I use to sneak in my mom's kitchen when I was little and try to "redo" recipes that I thought my mom could have done better. She found out when my younger brother spilled the beans and said he liked my mac and cheese better! I've been tweaking other people's recipes ever since!
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook soups, stews, casseroles, and other comfort foods. From beet borscht to chana masala, I love to try making foods from cultures different than mine.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Thanksgiving I spend with neighbors and friends that I've made over the years, inviting new people who are away from family as I have been for over 35 years. In the past, we also invited young Navy men from the Alameda Naval Air Station that is now closed. Pork dressing and cornbread dressing, as well as collard greens and fresh creamed corn have been staples of our celebration.
My cooking triumphs
I served smoked turkey corn chowder with potato rosemary bread to friends I had made from Taiwan in one of my classes at Cal on a study night. It was their first time having such cuisine and they absolutely loved it!
My cooking tragedies
I tried to make a "healthy" version of red velvet cake using a whole wheat flour that made the cake perhaps the heaviest red paperweight ever!!!