My earliest memories involve the aroma's and sounds of the kitchen.
My relatives were all excellent cooks and bakers. Family gatherings were works of hearts and hands and happy conversations. Gathering recipes is something all of my family relatives and friends and I have done 'forever'.
It doesn't matter where I travel, there's always the excitement of going into someone else's kitchen, to their market, to their picnics, cafe's, or church gatherings. There are foods and recipes and methods of cooking that communicate who a person is, what's important in the culture of their community, and how hospitality takes shape on the dining or picnic table or church pot-luck.
Giving food to someone, sharing from one's garden and kitchen, enriches my own life so much!
And, it's just wonderful whenever I've gone into someone else's home or church, or travelled far away to another country, and learned about the traditions and customs and recipes. I always feel "at home" in a kitchen.
My favorite things to cook
my mother's lasagna wi/spinach,
my Swedish relative's Chili,
Pecan Sticky Buns,
Italian Autumn Plum Crisp
Blueberry Quick Bread,
Sage Sausage Breakfast Casserole,
Almond Raspberry Crumb Bars,
Roast Leg of Lamb wi/homemade Mint viniagrette,
"Calabacitos con Queso" ( zucchini wi/green chiles and Cheese )
My favorite family cooking traditions
Midwestern Farm Tradition.
"Global Ethnic Cuisine" ( India, Russia, Greek, Italian )
My cooking triumphs
Kitchen Garden Triumphs: Homegrown raspberries made into raspberry jam. Homegrown garden mint made into viniagrette for roast lamb. Homegrown cucumbers made into pickles. Home Garden tomato sauce. Home Garden Basil Pesto.
The traditional recipes from my relatives: Pecan Sticky Buns, any kind of Yeast bread recipes, Braided Yule Bread, Spinach Lasagna, Chili, Baked Layered Lemon Pudding, Sugar Christmas Cookies wi/Egg Yolk based brush paint, Molasses "Joe Frogger" cookies.
Large Group Cooking / Recipe Planning: planning menu's for Indian Banquet meals, giving an Indian Cooking classes to 30-people wi/young children adopted from India, cooking / baking for 100+ at church brunches or conference gatherings, planning and cooking/baking for wedding receptions, organizing/cooking/baking/ coordinating large group Easter Pot-Luck church dinners. Serving on a church cookbook planning committee.
My cooking tragedies
#1 Tragedy: 365 days of seemingly endless pasta dinners during the first year of married life.
#2: Pre-heating the oven wi/out checking to make sure nothing was already in the oven. This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. What broke me of this "habit" was when someone was too tired to do dishes after a BBQ party. They stuck the marinade container in the cold, empty, oven to get it out of the way during the party clean-up. Then, they forgot to remove the plastic marinader to wash it.
The next day, I was pre-heating the oven in preparation to bake something.
I found out that a Tupperware Marinade Container accidentally
baked at 350 for 10 minutes, was catastrophic enough to amend my forgetfulness!