I've been a fireman for over 12 years and, yes, many fire fighters know how to cook. The ones that claim not to know how to cook I think just say it so they don't have to. Some of us can be very picky. I grew up watching my mother cook and that's where I get my inspiration from. We never had the same meal twice, it seemed like. We were always eating something different from anywhere in the world. Although this has been a subject of ridicule at the station (try suggesting tomato caprese to a group of southern meat & potato eaters) it has influenced my cooking. Thanks, Mom.
My favorite things to cook
It's hard to pick a favorite since I go by my cravings. :) I've been known to go to the supermarket at 10PM to get ingredients to curb a salsa craving. I guess my main things to cook would be anything involving beef, pasta and anything involving fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes. I've always felt the freshest ingredients speak for themselves without having to drown the food in seasoning.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite family cooking tradition was the fact we didn't have one. Although we had the occasional traditional turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I remember having lasagna on occasion and I've cooked a rib eye roast before.
My cooking triumphs
When I finally mastered fried chicken. :)
My cooking tragedies
All the ruined fried chicken before figuring it out. ;)