I grew up in Mali W Africa. I cook for a Christian camp and Retreat Center. In summer camp is for kids and teens. The rest of the year it is retreats. Businesses using the challenge course with breakfast and lunch to church conventions for five to seven meals in a week end. The dinning room holds up to 140 people. I also enjoy cooking for special meals for my family.
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook for no less than twenty five people, that way you can add enough variety so people are happy. I enjoy cooking international foods, gives people either an old time favorite or a brand new adventure in taste.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My heritage is Mennonite, food is an important part of life's enjoyment and it tastes wonderful. My Mom is a great cook. Growing up in Africa has added some special meals to our family, like peanut butter gravy over rice. Mom also showed us how to make things special with very few things and no place to go buy something. Like making birthday candles with a wooden match stick she colored with one of our crayons. She always got out the Sunday dishes on Sunday even when we lived in a grass hut.
My cooking triumphs
Probably my international meals for teenagers at camp.
My cooking tragedies
The worst was getting up early to make the coffee cake for about 125 people. The male volunteers came in about 7:00 for coffee. They were men in their late forties to sixties, six or seven of them. I wanted to surprise them that morning usually they just had coffee and left over cookies. This morning the coffee cake was beautiful it rose wonderfully. I proudly announced I had made it early especially for them as I set it on their table and walked back into the kitchen. One of the men followed me back to the kitchen and said "OK give us the good one now." He had tasted just a crumb and thought it was a joke. It was salty very very salty. I had grabbed a five pound bag of salt instead of sugar. Fortunately it was early enough to make the coffee cake with sugar but it didn't look as nice or rise as beautifully.