I love to cook; cooking dinner every day is how I destress and unwind from my day. I also love to feed people (must be my Southern roots). Some of my earliest memories are from the kitchen, helping my mom and dad cook. The kitchen was always my favorite room of the house, always bustling and active with wonderful aromas and warmth. I made my first dish at about age 6 (with supervision)---cornbread of course, and I've been cooking ever since. I used to love making desserts (and I still do) but since losing about 50 pounds 2 years ago, I try to cook healthier. I am always on the prowl for a new and different recipe and I love spicy ethnic foods.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook just about anything, but things that stand out include vegetarian dishes (I love winning over carnivores), the aforementioned desserts, Indian food (I've really gotten the hang of this in the last 2 years), spicy foods, carribean dishes (I love jerk anything). I have an adventurous palate and folks who will try anything to feed so I am very lucky that I get to try a lot of things. I also get a big charge of making dishes that are healthy yet full of flavor and satisfying.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family is from Mississippi so it's all about Southern soul food: fried chicken and fish, cornbread, greens (usually collards or a blend of collards, mustards and turnips), blackeyed peas, okra, with sweet potato pie and pound cake for dessert. I don't cook the heavier dishes often but they are delicious. And I had to master sweet potato pie of course or I'd have to turn in my Southerner card.
My cooking triumphs
One of my biggest cooking triumphs was winning my father over that a meal can be delicious and satisfying that violates his prefered meat, starch and greasy veg template. I've won him over to vegetarian cooking (I'm an omnivore now but was a vegetarian for a while) and healthy cooking which is huge. My other major accomplishment would be the Indian feast I prepared in January 2005 which was amazing---Samosas, Rogan Josh (Northern Indian lamb curry), raita, and dal with pita bread. I even impressed myself with that.
My cooking tragedies
The infamous purple noodle soup. It tasted great but looked nauseating, purple grey noodles and vegetables in a purple grey broth. Suffice to say purple cabbage is lovely but the color bleeds heavily. But hey, mistakes are how you learn.