The Tin Can Castle Profile - (10914746)

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The Tin Can Castle

The Tin Can Castle
Home Town:
Living In: Wytheville, Virginia, USA
Member Since: Jan. 2008
Cooking Level: Intermediate
Cooking Interests: Asian, Indian, Southern, Vegetarian
Hobbies: Reading Books, Music
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About this Cook
I'm a writer working as a waitress in my hometown as I work on my first novel. I live in a single-wide trailer up on a hill, and I've dubbed it The Tin Can Castle, which explains my username.
My favorite things to cook
I've been a vegetarian for four and a half years now; actually, it was cutting meat out of my diet that made me start cooking. It's amazing how closing one door can open so many others for you--I know more about food now than ever before. Some of my fav things: mushrooms (yum!), brothy soups, sticky toffee pudding, quiches, eggplant dishes, thai food, I could go on and on...
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up in Southwestern Virginia, smack dab in the middle of the Appalachians; I can remember my mom and grandma cooking big pots of brown beans--we ate them with gobs of ketchup and cornbread (not the sweet kind of cornbread--blasphemy!). My dad went fishing a lot and when we didn't have fresh fish we had a freezer full of it; my dad would clean the fish in the backyard and my mom would fry it in a simple bread-crumb-based batter. Also, I can remember my Aunt Shirley serving fried yellow squash from her garden--the one she played the radio in at night to keep the raccoons out. Rhubard cobbler is another thing that showed up as a special treat at holidays and other family gatherings. My mom says she can remember eating scrambled pig brains for breakfast as a child--I gotta say, I'm glad that's one tradition she didn't pass down!
My cooking triumphs
The two Christmases I spent as a graduate student at UVA, I held 5-course dinners at my home for the other students in my MFA program. In 2006 I made a root vegetable terrine that turned out perfectly--once cut, each piece looked like a mosaic, and it tasted wonderful! In 2007 I cooked for ten people and things went splendidly--particularly memorable was the British sticky toffee pudding I served at the end. I lived in the UK for a year as an undergraduate, and my pudding tasted pretty close to what I had in the pubs!
My cooking tragedies
This one time, I was making these risotto balls stuffed with goat cheese, and I was ready to fry them, but I (stupidly) left the room to brush my teeth while the oil was heating, and when I returned there were three-foot flames shooting out of the pan. I had to use the fire extinguisher, and spent the next week cleaning chemical dust off every exposed surface and object in my kitchen! Lesson learned!
Recipe Reviews 22 reviews
Spinach Potatoes
This was tasty. When I was pouring the cream on it seemed like it would be too much, but once it baked and set it turned out fine. I used soy bacon to make this vegetarian--if anyone else is going this route, cook the soy bacon separately first to get it nice and crispy, then add it to the onion. This will majorly improve the texture of the finished product.

6 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Jan. 20, 2011
Cheddar Pear Pie
I have made this pie twice now--it is absolutely the tastiest pie recipe I have ever tried!

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 21, 2010
Butternut Squash Soup
I made this exactly as directed (except for subbing veggie stock). The flavor was good but the consistency was a little goopy. If I were to make it again, I would do half cream cheese and half milk.

2 users found this review helpful
Reviewed On: Nov. 21, 2010

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