Jaime's list is pretty comprehensive (as of 118) but I thought of one to add:
Learn to make pizza.
I come from Northern New Jersey. (Yes, near those housewives, but please don't judge.) I thrived for many years on pizza from Nellies and Kinchleys. While down the shore I ate pizza at Panzones and Slice of Heaven. The pizza part of life was exceptional, but I didn't fully appreciate it at the time.
There is a sad truth that I have learned the hard way: good pizza is not universal. You may find yourself in a pizza poor land. Best to be prepared.
LA is known for it's beautiful weather, beaches and people. Pizza not so much. So, 9 times out of 10 I make my own. Many times it's quicker than delivery.
Currently we are enjoying my Trader Joes version of this Paula Dean recipe that I found reading the very funny Big Mama.
Blackened Shrimp Pizza (Inspired by Paula Deen Made So Simple By Trader Joe)1 good shake of some Cajun seasoning
1 bunch of frozen shrimp thawed
4 tbs. butter, divided
4 Trader Joe's frozen garlic cubes
2 tbs. all purpose flour
1/4 cup white wine, cooking sherry, or a splash of white wine vinegar depending on what I have
3/4 cup milk
3 cubes Trader Joe's Frozen Basil Cubes
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup or less grated Parmesan cheese.
1 tomatoe seeded and diced if you like
Trader Joe's Herb pizza dough
First prepare crust as directed. It needs to breath a bit so plan ahead. I also pre-bake the crust for about 6-8 minutes to make it crispier.
1. Melt the butter, garlic and basil over a medium heat.
2. Add a sprinkle or two of Cajun spice to taste.
3. Cook the shrimp in the butter, garlic and basil and then set the shrimp aside.
4. Add the flour and stir.
5. Add the milk and wine stir until sauce thickens
6. Add parm to taste. I like more than Cliff and vary from a generous sprinkle to a 1/2 cup.
Now, layer sauce, spinach, cheese, bacon, tomatoe and shrimp and bake as directed for the crust. It's about 15 minutes at 450.