Mastering cookery involves far more than just following a recipe and ensuring the oven is set at the correct temperature.
Even culinary maestros experience their fair share of dinner disasters over the years, ranging from collapsed souffles and leathery joints of beef to soggy vegetables and under-done eggs.
Confirming that it takes decades to learn all the tricks of the kitchen, women at 55 have the confidence and experience to throw together baking ingredients without weighing them, make a tasty supper out of random leftovers, put on a dinner party for 12 – and rescue a meal that is going wrong, the Telegraph reported.
The research suggests that Nigella Lawson, the 52-year-old television chef dubbed a “domestic goddess” after the title of one of her cookbooks, may still be a few years off her culinary peak.
Women who have reached their mid-50s have a repertoire of more than 15 meals they can quickly rustle up, have mastered the timings for a roast dinner, know how to produce a thick gravy, and can make bread, ice cream and pasta from scratch.
The survey of 1,000 women for the Co-operative Food found that 85 percent of respondents aged 55 and over could confidently cook a perfect fried or boiled egg, and 80 percent could make a delicious meal from random ingredients.
Half of them said that they never used sauces from jars or packets and always made their own, and three-quarters said they regularly baked cakes and biscuits.
Two-thirds of women in this age group can confidently cook bread from scratch, and 55 percent know which herbs should go with which meat to bring out their flavours.
Women over 55 are more likely to ignore their kitchen scales and throw baking ingredients into the mixing bowl using guesswork, according to the research.