I'm a single mom of 4. My oldest is 24 (son). Followed by 3 daughters ages 23, 19, & 15. The two older ones are on their own now, I have one in college and a soon to be sophomore in high school. My college aged daughter attends a school here in our city, so even though she technically lives on campus, she is here quite often. Mostly for a home cooked meal, or laundry purposes, or just because. I'm kept very busy with my youngest one and her activities. She is very involved in her school, and is an athlete. I have the luxury of having a home based job so even though I have to be disciplined and do my work, I have the ability to arrange my schedule so that I have flexibility to come and go, or most importantly, I'm always home when my kids need me. Rarely do I ever miss anything they are doing. I'm also the caretaker of the 2 cats that rule the roost around here.
My favorite things to cook
My mother was from Morocco and I was born there as well. My father is of Irish decent, so I really got a mixed bag of different foods that I was exposed to early on. Because of that, I began a 50+ year love affair with foods of all kinds. I love, Middle Eastern, Italian, French, Asian, Indian, Mexican, and good ole American.
My favorite family cooking traditions
When I was married, and kids were born, we decided that holidays would be at our home and that all were invited. We wanted to establish the tradition of everyone comes to our house instead of spending the day or days arriving somewhere else and then having to leave. My goal was to have the kids grow up with memories of waking up Christmas morning in their own home and spending the day savoring the sights, smells, sounds and joy of the holiday at home. All guests are of course welcome. This is especially true of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Generally Thanksgiving is a week long event for us. A cousin in Portland Or. hosts "Pre-Thanksgiving" on Wed night, for all out of town guests arriving for the weekend. Because he and his wife have their own plans with her family for the big day, "our side of the family" always does the warm-up so we can all be together. My brothers family, and my Dad and step-mother who live in Washington, always come on the Wed, and we are all together until Sunday
My cooking triumphs
Pie Crust.......I always struggled with this until about 3 years ago. Don't ask what I did different, it just finally seems to work. Also have managed to master my mothers Moroccan hot sauce, which is like a very spicy tomato jam. More flavorful than you can imagine. I'm hoping my kids want to learn to make it properly since I'm the only one in the family that knows how to make it. Everyone seems to be content with me making it and canning it so they can have it whenever they want. That needs to change.....
My cooking tragedies
Walking away and being distracted by something and having a pot of soup boil dry in a favorite pan, not only ruining the soup and my pot, but the lingering smell in the house for days. Also there was the time that a microwave bag of popcorn caught fire inside my microwave. Now that was a terrible smell too.