I have been cooking since I was 11 years old (over 50 years!) when my mother started teaching me. I found I really enjoyed it! I have hundreds of cookbooks, subscribe to MANY cooking magazines and e-zines... it is WAY beyond a hobby! I was a Deli Manager for an upscale grocery company in the Puget Sound area for over 7 years (and in the Deli for over 12!) but quit when a huge, Cincinnati-based chain bought us out and changed the company. Working in the downtown Seattle stores was great fun... we had the good fortune to do the catering for many LARGE events!
My favorite things to cook
Dungeness Crab that my DH and I catch fresh from Puget Sound! I also love to use my smoker and grill for lots of delectable dinners. I have also been chasing a really good loaf of SOURdough bread! I have a pizza stone in my oven for that nice CRISP, chewy crust. I have even captured my own "Marysville" strain of yeast starter from airborne wild yeasts... it's performing VERY well! I also make my own homemade wine from the fruit in my backyard.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bouillabaisse on Christmas Eve, with hot, crusty garlic bread. My mother usually makes the soup base, with white fish, and freezes it a few days in advance. This really helps intensify the flavors of the tomatoes, herbs and veggies. Then, on Christmas Eve, we thaw it out and add clams, scallops, prawns, Dungeness crab and Sauterne. Steaming bowls with lots of napkins... and glasses of white wine!
My cooking triumphs
homemade ravioli, pot stickers, sourdough bread, beef jerky... as well as homemade garlic salt, celery salt, onion salt and lemon pepper. Also, catering my daughter's wedding for 100 people! Complete with brining and smoking turkey breast and roast beef, making several kinds of salads, deviled eggs.... all garnished with edible leaves and lovely flowers made from acorn squash!
My cooking tragedies
40 years ago, when I was expecting my first baby, I got a craving for creamed chipped beef on toast (!) so I went to the store and bought a jar of chipped beef. Made homemade white gravy, toasted up some bread and stirred the chipped beef into the gravy. Poured the gravy mixture on the toast and settled in for a feast... took one bite and realized that I had done something WRONG! Dog wouldn't even eat it... went back and read the jar... chipped beef has to be SOAKED to remove excess salt!! It was so salty, it burned my tongue!!