I moved to Tampa 6 years ago after a major blizzard and power outage nearly destroyed my will to live. Turned out to be the best decision I ever made! I fell in love with a wonderful man and we have just celebrated our 5th anniversary. I do miss Chicago terribly though and hope to visit again soon. As for the snow I would much rather have the ocean. We love to travel and just got back from a weeklong cruise of the caribbean. If only we could put Michigan Avenue somewhere there that would be heaven for me.
My favorite things to cook
I am a huge Christmas baker starting mid November and not stopping till New Years. I gift and mail a lot of tins and trays and am an expert packer. Day to day I enjoy traditional cooking (soups, stews, casseroles) along with bread and dessert baking.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I was first taught by My Kentucky Hillbilly Grandmother (God rest her soul) who taught me to make Chicken and Dumplins(not dumplings, I'm Southern now)Fried chicken livers, and Harvey Wallbanger cake. When I was ten my Mother gave me a copy of Betty Crockers cookbook for young people and I made every item in it and graduated to the regular "Red" Betty Crocker book the next year. Since then I have amassed a library of Cookbooks that could rival Congress and plan to add more.
My cooking triumphs
Two years ago Christmas I made a Buche de Noel with the homemade marshmallow mushrooms and I though it was beautiful. Last year, I made Martha Stewarts Dutch Village Christmas cake that I saw her do on TV. I think it looked as good as hers considering I had to improvise my cookie cutters for the sides.
My cooking tragedies
The coconut cream pie I made for company one summer night that was a beautiful and impressive sight until when cut it oozed completely out of the crust and my guests ate it out of bowls while laughing hysterically.