I'm an Oklahoma girl and a vegetarian of more than ten years (read: walking paradox). I'm only just now really diving into cooking, so I'm still stocking my kitchen as I go. I'm hoping to figure out the cuisines of other cultures, and become a good enough cook to publish an original recipe on this site. Wish me luck!
My favorite things to cook
Family recipes bring me the most joy, because I am reminded of those I love as I make the dish. It's so satisfying to make something relatively simple but which takes a modicum of skill. I'm discovering that baking is by far my favorite kind of cooking. I watch my health, so I think I'm going to become very popular at work!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom taught us to cook, even as toddlers, by including us in the process whenever she was in the kitchen. We got to be "Mama's Little Helpers" and learned priceless life skills without even realizing it. I treasure the multi-generational family recipes handed down to us, and the new ones being created and shared every time we get together. Let's hear it for our families!
My cooking triumphs
I spent a summer in California with a leadership program. When one of our guys from TX had a birthday, we decided to make his favorite meal: chicken-fried steak. Despite two of my roommates being from the Midwest (OK & TX, no less), not a single one of the four had a clue as to how to make it! I called my Mom for the recipe, and my Stepdad gave some detailed instructions on what kind of meat to buy, etc. When the steaks were still looking a little puny,(our CA grocery store hadn't had quite the right size cut), I figured out that we needed to double-bread them. The birthday boy and his roommates ended up loving it, and we all crowed about the vegetarian being the one to figure out chicken-fried steak! My family still hasn't stopped laughing about it.
My cooking tragedies
The first time I tried to make the fudge I'd been bragging about for my friends, I made it at their place. What they failed to tell me was that their stove had two settings: "OFF" and "VOLCANIC". The sugar and milk never carmelized into a syrup because the stove wasn't even close to hot enough, even though I had the dial turned way up. When I gave up and poured it over the chocolate and tried to mix it up, it at first stayed completely liquid, and then ended up having a crumbly cake texture. It wasn't fudge AT ALL, but it still tasted good, so we ate it anyway!