the basic skills in the kitchen, I will never truly improve.
One example I can give is to the television show "Worst Cooks in America" on the Food Network. They basically bring those guys in, tell them how to cut correctly, which knives they should be using - then they move on and go over the proper way to sear meats, what heat to keep your pans at, how to season different things correctly, how much oil to use, the proper way to fry/saute - everything like that.
I kind of just do everything my "own" way, and when I'm following a recipe I get off line or something, I just pretend I know what I'm doing, and that if I follow the steps, it will come out exactly as theirs did, which has been pretty false for the most part.
How can I start to improve my basic cooking skills? Is there any books or anything I should pick up? Maybe any links online that go through how to get better and where to start?
I eventually want to be able to just see what food is on sale in the grocery store, and be able to picture how I can create a meal with it, how I would season it, what would go great together, etc - as opposed to only buying things that match up with whatever recipe sounds good to me that night :)