I began cooking out of necessity. I am German and was travelling the western states for 6 month as a tourist when my pickup broke down on a guest ranch in Wyoming. The ranchers offered me to stay for free if I would cook for their guests. Well, I appreciated the offer but – “Gee”, I said, “I can’t cook.”
The ranchers didn’t care and I ended up standing in the kitchen with a raw chicken in my hand while trying to call my mother in Germany and ask her what to do with it.
In the following month I used a lot of imagination and benefited from the hours I spend as a kid in my mothers kitchen while she, a highly gifted cook, was preparing meals.
Turned out I had a bit of her talent and got some edible meals on the table.
This is 7 years ago, I’m still in Wyoming, a country I love, and this year the ranch hired me again for cooking. Lucky guests – with my meanwhile acquired experience and all the recipe ideas on allrecipes.com they are out for some good food on the ranch!
My favorite things to cook
Favorite recipes are food I like to eat - turns out to be a lot with onions ... or sugar ;-)
My favorite family cooking traditions
Things my mother cooked in Germany:
Onion cake in fall when the grapes for the wine were harvested.
Meat fondue (? - don't even know how it is called in English) for Christmas Eve.
My cooking triumphs
Feeding guests and staff on a guest ranch and they actually liking my food - of course not telling them that my biggest cooking challenge before taking this job as a cook was boiling hard eggs.
My cooking tragedies
So far only the sometimes funny, sometimes disappointing feedbacks from guests from different nations. I cook a lot for Italian guests while our staff are Americans with a hearty country appetite. Serve Mashed Potatoes – the Italians won’t touch it, the Americans eat the last bite. Serve Spaghetti just with garlic and olive oil – the Italians while rave over it, the Americans will look confused for the meat.
The other day I made Onion Rings. My kitchen help, an Italian girl that barely speaks English, looked at them with big eyes: “I like them!”
I looked at her, sceptical: “I don’t think you know what this is – you don’t have this in Italy.”
She nodded: “No, I know! Calamari!”
I love onion rings and, to be honest, was making them mostly for myself since I did know that my Italian guests don’t eat what they don’t know and therefore wouldn’t touch the onion rings.
Hey, the onion rings were a hit – everybody took plenty. Because they thought they were Calamari. :)