With midwestern farm wives for grandmothers and a southern boy for a husband it's a good thing I have loved to cook as long as I can remember. I swing many directions in food, from the down home, simple comfort foods, to quick, easy shortcut recipes, to fanciful, exotic showstopper dishes.
My favorite things to cook
There are so many, but if I could only pick one it would have to be bread baking. I've loved it since I first tried a recipe in 17 Magazine when I was a young teenager (read 1970's). In fact, I still have and use that same recipe. No bread maker for me. It takes all the fun out.
Soups would have to be a close second.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Big, soft sour cream sugar cookies flavored with nutmeg. It wouldn't be the Yule season without them.
There's the meal my family simply calls the "comfort dinner". Meatloaf, baked macaroni and cheese and green bean casserole. It's so simple, I can make it with my eyes closed, but the family doesn't seem to get tired of it.
My cooking triumphs
I was going to say any meal that people walk away from satisfied, but I can still see my mother standing next to the Fruited Brie En Croute just about purring. She couldn't stop eating it. I'd call that a triumph.
And I hear my step-brother's voice in my head saying "pssst. You're making black cherry trifle, right?"
My cooking tragedies
Dad. Bless his heart. I was so proud of that first cornbread I made. He ate most of the pan all by himself. Nobody else touched it after the first bite. I'd mistaken baking soda for baking powder, and it was horrid.