I grew up in a happy home in the country with a mother, daddy, and two brothers. We had cows, horses, goats, chickens, ducks, guineas, and so on. We milked and made our own butter, we killed our own hogs and chickens, as well as a variety of game, plus we always raised a big garden. I married a good ol' poor boy who claims never to have eaten steak or shrimp until he joined the army. He says he was raised on beans, peas, biscuits & gravy, and fish. I like to cook from scratch. I don't buy a lot of convenience foods. I like to talk to the old women about how things were done years ago. I have come to the conclusion that most kitchen gadgetry is useless clutter and that all I really need in my kitchen are a few good pots, some iron skillets, and a good paring knife and butcher knife. I only wish I still had kids around the house to cook for. It's terrible trying to cook for just two people.
My favorite things to cook
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I like making breakfast foods. I love oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, biscuits, pancakes, bacon and sausage, as well as salmon patties for breakfast. And eggs cooked any way. I don't cook a midday meal, but I always cook breakfast and supper. Some of my supper favorites are baked chicken (sprinkled with salt, pepper, and sugar), pork chops baked in apple juice, and fried fish (bream, bass, catfish, tilapia). My secret to delicious fried fish is to add a generous amount of ground cumin to the seasoned cornmeal; this really gives it that something extra. We have fried fish, homemade french fries and boiled shrimp once a week. I like pies better than cake, especially fresh strawberry, chocolate, and coconut. Ooooh, and apple, sweet potato, lemon; the list goes on and on. My mama makes a wonderful caramel pie, but I haven't tackled that yet.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I like cooking big holiday meals with ham, turkey, roast, cornbread dressing, chicken and dumplings made from scratch, vegetables, gravy, and lots of lovely desserts. My son always wants me to cook enough extra so he has some to take home with him to eat for several days. Our family has shrunk considerably due to deaths in the past several years, but we who are left still enjoy those big holiday meals for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
My cooking triumphs
I've had a lot of cooking triumphs; most everything I cook is good. The thing I get the most compliments on is coconut pie. I can make a really beautiful and delicious coconut pie, and I always make them in twos. I have seen family reunion goers get all bent out of shape upon learning that somebody has beat them to the last piece of my coconut pie.
My cooking tragedies
My mama is an excellent cook and I learned all I know from her. I could cook a delicious full meal by the time I was 13. About the only tragedy I can remember is one time as a new bride of sixteen I accidentally grabbed the wrong canister of flour when making Sunday morning biscuits. I thought I was using self-rising, but had grabbed the all-purpose instead, so my catheads (biscuits)came out flat and dense. I was embarrassed and disgusted, but my sweet husband, he just poured syrup all over them and ate them up without a single complaint. I never made that mistake again. We have enjoyed big, fluffy catheads together for over 33 years now. My coworkers really love it when I bring some to work. Seems like not many women make homemade biscuits anymore.