Although my parents were both gourmands, it never really rubbed off on me until I got married. My then husband became chief guinea pig for any and every recipe I tried. Bless him, he was a trooper! After we split up, I retained my adventurous streak, and will eagerly attempt anything. My current rave is food from ancient Europe. I can tell you a few things about the reason behind the popularity of cinnamon in those days.
My favorite things to cook
For years now, I've been a fan of the recipes of 14th and 15th century Europe, especially England. Some folks think the English make bland or scary food. There are some things I won't eat (blood sausage), but in 'Olde' England, they were very imaginative in their cooking. How about some Chicken with Dragon's Blood Sauce? Dragon's Blood? Red sandalwood. Yummy! I have made several recipes for special events, and everyone loves them!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I didn't really get to know my mom until I was a teen. But those years we had together bear some wonderful memories of meatloaf, potato soup, even tuna casserole. My mom made the best homemade soft rolls. I miss her.
My dad's mom was an influence as well. She grew up in the Depression era, so she taught me the importance of using what you have. Recipe calls for bacon? Use that leftover ham in the fridge. Bread pudding and 'Poor Man's Cake' were regular desserts. I still love them! Still looking for the perfect "Poor Man's Cake" and chow chow recipes.