I'm a 40 y/o divorced mother of two. I am on disability, so I have plenty of time to cook. Money for groceries is pretty slim, so I have learned to get pretty creative - no room for kitchen nightmares. I enjoy crafting a great deal. I needlepoint, sew, and crochet. I do a lot of crocheting for premature babies. It doesn't take up too much yarn and is certainly welcomed. I've been doing my crafts since fifth grade (Catholic school made sure you would be a good homemaker)- so that was probably in 1979.
My favorite things to cook
Baking is my absolute favorite. I keep most of my cookie recipes from Betty Crocker's original "The Cookie Book." It is my bible. I also enjoy making bread. French baguettes are my absolute favorite, but I also love making flavored loaves and foccacias. I certainly enjoy feeding people. I've had a few working friends inquire about me doing weekly cooking/freezing for them, but I'm not sure how to price it...guess I'll have to come up with that pretty soon.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I'm not sure if it is a favorite, but everything has peas in it. I was raised by a divorced mom and there were six siblings and no money. Peas were the universal meal stretcher. Lots of pasta. My mom, sister, and I make pierogi almost every New Year's Eve. Sister does the dough, Mom rolls and cuts them, I fill and seal them. It's fair game who watches the floaters in the pot. We usually try to include one additional friend or family member to keep o n that duty. My mom also pressure cooker's everything. We usually had pretty cheap cuts of meat (when we had it) and she would cook it until it fell apart. Some meals barely required chewing! Everything is heavy on garlic and onions and the usual seasonings are salt, pepper, and some oregano. I've had to learn to do creative spicing on my own. To this day we just dish up out of the pot (or sometimes pans if there is a vegetable or potato), fill our plates, and watch Jeopardy.
My cooking triumphs
A recent one was when the Phantom Regiment came to town in Ferndale, MI. My brother is on staff with the drum corp, and they travel all over North America for a few months during the summer. I think there were about 150 of them this year. The day before they came I decided to bake them some cookies. In about eight hours I had mixed up five different doughs and baked some 450 cookies. The kids really enjoyed them.
My cooking tragedies
Today I made my favorite baguettes. They had just come of the oven and I headed out the door - chunk of hot bread in my hand. Started driving and helped myself to a chewy hunk of crust. Damned if I didn't forget to put the salt in!!!!! Well, maybe I can turn it in to croutons or french toast.