I feel like I have been cooking all my life. I started when I was about 14 (before that, my brothers and sisters and I would make stuff like fresh picked blackberry jelly, fudge, etc.) The summer that I was 15, I started making full meals for my family of 5 brothers and sisters and Mom and Dad. I had many "tragedies" that summer but, all in all, they were pleased. My ex-husband was a pretty pickey eater so going gourmet on him was out of the question. My husband of 13 years loves to eat and loves when I "create" and he is so easy to please.
My favorite things to cook
Love Mexican, southern cooking, since moving down south 23 years ago. But really like anything my husband will eat...which is pretty much everything!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas baking time with my mom and sisters, although I rarely "bake" anything anymore because I am not a big dessert person myself. My 87 year old FIL and husband, however, love dessert, so I have to create desserts, at least sometimes.
My cooking triumphs
There are so many, it's hard to narrow down. When my BIL and SIL got married, the reception was in my husband's family home where we live now. They only wanted cake and punch. Well...that would not work for me. So I had 5 or 6 different dips, finger foods, shrimp stuffed rye puffs...things like that. Her mom was so pleased because she had wanted more than cake and punch too! I made a heart shaped frozen floating ice ring for the punch bowl. Everything was awesome! One other triumph was when we had an exchange student from Cancun who liked my homemade tamales better than my south american coworker's. I also pretty much coordinate the entire Nurse's Day and Nursing Assistant annual luncheons every year at the hospital I work at.
My cooking tragedies
Remember I said I started cooking meals at age 14. That summer I tried a recipe called "Hot Tamale Pie". When my dad was sitting at the table that night he said to me "You know...this recipe..." And I was sitting there with this expectant look on my face. He said "Please forget this one". I wasn't really crushed because he was right. Surprising that now I love to make authenic Mexican meals.