Southern historian who often got side-tracked(easy to do) with historic cooking methods. That, in turn, led to a study of the evolution of cooking methods in western civilization. At this point, my absence from that research(35 years ago) is largely inconsequential to my current cooking, but it has provided a larger scope of how cooking methods evolved -- from ancient pit-fire boilings in animal skins to adaptive use of iron cookware 2000 years or more ago, to the ease of modern productions of truly similar foods.
My favorite things to cook
Cajun methods adapted to non-cajun traditional foods. Broad uses of rues.
My favorite family cooking traditions
1)Inland rural agricultural Mississippi/Alabama(mother's background) and 2)southern coastal bayou Mississippi and Louisiana(father's background)
My cooking triumphs
Seafood/Andouille Gumbo for 300(benefit) and other benefits. One for Katrina and Habitat for Humanity reconstructions in Mississippi.
My cooking tragedies
Bombed a simple Thanksgiving dinner for heads of a university Home Economics faculty. Luckily, I had glazed a ham the day before, but ham, served with oyster/rice stuffing, dry and burned from the over cooked turkey left me shame-faced among polite people who said not one word. Most have now gone to their graves, clamoring for not one more bite of anything I could ever have offered them. It's an embarrassment to this day.