Doing it "Right"
Here’s a secret: there’s no right way to cook a carrot. My mom likes her carrots cooked long and slow, so they are meltingly sweet and soft. I always hated that, and picked up a reputation as a child for disliking vegetables. Here’s the thing, though…I love vegetables. I just like them crunchy.
I’m not more right or wrong than my mother when it comes to carrots—the point is, preference is everything. One of they joys of learning to cook is learning what you like, and how to prepare food so that you like the outcome. The first thing the entry level cook needs to do is throw away any idea that the dudes in the white hats know “the way” to prepare good food, and embrace the idea that rustic home cooking can be delicious, impressive, and even the goal—the refined dishes of the white-tablecloth realm are just one option among many.
Bake something when it would be braised. Slice instead of dice. Cook hot and fast instead of slow and low. Do you like the way your food tastes? Then you did it “right.” No-one else’s standards matter.