I grew up on a ranch, and family meals are important.
My favorite things to cook
I really like to bake and I am currently working on mastering cheesecakes and pie. Otherwise I make a lot of muffins since breakfast is on the go at my house. I'm also big on cooking from scratch. I don't like using store bought mixes, as I think the taste and quality suffers. I do like to make my own mixes to have on hand and for quick presents. I also love to can and spend a large part of my fall canning fruit, making jam, sauces, stock for the following year and for christmas presents.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I live close to a lot of family members so getting together and having pot lucks is very common like several every month! A good place to try out new recipes. Since we raise beef cattle, we eat lots of it-roasts, BBQ ribs, steaks, hamburger recipies of all kinds. (In fact many of the men in my family feel picked on when chicken is served) Simple meals that can be put together fast are popular.
My cooking triumphs
I had to cook for about 20-30 people for our spring branding last year. Mom usually did most of the cooking, but she was out of town. Generally you can count on all the neighbors and family member to bring a dish of something, but I was in charge of the main dishes. Which is all great once you get it cooked, but then you have to get it out to the branding (generally out in the middle of a pasture somewhere) and try to get it there hot. I picked out recipes that I could prep the night before so all I had to do was put everything in the oven the next day. I made 3 large roasts, 2 large pans of cheesy potatoes, a large slow cooker full of cowboy beans, 2 pans of corn bread and several salads. I had to borrow a neighbors oven to get everything done on time. Branding are the best time to cook really. Everyone is so hungry when they are done that no matter what you cook, it tastes like the best thing they've ever eaten!
My cooking tragedies
My sister and I tired to make a cake once for my granny at Easter and it sunk, really bad. Never fear, we figured if we just filled it up with frosting, no one would know. Believe me, they noticed 2 inches of frosting!