I love to eat, but coming from a large family, and having worked for years as a caterer's assistant and summer-camp cook, I am new to cooking for just two. Things get even more complicated when one considers the fact that I am a baker, and my husband prefers his dinners burned over the stove-top.
My favorite things to cook
I love to bake... pie, cookies, pastry, muffins. I have even been known to bake a turkey or two. As my husband doesn't like sweets, I am trying to learn to cook things more on the spicy side for him.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is by far my favorite cooking season. The family gets together every Sunday afternoon, turns on some football, mulls some cider, and the guys bake huge batches of sugar cookies, while the ladies start on candies and spice cakes to bring to the never ending string of parties, get-togethers and gift-giving events.
My cooking triumphs
While I was working as a Child Therapist, we started an Independent Living group for teens aging out of Foster Care. The first year, we had a lot of kids concerned about Christmas gifts, so we rented out the huge kitchen at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, and had them all bring in their favorite family recipes, and traditional gifts. My colleague and I remade them into gift-able size portions, and we broke the kids into groups, each one working on a different project. The kids had a great time, and each one left with several tins of goodies and crafts to give to family and friends. It was such a hit, that they now do two events, one for teens, and one for families.
My cooking tragedies
My husband and I started dating in college, we had just reached the come and meet my family stage, and I really wanted to impress him. We visited my parents for the weekend, and my brothers and their girlfriends were all there as well. I decided to impress them by making a family favorite: applesauce cake. Unfortunately, I was so worried about running back and forth to the living room to make sure everyone was being nice, that I put in too much sugar, and completely forgot the flour. After baking it for over an hour,it was still just syrup! My brother was a lifesaver; he ran to the store, under the pretense of grabbing some ice cream to go with the cake, and sneaked a bakery bought cake into the kitchen for me. We had the applesauce cake-syrup over the cake and ice cream. My husband never knew the difference, until my brother mentioned the incident in his toast at our wedding!