I cook therapeutically and it gives me great joy when others enjoy my cooking or baking.
My favorite things to cook
Grilling is something I do regularly, smoking rarely but with exuberance, but baking is the thing that eludes me on a regular basis.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom's potato salad (a closely guarded secret that she's finally confided in me). The thing my y grandma's made for probably 50 years and we call "Blisters" which is hand-flattened fried bread dough that's dipped in sugar, cinnamon sugar or just about anything that you can come up with. Usually sweet, but I'm going to try a savory version sometime.
My cooking triumphs
Cheesecake. I can taste a batter and know if it's going to turn out good or not (and adjust the ingredients appropriately). I don't really like to eat cheesecake that much, but everyone else I associate with does, so I guess I'll keep making them...
My cooking tragedies
I'd say that the closest thing to a tragedy is burning nachos made with Juanita's tortilla chips. I left the broiler on high and torched the top layer of chips (fortunately before I put the cheese on). Wasting Juanita's tortilla chips is a mortal sin in my estimation, so I'm not sure if my food soul is going to Heaven or Hell. :)