I'm employed full-time so I don't have the time to cook and bake like I used to. My hobbies are cooking, baking, making jewelry, and bargain hunting.
My favorite things to cook
After 50 years of cooking it's hard to narrow down "favorites". I'd have to say that eggplant parmesian is near the top of the list, mainly because that's what drew my husband to me...it's what I served at our first dinner together. He called his parents and said that he'd met his future wife. Told them we had complimentary hobbies--he liked to eat and I liked to cook. Another favorite is Rueben Chicken made with boneless chicken breasts, sauerkraut, swiss cheese and homemade russian dressing...perfection. But my favorite??? I can't choose. I love to cook and bake. Even more than that I love watching people eat what I cooked and baked. Feeding people is a joy for me.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Turkey on Thanksgiving; a big family breakfast on Christmas; Roasted Pork on New Years; Red pancakes on Valentine's Day; Green muffins on St. Patrick's Day; Ham on Easter.
My cooking triumphs
They're all triumphs.
My cooking tragedies
Failures are a different thing: Baked Indian Pudding and Porcupine Meatballs....why didn't the recipe say to cook the rice before adding it to the ground meat??
Then there was the friend who gave me her luscious recipe for fried chicken when I was a young girl. She told me to dip the chicken into pancake mix and drop into hot oil. I presumed the pancake mix had to be MADE INTO BATTER first. Not so! When I placed the bird into the oil there was an explosion of oil, batter and chicken that landed all over the kitchen ceiling, walls, and me. Seems the batter was supposed to be dry. Who knew? I'm a very literal person. I'm very careful about my directions to other new cooks because of my calamities.