I am recently retired. I drove a school bus for 35 years. My husband is retired and we love to travel. We have been on several cruises and our most recent one was to Alaska. It was the trip of a lifetime. We traveled on land to Denali (Mount McKinley). I have never seen such remote land and wide open mountain covered terrain. We traveled on a scenic train and saw bears, mooose, and eagles. Breathtaking views were everywhere. We boarded our ship in Skagway and saw glaciers and whales. It was truly amazing.
From a cooks point of view, there was salmon and fresh seafood on every menu cooked many ways.
My father always told me to see America first when I traveled. Alaska is definitely one place I was fortunate to visit.
My favorite things to cook
I love to use my slow cooker. I make Meatballs and sauce, Beef or Pork roasts. I like putting Veggies right in with the meat. I make many soups. Chicken noodle, Chicken corn chowder,Vegetable beef.. We love Chili and corn bread nights. My one son in law is Italian and anything with pasta is great with him. He calls Spaghetti sauce ..gravy. We tease him about that. Gravy to me is either chicken, beef or turkey.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I am a baker first and a cook, second. I am a self taught baker snce my mother was not into baking.
I am famous for my Christmas cookies and the trays I make up for extended family functions. My neighbors and co-workers look forward to my trays of cookies for gifts. I also bake a variety of breads. Mostly dense sweet breads like Banana nut, Cranberry nut, Pumpkin, Strawberry nut, Peach, Apple etc. Give me any kind of fresh fruit or berries and I can put it into a loaf of bread or coffee cake.
My cooking triumphs
My husband loves to have a Vegetable garden in the summer and when everything is ripe at the same time you need to think of ways to use that bumper crop of tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onions and lots of fresh herbs. I do a lot of stir fry with all of the above in a little olive oil. It is a flavor that you miss in the dead of winter. Zucchini (shredded) makes great bread and cakes too.
I love to make quiches with fresh veggies, eggs and cheese. According to my one son, There is no better potato salad that mine. I have to agree with that one.
My cooking tragedies
I once had to throw a whole pot of chicken soup out because I was shaking a container of some kind of dried seasoning into the pot,only to see that there were small bugs that hatched in the container. I now put every seasoning into my hand first before putting it into the pot. I used to oversalt things. Now I go easy on the salt and tell everyone to taste it first and add your own salt at the table.
Never follow the time on a recipe when baking. Every oven is different and expecially with baked things like cakes and cookies,
you need to check at the minimum time. You cannot fix overbaked cakes and cookies. There's nothing worse than biting into a brownie that could be used as a hockey puck.