Although I learned how to cook when I was first married, I got out of the habit quite a long time ago. As kids got older, my marriage ended and life got busier, it seemed that there wasn't time to do much more than throwing together a box of rice-a-roni or opening a can of soup. At the end of a long day at work, making dinner seemed more an insult than a pleasure.
All that changed recently. I think I owe my renewed love of cooking to the downturn in the economy. I've been lucky enough to work from home for a few years now, but still held on to my sour attitude toward juggling two saucepans and a skillet and the stack of dirty dishes that followed.
With the need to stop eating out so much and now having a great cooktop, oven and dishwasher at my disposal (oh yeah, garbage disposal too!), I suddenly remembered there was a culinary life somewhere between TGIFridays and that can of tomato soup in the cupboard. And that is how this cook was (re)born!
My favorite things to cook
Anything chocolate. I also like sauteing things, chopping things up with my new knives and mixing things together. I don't know why, but I find it very satisfying to go through the actual preparation phases. I'm not crazy about touching raw meat, but the other stuff is great fun.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We never really had any. I do remember making homemade pizza when I was a kid, and Thanksgiving was always exactly the same foods. I think I call that "being in a rut" but some people call it tradition. We do pop Christmas crackers every year, because my mom is from England.
My cooking triumphs
I made a delicious pot pie from a recipe on this site. I think that's been my favorite thing so far. I wanted to keep all the leftovers to myself, but my partner liked it too, so I was forced to save him the last slice.
I guess my other favorite was a lasagna that we might finish eating before the year is out. The recipe made enough sauce for 2 pans, so we froze one and spent about 4 days working through the other. But it was really good, and my first time making it entirely from scratch.
My cooking tragedies
I haven't really had any... yet. But I have had oven and stove tragedies. The first time, we had a stove with push buttons to turn the burners on. My cat, who was getting on in years, liked to sneak up there and lay down when I was out. One day he accidentally turned a burner on and my leather pencil bag was sitting too close. I came home to a smoke-filled house and the smell of burning flesh (the leather). The stove or the cat had to go, and Shadow had been with me for my entire adult life, and the stove was ugly dark brown anyway. So we got a new stove, and one day I was baking something. I took it out of the oven to check it, decided it wasn't done and put it back in. What I didn't realize was that I had let it sit a bit on the counter, and there had been a little perfume container laying there, and it got stuck to the hot cookie sheet and went into the oven. I'll leave the rest to your imagination...