I am a homemaker who raises huge turkeys, chickens, pheasants, and ducks. From fruits and berries we raise, I can, freeze, and dry a large portion of our food. I make our own wines and beers, and cook constantly. Volunteering at our church's food and clothing pantry once a week is a joy. From my Midwest upbringing, I've learned to really appreciate the Amish cooks with their simple ingredients and cooking styles. Though I love to experiment, I most enjoy cooking old-fashioned recipes, occasionally altering them to make them healthier. Though I've been cooking for over 30 years, I realize that we never can "know it all," and love to learn from other cooks.
My favorite things to cook
Canning and preserving are extremely important to my family and me. Looking at all those jars of good foods I've canned from our own produce is rewarding - like looking at a just-finished quilt I've created with love. My cholesterol levels prove I love to bake dessert, candies, and breads.
My favorite family cooking traditions
One of the best parts of Christmas is baking and decorating cookies and candies with kids. Creating a family cookbook to hand down to my kids which includes favorites of theirs is a tradition I'm starting, and one I hope my kids and grandkids continue. So many wonderful recipes from my grandmother were lost because she never wrote them down. It's sad that so many of her wonderful recipes are lost forever.
My cooking triumphs
Overcoming a fear of trying something new, especially if it's out of my comfort zone is perhaps my greatest triumph. I think the first time I made a loaf of bread that was just what I imagined was my first triumph. Making a meal that everyone enjoys makes me feel triumphant. Having someone ask for my recipe is certainly lovely, as when they "demand" I cook a certain dish for our next get-together. Tasting my own Gewurztraminer at its peak of aging was definitely another, though it's not necessarily cooking. Isn't it wonderful to create something at home that one would have had to pay a huge amount for elsewhere?
My cooking tragedies
My very first batch of biscuits was a "tragedy." I forgot to put in the baking powder. I had to rename them as something entirely different to persuade my new husband to eat them. Throwing anything out is, in my mind, a mild tragedy; I hate to waste! But those hockey puck-like biscuits had to go.