I often run into people who love food and the whole idea of cooking, but are afraid to take on the challenge of stepping in the kitchen and preparing a meal themselves. Whether it's because they can't find the time, don't have the right cookware, or just simply intimidated altogether; there's always a reason as to why cooking is beyond them. But I'm here to tell you that any and every one is capable of putting together a delicious meal. The only rule you need to follow is this—Don't Be Scared! We've come a long way from roasting wild animals over an open fire, and we've developed countless ways of preparing and seasoning food. But even with all of today's advancements, nothing beats a little patience and some trial & error.
When you get the hang of that dish, try another recipe, and keep going from there. After you get a few notches on your belt you'll start to see that cooking doesn't require fancy technique or expensive cookware. If you have a little patience and are willing to follow the recipes, you'll do just fine. And don't get discouraged if you mess up a dish here and there. Trust me, it happens to the best of us. Getting a little too crazy with the salt, or using a tad too much baking soda are important lessons to learn. Yes, you'll ruin a dish, but I can guarantee it will be hard for you to make that mistake again. Just as long as you get up, dust yourself off, and keep it moving; that's really all that matters.
I always recommend starting with something simple. There's no point in stressing yourself making a Soufflé or Bouillabaisse your first time out. Rather, a delicious casserole or a simple pasta recipe is a good place to start because they often allow some room for error, and the end result is something you can be proud of. If you have a little patience and are willing to follow the recipes, you'll do just fine.
Over time you'll notice that you can whip up a meal without having to look at a recipe, or in some cases, without even having to use a measuring cup. It's no different from a pianist who can perform his favorite rendition of Mozart the moment their fingers touch the keys of a piano. It will take a little time before you get to that point, but practice makes perfect.
The sooner you start, the sooner you'll get there, and the next time you catch me on the road you can tell me "G. Garvin I'm not scared anymore". So take the first step: Get in the kitchen and get going!