I started cooking for myself at a relatively young age. By the time I could see over the stove, I was making scrambled eggs and simple stuff like that. I come from a long line of excellent cooks. My granddad on my dad's side taught me to experiment and just throw things together and see what works while my grandmother taught me delicious and healthy recipes. My grandparents on my mother's side throw caution to the health-conscious wind and have taught me old southern recipes that could make a doctor despair, but have me salivating at the mere thought.
My favorite things to cook
I'm a basically meat-bread-and-potatoes guy. I love cooking with the basic meats; beef, pork, and chicken. I've not had the opportunity to cook things like lamb, venison, game fowl, or anything like that, but I'd love to try it sometime.
I have a few set dishes that I enjoy preparing and I know are a guaranteed hit, but I'm not afraid in the least to experiment and see what happens.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Chicken salad and "slick macaroni" is a family delicacy. You boil a fatty hen and make the chicken salad like normal, but you take the broth, fat and all, and boil elbow macaroni in it. My mother named this "slick macaroni" when she was 4 because "it keeps slipping off your fork!"
Christmas is a big time for family traditions. Baked treats, roasted turkey, the whole nine yards. The cooks on both sides of my family help make Christmas my favorite time of year, hands down.
My cooking triumphs
When I found a new Better Homes cookbook, I convinced my father to buy it (I just had to show him the "breads" section, and it was an easy sell). Almost every recipe I've made from that book has been a hit. My soft pretzels are famous throughout my family and friends. A batch of 20 pretzels rarely lasts the day at my house, which becomes quite the social gathering point. My soft pretzels once made my brother tell me he loved me. That's the one and only time that phenominon has happened. haha
My cooking tragedies
Sour dough bread is my Waterloo. I've never gotten it right, despite many trials. My grandfather gave me a book on the subject, and I've still failed to make it work.
Then I've had a few cooking experiments not, umm, turn out as I thought they would. Apple Pie A la mode Milkshake.... sounds like a good idea, right? throw some apple pie and ice cream in a blender with some milk, viola!! No. Luckily, I've developed enough of an eye/taste for what works that these tragedies are few and far between, but they can be spectacular failures!!! hehe