Cantankerous curmudgeon. I figure I must have been a dire wolf in a prior incarnation. Given my druthers, I'd live on red meat, preferably beef, almost exclusively. I truly hated being a single father and setting an example by preparing - then eating (yuck) - that green stuff when my kids were young and impressionable. Well, single parenthood is a rough row to hoe for anyone under any circumstances.
My favorite things to cook
4. Game: moose, caribou, goose, pheasant, wild boar, wild turkey.
5. Lamb, Pork, Chicken, Turkey and other domestic meats.
6. Marinades / sauces and complimentary side dishes for meat.
7. Italian dishes.
8. Seafood / shellfish recipes and *some* fish every year or so.
9. Taters and breads, particularly on the grill.
10. Variations on that green stuff my doctor insists I choke down.
11. And lots of beef, of course.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mother was a professional cook with both formal training and extensive New England farm cooking experience as the manager of a seasonal resort. Dinner one night might be Chicken Cordon Bleu and the next it would be a lamb stew as prepared by a farm wife whose dishes she'd admired in her youth. My father couldn't boil water. I was six when she had an extended hospitalization. After suffering MALnutrition (but not a lack of barely edible food) and wishing to avoid further torture of my digestive tract, to say nothing of preserving my few remaining tastebuds, upon her return home, my first words were "Teach me how to cook!" She did.
I taught all my children to cook (insisted on it, actually, so they would all be self-sufficient in this and other domestic matters) and both my sons worked their way through college as semi-professional chefs. Now, both are far more accomplished than the old man and my first daughter-in-law is immensely grateful for her husband's abilities.
My cooking triumphs
I'm not the creative type, but I can follow recipes pretty well. Where I have developed some recipes, this was by blending / modifying those of others . . . and, oddly enough, all of these involve beef.
Under my tutelage, my kids developed very eclectic palates - how many six year old children beg their parents to make dinner with beef tongue or steamed clams, etc.? To this day they are not hesitant to try or to prepare new foods, to the delight of spouses or significant others (and doting fathers).
My cooking tragedies
Pie crust. Even if you stand at my side and I copy your every move exactly - my crust will have the consistency of armor plate while yours will need to put out an anchor so it doesn't float up to the stratosphere. Cookies, cakes, breads . . . no problem, but light, flaky pastry of any sort . . . not in this lifetime.