I am married to a wonderful guy and the mother of a very busy 19-year-old college student. I thoroughly enjoy cooking, but during the week my husband is out on the road, and my daughter is attending college 300 miles away, so all our best meals are on the weekends. My husband has a microwave and refrigerator in his semi, so I cook a whole weeks' worth of meals, vacuum-seal and freeze them, and send them along with him. That way he has homemade cooking to look forward to, and I have the satisfaction of knowing he's eating good food rather than greasy truck stop fare. My daughter often takes meals back to school too. I love gardening and do a fair amount of canning every summer, so my meal choices usually generate from there. I started cooking as a child, when as the oldest of five, suppers became my "job". Love the allrecipes site! :)
My favorite things to cook
In winter, I'm always making chilis(white and red), and plenty of crockpot meals. In spring and summer, we love grilling(charcoal only!!)any of the heavenly meats from our small-town meat locker, and experimenting with marinades and rubs. I'm always looking for new ways to serve all my tomatoes, which my husband and daughter both enjoy. I always love an excuse to have a Cornhusker football party so I can serve a host of sinfully yummy fingerfoods.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am blessed to come from a mother and two grandmothers who are all wonderful cooks. One grandma makes absolutely the world's most wonderful bread, and the other makes cream/custard pies to die for. I have so many childhood memories that involve being in one of their kitchens. Christmas is my favorite time, my daughter and I go to my mom's and help fix a host of cookies and goodies, all from family recipes handed down generations, all the way back to Germany. Another "favorite" time is late summer, when my daughter enters a host of baked goods in our county fair for 4H. Since we don't want to enter anything for judging that isn't fresh, all the baking gets done the night before and morning of the fair. I help with prep and packaging, while my daughter is a frantic whirlwind of mixing and baking. It always takes us a couple of days to get all the dishes and cleaning up done!
My cooking triumphs
I would say my "triumphs" would be my daughter's birthday parties, each year I ask her to choose a general theme or main menu, and then I prepare it for about 20 members of our family. One year, I came up with a huge vegetable bouquet, carved watermelon fruit baskets, a bevy of appetizers and dips, fresh salads with ingredients from my garden, and slow-cooked pork ribs(one of her favorite things). Our whole family left super satisfied and super impressed! I do enjoy cooking for a crowd since there's only three of us at home, and my husband thinks I should be a caterer. :)
My cooking tragedies
I am lucky to have had very few flops in the kitchen, I guess cakes and souffles not having the texture or consistency I would like would be my most frequent complaint. Luckily for me, my husband and daughter aren't really big dessert eaters so I don't have to go through it very often!