I love to cook! I started reading cookbooks when when my kids were little (they're 30 & 29 now) because I was better at putting cookbooks down than I am novels. My collection of cookbooks grew to over 400, but I just went through them and am down to my favorite 300...
My favorite things to cook
I like to make traditional foods with a twist and I keep searching until I find the best recipe and method. My family and friends are used to being guinea pigs, but they are willing and give me good honest critiques. It is usually meals that I focus on, but I also like neat hors d'ouevres recipes. I hate to brag, but I make the best pie crust. I also like to make all sorts of breads, yeast, quick and ethnic.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother, whose birthday was the day before mine, was my biggest influence. She was proud of her pie crust and I strived to equal hers. I use her recipes (The BEST) for chicken pot pie and lemon meringue pie. Her peach cobbler was my favorite dessert growing up and I often make it for company when fresh peaches are available. I also learned how to make bread and rolls from her.
My cooking triumphs
Just to see if I could, I made puff pastry from scratch. It came out well. And you have to taste my cherry pie! It has converted my non-pie eating children to eating pies. Now if I could only learn how to cook an egg - but I guess you have to like them to cook them well. My husband and I put on the BEST Thanksgiving dinners - we always brine the turkey and start it cooking upside down. My daughter and her friends say my mashed potatoes are the best.
My cooking tragedies
I had 14 people coming for dinner. Not too sure how it happened, but it did and I was probably responsible for it. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving so I did not want to make a turkey. People always like my beef stew, so that is what I decided to make. 3 batches later and they were all AWFUL - didn't know what to do or what to change because I've never had that problem! I called my aunt in panic asking her what to do. She told me to give it an exotic name and add sour cream. Well, I did and it didn't help. My friends (and I now know they are truly friends) went back for seconds. I couldn't eat more than 2 mouthfuls. I still cringe when I think of that meal (but the mashed potatoes were a hit).