Cooking has been my passion from the time I was four years old and got my first EasyBake oven. I've always approached food and cooking as ways to both nourish and nurture those I love as well as an outlet to express my own creativity. Food sustains more than the physical body but also the mind and spirit. Food is life. Let it be joyful!
My favorite things to cook
I love to try new things, especially ethnic dishes. At the top of my favorites-to-prepare list are appetizers, sauces, seafood, and breads/pastries....actually, everything! I also love pickling.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We always have a quiet, candlelight Christmas Eve dinner where everyone claims one part of the meal to prepare. A lot of thought and care goes into our choices. Each dish is always over-the-top special, and what makes it so fun is that even the family members who don't cook often participate.
Throughout the year, we have other traditions like a friends and family tamale-making night just for fun. And my husband cooks up a huge pot of his famous Texas Chili every Halloween. New Year's Eve is celebrated with a family dinner and a mochi-making table (we're Japanese!) The New Year Day continues the celebration with another dinner in another home. And whenever there is a special birthday, we host a huge luau with a whole pig since we're from Hawaii and still hold onto our island roots. Once in a while, some lucky few will be invited to share some fresh crabs that we crack and eat outdoors on a long table. Every summer, there is sure to be at least one picnic with grilled teriyaki chicken.
My cooking triumphs
Over the years, I've perfected some skills and I'm most proud of the fact that I can whip up a meal with few ingredients and also host special dinners--both formal and informal--for a large crowd. My daughter and I work well together. Our favorite cooking triumphs come when we can make professional-looking food that others pay big $$ to eat at restaurants.
My cooking tragedies
Ugh! There have been many! The funniest happened when I was just eight years old. I made some candied apples using a plastic spoon (I was eight with no supervision!) and to my chagrin, it melted in the candy mixture. My mom used my first attempt at scratch biscuits to yank out my little sister's loose tooth! I also threw out a perfectly good batch of apple butter because I'd never made it before and it looked "burnt" when in fact the spices made it look dark. As for my tragedies as an adult, I put some heavy cream to whip in my mixer and I rushed to prepare other items for Thanksgiving dinner. I forgot about it and ended up with whipped butter!