Everyone has to learn somewhere...
Why do you think the series has been successful?
CLARA EXPOSED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGX8m8lAzOs
At 1:30 in this video, she claims that here family grew everything and "ate pretty good" during the depression. But in her other video "Pasta with Peas", she recalls the monotony of having to eat pasta and a vegetable almost every night.
I'm a relatively competent cook and never thought to fry meat in lemon juice, I don't even know what the fuck lentils are, and can't cook rice properly to save my life.
Then again, I was just thinking about how ridiculous it is that adults can't make boxed macaroni or do laundry the other day.
Tonight I made angel hair pasta with a sauce made of onions, red peppers, and tomatoes sauteed in white wine, butter, a little lemon juice, and some assorted spices. As an after thought, I put some cut up pepperoni and some shredded roast beef into the sauce.
Llamas has been defeated, and so changes the subject.
I had a discussion with a friend last weekend when we were making homemade burritos about what constitutes "difficult" things to cook. I came to the conclusion that I can cook easy to high-medium things (I basically just expect everyone to be able to cook easy things - I don't think those are high expectations), but difficult things I'm no good at (lack of practice), such as steak. I also can't bake sweet things, because I don't eat sweet food and thus only ever bake that stuff for parties/gatherings. I've messed up a couple cakes and totally bombed with some pastries. But when it comes to the basics, I still don't get it. Maybe it's a lack of home economics education in the US? Not that I learned how to cook from someone else, but I feel like it would help a lot.
I have a friend who can literally only make sweet pastries, she's almost incapable of making anything else, but cupcakes are her jam, not so much my thing. I've never actually prepared any beans, I've never even looked at lentils before. I can make rice, it just never comes out the way I'd like, and I find steak pretty easy. It's basically just salt, pepper, and heat. I make killer chili and pulled pork, but the few times I've made chicken, it wasn't too great.
I haven't actually watched the video, and don't really care too, but I'm not at all surprised people would learn something new from them. Cooking chicken liver is crazy easy, but I expect a lot of people with moderate cooking knowledge would be reasonably lost. I never thought to use oil to stop water from boiling over until it was mentioned on That 70's Show. I told my boss, a professional chef, about how I sometimes add sour cream to macaroni and cheese and it's awesome.
I agree that at least some sort of basic cooking skills are important, and that some people are so helpless that it's baffling, but what you find essentials, obvious, or simple may have never even occured to someone else for countless reasons.
I forget to grease brownie pans to this day and my first attempt at a beer based crockpot stew failed so miserably, I haven't tried it again. I make some crazy awesome quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwhiches, and can make miracles with a ramen packet though. I don't even know what I'm going on about anymore, I just love food and it's way passed my bedtime.