I'm an avid cook, gardener, kayaker, and hiker. My interest is in "unfussy" recipes, reflecting what great home cooks from many lands make from what they have. I will never use fennel pollen, nor will I feel the need to deconstruct foods to play with my kitchen chemistry set.
I love food from the garden, but using canned tomatoes or dried herbs is not a crime in my kitchen when fresh is no longer available. Food orthodoxy gives me claustrophobia.
My favorite things to cook
I love to cook/prepare anything with tomatoes; I love making brunch; and I love the challenge of making something tasty with what's at hand.
My current challenge is in creating the best vegetarian meatball for the vegetarians in the family.
Hospitality and creativity are at the heart of my love of cooking. I love foods that can be prepared in advance so I can enjoy my company.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite cooking traditions are preparing holiday foods from the many ethnic traditions that make up our family. Our Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve usually includes lox and mini-bagels, and bacalao ceviche. Easter includes foods from Slavic and Polish traditions. I love it when guests bring something from their traditions whether it be shrimp dumplings or Low Country sweet potatoes.
We celebrate those who came before us and nurtured us with love and good food.
My cooking triumphs
Finding ways to make lentil soup like my grandmother, burdock fritters that others have learned to love, and a fabulous meatball that even the oldest, most critical family members have praised.
My cooking tragedies
I have never had success with foods that require unflavored gelatin.
My Julia Child's chocolate cake was inedible.
Since dessert is my least favorite part of the menu, it is also my weakest. Not sure which came first.