My mom and my aunts were great cooks! Each of them had their speciality area of cooking. They grew up on a farm in Nebraska and always looked for the freshest ingredients. I grew up going to farmer's markets and canning and it was just a natural progression into wanting to cook like them. My mom is a great baker and dessert maker. I still need to improve in that area, but I am still working on it.
My favorite things to cook
Anything!! I especially like to make soups and many of our traditional Greek dishes. I make Galopita, a custard-like Greek dessert that we all love.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Greeks have many food traditions!! No matter how Americanized we have all become now there will always be greek side dishes or appetizers at any holiday meal. We make rice pudding and Vasilopita (Greek New Year's Bread with a coin in it for good luck) at New Years. The meals and the family get togethers shown in 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' aren't far from the truth.
My cooking triumphs
I have two triumphs. The first is the Crown Roast of Pork and Sausage Stuffing I just made this year for Christmas dinner. It was perfect! I took two recipes from this site and blended them together and it turned out great! It was soooo cool on my Christmas platter at the table. We carved it at the table like a Norman Rockwell painting! My other triumph is the Vasilopita Bread I wrote about above. It is a family tradition and a recipe handed down from my grandmother (yiayia) to my mom and aunts. All of my aunts have passed away and my mom can't knead bread any more. So I have become the cousin that bakes the family bread. It was a very scary experience the first time, because I was trying so hard to make sure I was keeping all those memories and traditions alive in all of the hearts of my cousins. Lots of pressure...But it came out exactly like theirs.
My cooking tragedies
I made a leg of lamb in a non-tradional Greek way for my in-laws and my parents when we were first married. It was a butterflied leg of lamb that I marinated in a soy sauce marinade. It was sooooooooooo salty and icky. They all ate it, but I kept telling them not to. It was very embarassing.My brother still teases me about it.