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The first 'real cooking' I remember doing was oeufs mollets aux fines herbes when I was about 8. My mother taught me, and I was allowed to make it for my supper about once a month. I graduated to Welsh Rarebit made with cider a year or two later - I was so proud when I made that for supper for my parents and a friend! Nowadays I am a much lazier cook than I used to be - its many years since I made pastry, but I do usually cook from scratch once a week. I am currently teaching my (non-cooking) German lodgers some simple 'English student' food (can't really call them recipes!) - cheesy beans on toast and corned beef hash went down well. I've promised to cook them a proper English Christmas dinner before they go home. I love cookery books, but rarely follow a recipe exactly.