I recently retired (Feb 2007) after 25 years as a scientist working on quality and food safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. I now have more time to cook, although I have been cooking most of my life.
My favorite things to cook
I especially like spontaneously creating my own sauces and marinades, making something interesting out of leftovers, and cooking for small groups. I have really enjoyed baking breads lately.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up eating mostly a mixture of Italian (Mom) and German (Dad) cuisine. I didn't eat vegetables as a kid, but have grown to love them. Probably our two favorite family meals were rouladen & spaetzle and lasagne.
My cooking triumphs
People have tended to really enjoy my barbecued country-style pork ribs.
My cooking tragedies
A story my Mom likes to tell is when I surprised her with a lemon meringue pie during a visit to see me when I lived in North Carolina working on my Ph.D. It looked great -- but I had somehow forgot to bake the crust first. How silly and embarrassing!