I've been cooking for most of my life. My mother had to teach herself and kept me in the kitchen with her while she experimented with recipes she got from my dad's mother and sisters. Since I can remember, I was helping her by breaking eggs, stirring batter and sprinkling sugar. It just kind of went from there. Eventually I became the baker in the house 'cause I loved it and Mom didn't. :)
My favorite things to cook
Cakes, squares and pies are my personal favourites. Pies especially since I learned my grandmother's pie crust recipe.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In my family we learn how to cook by hanging around the kitchen. My paternal grandmother is Scottish/French-Canadian and learned most of her recipes from her mother and grandmother (everyone loves Gramma's food). My mother came from a family of non-cooks and so taught herself, watched her mother-in-law and became an excellent cook. These are the two best cooks I know; I grew up in both their kitchens and learned from them, mostly through osmosis (lol). In our family there is no such thing as "too many cooks" because we all want to relax in the kitchen together and we all have our own specialties to add to the meal. For example, at Christmas my mom does the turkey & stuffing, my sister does the cranberry sauce and I do the mashed potatoes, then we all do the gravy and vegetables. It's a lot of fun to play in the kitchen with your family. :)
My cooking triumphs
My personal greatest triumph was making tourtiere. The last year my Gramma made them (she made dozens to give out as gifts) she had me over at her house to learn how and to write it down because it's in her head not on paper. The next year I took over making Gramma's famous tourtiere and my father, who compares every tourtiere he has ever had to his mother's, said mine was as good as, if not better than, hers. Even more shocking to me, Gramma herself said she thought mine was better! That was by far my greatest cooking triumph and accomplishment - to know that I can cook as well as Gramma, my food idol.
My cooking tragedies
One evening I was making a cake for my mother-in-law's birthday party, hanging out in the kitchen with my hubby (and having a few glasses of wine, to be honest) when I asked him to remind me in a few minutes to take the cake out of the oven. Well, the few minutes turned into an extra 35! The cake was a blackened, scorched mess. We had to pick up a bakery cake on our way over and explain to all our disappointed family (both sides, too; it was mortifying) why the home-made cake they were expecting wasn't in residence. Our cousins teased me mercilessly all afternoon. :)