I love to entertain. Besides cooking and collecting cookbooks, my hobbies include gardening, reading (in my garden), camping, spending time with family and friends and working out.
My favorite things to cook
I'm pretty much a seasonal cook, I like to cook from scratch, using fresh,natural ingredients. We don't eat a lot of red meat. Mostly chicken, fish, pork tenderloin, ground meat is turkey, etc. In the summer I use a lot of fresh herbs from my garden and cook outdoors as much as possible. On busy days I'm prone to quick sautee's with a pan sauce. I also love to braise slow food and soups. I could eat pasta with some sort of red sauce every day! I also love to experiment with different grains. Not big on desserts, to the dismay of my DH who very much is!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother was a very good cook but she preferred flying solo in the kitchen. She and my Father were both ordained ministers and were very busy with their profession. They spent long hours at church. With 5 kids to raise, I think my Mom needed peace and quite in the kitchen - a chance to decompress. I have fond memories of my maternal Dutch grandmother. She loved to bake. I still crave her homemade cinnamon rolls - 30 years later how I wish I had that recipe! Her applesauce was memorable, as were so many of her "creations" in the kitchen. She didn't mind having us underfoot in the kitchen and shared many stories with us while she cooked.
My cooking triumphs
Brined turkey, smoked Carolina style pulled pork, Italian meat sauce, enchiladas, and gumbo are a few of my favorites.
My cooking tragedies
Nothing too major. I have pitched some things in the trash a time or two. The first time I cooked a Turkey I cooked it upside down, not knowing where the breast was. But now some chefs recommend cooking turkeys upside down! I keep trying but don't seem to have the knack for Asian cooking.