I often call myself a feeder. And it's hereditary. You're happy, let's eat! You're sad, let's eat! You're angry, what do you want to eat?! My mom and gramma are the same way. For example, when someone dies, you bring food. When a baby is born, you bring food. Someone is in the hospital, bring them a casserole when they get home. I am probably at my happiest in the kitchen when I'm cooking and baking for the people I love. I'm also a graduate student nearing completion of my Ph.D. but if that doesn't work out, my back up plan is to work in food service. Future, future dream to open a cute cafe/bakery or B&B.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make straight up comfort food. Soups, Stews, Chilis, Casseroles, Macaroni and Cheese, and so on. I really like to make Pasta and I've gotten pretty good at whipping up a nice cream sauce or a mean bolognese. I love anything Buffalo Chicken, but BC quesadillas is one of my favorite quick dinners. I am also known as the cookie girl in my department because I'm constantly bringing in baked goods. I love to make them but I don't really have a sweet tooth, so I hate to eat them. And my true love is pies. Fruit pies. Strawberry Rhubarb, especially. I recently made my first chocolate custard pie (actually called a mudslide pie with Kahlua) and I literally squealed with delight as I whisked the mixture and it thickened to a perfect consistency.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom's heritage is Hungarian and she is amazing in the chicken. She makes Chicken Paprikase with Nukedli (like spaetzle noodles), Hungarian Goulash, Ruketkrumpli, Cremesh, Stuffed Cabbage, and a host of other delicious Hungarian foods, usually containing paprika and sour cream, in some form. My dad's side of the family is French Canadian, so mostly meat and potatoes type food, but he makes a mean soup. He was one of 14 children and he has taught me so much about frugality and resourcefulness in the kitchen. My gramma on his side is a legend. She makes fresh bread like its second nature. She is one of my kitchen idols.
My cooking triumphs
I have made a fare amount of good recipes, but I think my greatest triumph in the kitchen is gaining the ability to cook something delicious out of any ingredients that I have on hand. I mean, it is one thing to make a tasty meal when you plan it out and go buy all the items, but I take more pride in opening up the fridge/freezer/cabinets, and whipping up something out of nothing. I remember being little and whining that I was hungry and there's nothing to eat, and miraculously, my mom would make the most delicious dinner within the next hour. It seriously boggled my mind! I feel a sense of pride now that I can do the same thing. It took a long time and a lot of mistake to gain this confidence in the kitchen. I think that makes me a real cook.
My cooking tragedies
Oh dear lord. I once made these chocolate refrigerator layer cookies that looked and tasted like poop lol! I took me a long time to perfect fresh bread and there were a lot of ugly, dense, ten-pound loaves along the way. Not to mention just a ton of too salty, too greasy, too dry, too sweet, and just plain nasty items. Oh well, live and learn!