I am a 61 year old, married woman (to my husband for 32 years) with 2 grown children. I have been a singer/guitarist through my hippie period until several years ago when I became disabled with crippling arthritis - no more guitar. I have also been a music teacher grades 1 - 12 and a pre-school teacher in a Day Care Center working with 3 & 4-year olds until 1998, when I could no longer work. I collect cookbooks & cookie cutters & enjoy reading & watching nature and animal programs on TV & DVD. I am also a fan of action/crime TV and detective/thriller novels.
My favorite things to cook
I like to bake. I love the challenge & the creativity it engenders. I collect cookbooks; I have over 300, and many of them are about baking.
I would say I enjoy making cookies most of all. I also collect cookie cutters; I have over 400. Now, I just buy odd or interesting ones. My husband is very gracious to put up with me. I sure am lucky he loves me!
I like to bake bread. I also enjoy grilling and using herbs and spices in my cooking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My Mom was a young Irish Catholic Mother in the 50's. One sister & I were born in the late 40's but the rest of my 6 siblings were born in the 50's/ very early 60's. She was amazing in being able to provide dinner for her husband and many children on a budget. She was a magician when she had 5 teenagers at once! She could make a casserole a thing of beauty. My Grandma taught me to cook, beginning when I was about 5. I learned by watching her. She made everything taste amazing! She specialized in pie baking, and I follow in her footsteps, still using her techniques from 100 years ago and more.
My cooking triumphs
I make a wonderful Jambalaya. My husband, who took over a lot of the cooking when I 1st was disabled, and I make it often. We tweaked a recipe we found and made the dish our own. Our ribs are also very good. We use a dry rub and slow roast them over beer, covered, for 6 hours at 250. The meat literally falls off the bones.
My apple pie has fans from Florida to Maine; from Oregon to New Jersey, and I make my Grandma's Peach Cake and her chocolate icing, which I use to ice a cake from a DH mix for everyone's birthday. (It's the only brand that stands up to the icing. The others are too wimpy.) A good homemade chocolate or yellow cake also works well with the icing, which is intense.
My cooking tragedies
Heh. My worst was when I was in high school. I was making authentic French Mousse au Chocolate for the 1st time.
I was supposed to use 1/2 lb. of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and I used 1 and 1/2 pounds. Heh. Instead of making a dense yet fluffy mousse au chocolate, I made Chocolate Cement. I also fail at my Mom's fudge. I have made burnt fudge, fudge sauce, fudge sludge & fudge high-bounce balls. I have never made Mom's fudge. I have managed to make a good Other Kind of Fudge, but not her delicious, dense version. :o)