I grew up with a mother who cooked almost everything from scratch and taught me to do the same. My mother-in-law was and is the same way, and the two of them have helped shape the way I cook for my family today. My husband was born in Indonesia but raised here in America so he grew up with Southern and Mid-West cooking. My father grew up as a farm boy in Iowa and tells me stories of his childhood years and the things his mother used to make and bake. My beloved mother passed away 5 years ago, and I miss her dearly! I have a wonderful husband, and we have 5 children whom we greatly enjoy! Our family has a lot of fun together, and when my husband & I grow old we will have lots of family surrounding us! Hopefully we have lots of grahdchildren also! I love to cook and create wonderful tasting food for my family to enjoy. I love the challenge of making our food as healthy as possible, and the last couple years have been learning a lot about baking bread.
My favorite things to cook
I cook a lot of pasta...it is easy and filling when you have a lot of mouths to feed! I love fresh ingredients and lots of vegetables. I like the challenge of baking a light loaf of whole wheat bread (still haven't gotten the perfect one yet but getting closer!). I love summer with fresh garden produce. I like to make cookies, and this year have made some good pies too. I love to be in my kitchen baking and making, and I love the challenge of cooking from scratch! I don't hardly ever even buy boxed mac-n-cheese anymore! My most favorite things to cook are those things that I can share with others that they really enjoy...especially my husband, my children, and my dad. My mother-in-law has some Asian cooking skills from living in Indonesia as a missionary awhile before bringing my husband home, but my husband really only requests Asian food once in awhile. I try to cook Asian occasionally or add some Asian taste to our food sometimes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I just remember every evening my mother making supper and the kitchen smelling so good! We sat down to dinner as a family every night, and that is still very important to me. Once a year or so, we would all make orange doughnuts together as a family. The older I got, I helped Mom a lot in the kitchen and even made meals for the family as a young girl a few times (should have done so more!). We made apple fritters and "Buckeyes" as a family several times as well. Those were fun times! My mother also made special meals for my father-his favorite meals or types of foods. It was wonderful to see Mom giving Dad special treatment and to witness constantly how much my parents loved each other. I try to do the same for my husband and children. I also like to carry on the tradition my Mom had of making us kids whatever we wanted for our birthdays.
My cooking triumphs
I have learned so much more and become so much more comfortable in the last few years with my cooking. I am able to "invent" meals and dishes and desserts so much more easily now. I am much more confident about substituting items in recipes for something I don't have or don't like. I have felt many times as though I made something out of nothing when our pantry looks very bare!!! I try not to waste anything, but these days that is not hard....we barely ever have leftovers anymore! I am even able to redeem many of my mistakes!
My cooking tragedies
Hmmm....I have had some loaves of bread turn out like bricks! I recently made rolls that I kept forgetting about all day...they rose, deflated, wrinkled, and started to dry out before I re-kneaded and shaped them; most of them didn't rise much at all the second time and turned out very condensed & heavy when baked...but we ended up eating them as a snack dipped in flavored cream cheeses! HA! In general, I just have those times when something I try just doesn't turn out like I had hoped! Once when I was little, my babysitter and I made some chocolate cookies that we put 1/4 CUP of salt in instead of 1/4 tsp.!!! EWWWW! Those were nasty! I've never made that mistake again!