I have been cooking since I was about 10 years old. My mom is an expert seamstress, but not much of a cook. I, on the other hand can't sew a stitch, so I decided to try my hand at baking instead. Growing up, the one thing we always had in our house was Bisquick, brown sugar, nuts and coconut. I made the Velvet Crumb Cake from the recipe on the side of the Bisquick box so often that my family finally asked if I would please try something new. So I did.
I have developed some great cooking habits over the years. I learn something new every day, so I will never call myself an "expert". I also collect cookbooks of all kinds. My collection now numbers about 600.
My favorite things to cook
Italian cuisine and desserts.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanksgiving dinner. We have hosted between 12 and 15 members of our extended family since I was a 19 year old newlywed who received a free turkey from the company I worked for. My mom still tells the story of how I called her in a panic because I didn't know which end of the turkey to stuff. That was a 2, 3, 30 years ago. I did all the cooking for many years; always trying something new. We now do it "pot luck". Our favorite dish is Aunt Vicki's Thanksgiving salad and I am proud of my pumpkin pie.
My cooking triumphs
Any time we sit down for a meal and my husband makes the simple statement "this is really good" is a triumph. He is the fussiest eater alive. My first attempt at a Chocolate Angel Food cake (my husband's favorite)from scratch without the use of an electric mixer to beat the egg whites is my all time triumph. Lots of work, but it turned out perfect.
My cooking tragedies
Broiled cranberry nut bread. I was 17 and attempting to make it for my boyfriend's grandmother as a Christmas gift. I set the oven to broil instead of bake. What a mess, but very comical.