artist. poet. retired. still alive.
My favorite things to cook
depends on what's available in the market...but my specialty is baking and I am a sucker for a good baking recipe.
My favorite family cooking traditions
PIZZA! the grandkids love to make pizza here from scratch. We made a beautiful braided bread for Thanksgiving. They are very proud of their skills and I am proud of them and their adventurous spirit. They've been baking with me since they're old enough to stand on a stepstool and knead. My sons are partial to my meatballs and sauce...my husband loves just about everything I make, with soups made from baked ham scraps being his favorites.
My cooking triumphs
I always found bread making intimidating until I bought a bread maker, and that lead me to learning how to make dough and then how to bake bread in an oven. When I mucked the little machine up trying to put too many raisins in a raisin bread, it was time to take a leap and try it on my own. I haven't looked back.
Same with pie. Was very intimidated with pie crust.
I would say the biggest secret with pies and doughs in general is with discretionary handling. Even with bread there comes a point where you have to let nature take it's course and you have to step back and become light fingered.
Also learning to make your own yeast is an enormous help to making flavorful AND spectacularly rising doughs.
My cooking tragedies
I can't think of any. It's too fun to be tragic. Almost anything can be saved.