My favorite things to cook
A dear friend bought Maxine's beautiful book on tarts for me, while we were in line at Whole Foods buying morning coffee and blueberry biscuits.
I love how easy they are to make, how beautiful they come out, and how scrumptious they taste in your mouth.
I grew up in a third world country in a house that did not have an oven, among many other things; I never learned to bake back there, and still don't save for tarts.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Childhood memories are rich with holiday remembrances--not so much of gifts, presents, or toys. In my old country, the holidays were the two times in the year when imported festive food was bountiful on our family table--apples, grapes, pears, oranges, hot dogs, wafer-thin slices of sweet long cured chinese ham (the ones that hung for months in sack cloths), salami, cheddar and gouda cheese. Then, there are the Christmas Eve meal preparations--creamy potato and chicken salad with mixed fruit, slices of wonderful soft, white bread, cups of hot, steaming chocolate and, the ever present Spanish custard, flan.
Long ago, the sight and smells of these foods enveloped me as a child with a sense of content, wonder, and joy.
Now far removed in time and space, but clutched ever near to my heart, I re-enact and evoke that familiar sense and feeling with the same ardent holiday fervor when I prepare to cook for the holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Thanksgiving Turkey 2006; Thanksgiving Turkey 2007; chicken kiev, chicken enchiladas; Blueberry tart; French apple tart; Pear and almond cream tart;
Tangerine orange cheese cake on chocolate crumb cookie crust