To share good food, good wine and pleasant conversation with those who you feel most at home with is my greatest pleasure. Cooking came naturaly to me at an early age most likey since my maternal Grandmother was professionally trained in Europe just prior to WWII. Both of my parents worked so much of the cooking was left to her with me her loyal student even if all I could do was sit on the counter watching every move she made and listening to what she did why she did it. She passed much to soon of cancer and except for those memories and reruns of "The French Chef" was all I was left except her handwritten cook book of her best recipies I still have to this day. She always made her version of a "Black Forest" cake for my birthday. It was to die for.... So as I got older and moved out on my home I quickly tired of "Fast Food" and bought my first cookbook, The Joy of Cooking". I highly recommend it to those who have taken up the journey into the of fine cuisine.
My favorite things to cook
Anything I haven't already mastered which still leaves me a whole gamut of opportunities. I am currently dipping my toe in the waters of Indian and Moraccan cooking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Like most I know I'd have to start with Lasgna. It's a no brainer, people pleaser as long as you use whole milk cheeses and fresh herbs. (I especially have a bone to pick with those who substitue dried Parsley for the real "Italian flat leaf" herb. It's a waste of Thyme and $. Excuse the pun. Try making a tea from it and you will be convinced.) Just think fresh is best and as simple as it seems that will carry you far. Actually all things Italian from Pasta Fazul to Salta en Boca were always accepted with much exuberance as well almost anything latin. I won a Chili cookoff for a charity fundraiser using no tomatoes and slow cooked pork with broth and smoked poblemos chilies and navy beans. My braised short ribs have always been a big request at family gatherings as well as Corned Beef and Cabbage cooked in stock and Stout Guinness beer.
My cooking triumphs
As in the movie "julia and Julie" (If you haven't seen it yet by all means due so, if not just for moral support alone.) As in the movie I also had difficulties with soufles. The third time was a charm and well recieved. It's all about the consistancy of the egg whites and how to fold them in that's hard to explain. It's a delicate balance of both. Pot au Fue (Pot roast in the French style.) Veal, or Chicken Cordon Bleu. Broiled Salmon Steaks with Garlic Caper sauce. Pork Katzu. Crispy Roast Duck with Cumberland sauce. Baba Ganoush. Pate'(various kinds). Yorkshire Pudding as a side to roast Prime rib.(there is no substitute for rendered beef suet and most butchers will easily provide at no cost. Trust me I;ve learned the hard way. That is of course you plan on making your own beef gravy from the drippings. Where I feel I have somewhat of a knack is in sauces, soups and gravies.
My cooking tragedies
Can't flip and omelet or an egg without creating a mess but then none of us are perfect, are we?