My mother Ruth was, and remains, my role model. She was a Home Economics teacher in the 1950's and an absolutely wonderful cook not afraid to experiment and take little "risks" in the kitchen-- substituting this for that. She was a mother who lived for her family, even earning her private pilot's license at the age of 40. She did this because she wanted to be able to land the plane in emergency for my father, a surgeon/private pilot.
I have a very similar personality, changing my career from journalist to registered nurse at the age of 40. (Thus the name, "Newsynurse.") Like my mother, family is everything to me. In my nursing career, my expertise is pediatrics.
My husband Vaughn retired after many years owning a grocery store. He frequently brought home canned goods missing their labels. It became a fun game for me to open a can or two, and "invent" dinner on the spot! I have created many delicious recipes in this manner, and no food was ever wasted.
My favorite things to cook
Southern style! Chicken and dumplings, pulled pork barbecue, corn casserole...Paula Dean without all the butter. I'm a nurse too, remember?
My favorite family cooking traditions
Barbecue...I like Memphis, he likes Carolina!
My cooking triumphs
Once I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 15 people without an oven! That's right, my oven "went up" the week of Thanksgiving...so instead of cancelling my guests, I used a menagerie of roasters, crockpots and microwaves. Everyone was amazed at how good the meal was, and the holiday was saved!
My cooking tragedies
One Thanksgiving I wanted a new gravy boat in the shape of a turkey. (Silly, I know.) Our town is small, and the closest thing I could find was a little turkey meant to be a planter. I used this, and all went well until the cork suddenly came out of the bottom--gravy poured out into my brother's lap! We have enjoyed many laughs about this over the years.