I've been interested in cooking since I was old enough to pull a chair up beside my mother when I heard the electric beaters cut on. She said I always had my nose in the bowl. Mom used to bake specialty cakes as a way to supplement income while she and my father and three girls lived on teachers' salaries. I was hooked. My creations aren't fancy, but I think I'm a pretty good home cook. My mom discovered my talent for creating meals by scouring the pantry, fridge and freezer when I was a teenager, and that's still my basic style. When you grow up in the country and the closest grocery store is 15 miles away, you learn to make adjustments to recipes.
My favorite things to cook
I sometimes wish I lived in a cooler climate because I love to make soups, stews and chilli. My favorite thing to do is to bake for my co-workers. I get my fix in the kitchen and give the calories away.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Pre-holiday cooking is always fun. Mom and I sit in her kitchen and chop and dice and bake for days before Thanksgiving and Christmas and when we set the buffet and watch everyone fill their plates there's no better feeling.
My cooking triumphs
Mom and I accidentally decided to cater my sister's wedding reception. We had fully anticipated hiring a caterer, but we both wanted to make something special ourselves. We started making a list of things we'd like the catered to do when we realized we already had wonderful recipes for all of the items we wanted served. It was a lot of hard work and detailed preparation, but we had enough food to feed an army and I've never seen people swarm food like they did at that wedding.
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at a layered cake was a coconut cake that consisted of three layers and ended up being about and inch and a half tall. I still don't know what went wrong there:)