I was exposed to cooking back when I was in college. A friend of mine was a Home Ec major (now called Family Economics) and some of the cooking she did rubbed off on me. At the time, I tried to look as bored as possible with what she was doing, but made it a point to memorize everything she did.
The interesting thing about cooking is the sense of community it creates. A good home-cooked meal is a thousand times better than picking up some food at a drive through.
Good home cooked meals build relationships. Fast food pretty much destroys them. I guess it is an interesting dichotomy that a lot of people are starting to recognize.
My favorite things to cook
Soups, sauteed vegetables, casseroles, pies and bread.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmothers were always making chicken soup and noodles. There were also a number of dishes and pastries that they both cooked for certain times of the year.
My cooking triumphs
After becoming a vegetarian, I missed chicken soup and noodles (with vegetables). After about a year of false-starts, I came up with a vegetarian version of chicken, vegetables and noodles that seems to be a pretty good substitute. I have served this to non-vegetarians and they have always thought they were eating regular chicken soup and noodles.
My cooking tragedies
Turkey with White Castle stuffing served for Thanksgiving a long time ago. At least, I learned to: "Never use a new recipe for a big holiday meal." The other tragedies are pizza. My Home Ec major friend made a pizza with barbecue sauce that was absolutely delicious. I can make a standard pizza without any trouble. But I have never been able to replicate pizza with barbecue sauce--the way I remember it.