I didn't want to be one of those 20-something gals who's cooking repertoire consists of scrambled eggs, pasta with red sauce and brownies. That being said, I'm a staples kind of cook; I need a big "Easy" button.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up eating very tasty but very Midwest meatloaves, beef stroganoffs, pork roasts and tuna noodle casseroles on Fridays (sometimes we had fish sticks). Bread was merely a butter device. I only knew about squash and sweet potatoes because of the pilgrims and Indians. That being said, my parents loved taking us out for Thai or Chinese with their international students who ordered off the menu. Somewhere along the line, my sisters and I developed more mature, fuller palettes. My one sister has become quite an accomplished chef and baker and family gatherings now have things like braised short ribs, mashed celery root, stuffed baby portabellas and individual fruit tarts.
My cooking tragedies
I had never made mashed potatoes when I Facebooked my Grandma to get her recipe. "Chop up potatoes into big chunks. Add milk, a little salt, and butter and mix really well," she writes. Okay I follow directions, stick it all in the blender because I'm running behind. Oh wait, Grandma forgot to tell me to BOIL the potatoes prior to chopping. Oh yes, potatoes, milk, salt, and butter assaulted my kitchen walls. Thank goodness for high-gloss paint. I called my Grandma who promptly wrote on my wall that I was a big goof (she may have actually used a more descriptive word). Nice. Update: She Facebooked my aunts and cousin to tell them of my folly. Excellent.