started learning to cook in boy scouts so i don't even remember what age that was, but it wasn't just them that taught me something. I tried to learn from everyone. Best thing about it was getting a chance to taste as people taught. Great way to reinforce learning and what does or does not work. But I was reasonably capable to make steak, potatoes' (several types), corn, several additional dishes like prepared salad dish+ others. before age 13. Not just edible but actually taste good. Shrimp, cake or other such things cooked to completion with other food to accompany it. So today I don't bat an eye at leak soup, brown rice gumbo Laya, or something else by memory. I also don't count warming pizza, hotdog, or a pack of ramen noodle soup as actual cooking. Sure if you throw in some other stuff then your doing more than taking something and heating till it's done. Even scrambled eggs are more involved than toss a dog in the microwave/ boil it/ grill it/ or cut it in two and cook it in a skillet. But that's just me. I'd rather have a nice omelet style sandwich potentially with a crescent rolls. But I know people who really don't know how to make anything other than a microwave dog, or order fast food.Was searching up since one of characters had in mind didn't know how to cook even thu in late twenties; mostly they buy quick cheap instant meals. Not sure how realistic is that but (maybe will switch it up to they do know how cook just simple few dishes but they resort to boxed foods for quicker time since they're busy).
What age did you learned how to cook? Like make a few dishes (besides cooking rice) and can cook a meal so you won't starve?
Excluding instant meals that just need boiled water and microwavable meals.
Learning basics and repeating it (recipe x) just a few times was plenty of experience to become competent (repeatability made good) in making about any generic dish as a youth. It was only a matter of learning how to duplicate the previous experience to end up with the same result. Or in cases of over cook, how to cook less.. ect. I hope that explains my experience in it.
I think having a cooked meal with people you like is so much more gratifying though...