I've been cyber-stalked. I don't talk about myself willy-nilly online anymore.
My favorite things to cook
Calabazas con pollo. Fettucine Alfredo. Lentil soup. Homemade spaghetti sauce. Smothered pork chops. Pulled pork.
The connection between them: Cheap and easy to make. Most of them are fast, too. If something takes a while to make, it's usually going in my crockpot. I will never stand in a kitchen more than 45 minutes to make anything.
Ever. If I can't put it together or get it going in that amount of time, it won't get made.
My favorite family cooking traditions
It's not the big holiday traditions I remember most, but the day-to-day meals and the Sunday dinners. My grandmother's pot roast, fried chicken, cornbread, green beans with new potatoes, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and pinto beans along with my Italian aunt's homemade pastas, incredible sauces, fresh baked breads--these are what I think of when I think family and home. Doesn't seem liked they'd mesh well, but it turns out black eyed peas and collard greens actually match up well with lasagna. Try it sometime. ;)
My cooking triumphs
I went on a baking frenzy one day, and spent about 12 hours making cookies, pie and cake. My mother came to the house, saw the bounty occupying nearly every counter and tried a few cookies. She asked what bakery I'd gotten them from, then was amazed when I told her I'd done them. She always acts like *I'm* the one who's clueless in a kitchen.
I ended up giving away most of what I made to her or to co-workers, and had everyone begging me or offering to pay me to make more.
This was all very strange, because I rarely bake.
My cooking tragedies
I lost my grandmother's chicken and dumplings recipe, and turned to a cookbook. I thought something was off about using corn meal in the dumplings, but tried it anyway. Disaster. The dumplings never did cook through, no matter how long they stayed on the stove. Worse, they were so thick and mealy that they were almost like bricks on the outside--only somehow soggy. I know--I'm still trying to figure out how soggy bricks get made, but I found the way. I don't know what went wrong, but it was horrible. We ended up tossing all the dumplings, and I whipped up some scratch biscuits instead, threw them in the chicken soup, and voila--chicken and dumplings. Learned my lesson.