I started cooking when I was pretty young. My parents divorced and my mother worked a lot. I have two older brothers and so it was often up to me to cook for us. I learned early on the joy of cooking for someone that enjoyed eating what I prepared. That feeling has never left me. I love to feed people. I am in no way a great cook, but because I enjoy it, I think I do OK!
My favorite things to cook
My cooking moods change often... but I think the things I seem to gravitate to are Soups, Deserts and Appetizers. Soups to me are pure comfort! I am not a fan of cold soups, but I LOVE almost any hot soup! Deserts... YUM! Who doesn't like desert??? And to me there is nothing like getting together with friends and family and having some drinks and a fun spread of appetizers. Drinks and finger food just go together! I also enjoy ethnic foods. I love trying and cooking ethnic food, but I find I am doing more trying than cooking. I need to work on that....
My favorite family cooking traditions
Mine are more memories than traditions... but, Like many, my grandmother was the best cook I have ever known. She could make you a sandwich and it would be the BEST sandwich you ever had. She had that gift! I can remember being in ther kitchen and making homemade tortillas, albondigas and beans. Delicous! She also made the best potato salad and baked ham I have ever had. Yes, very everyday food, but better tasting than any other. My grandma 94 when she passed in Nov. 07, but I have some of her recipes and when I prepare one of her dishes, it takes me back to sitting at her table and savoring every bite at a very young age. The funny thing is, even though I follow her recipes, they never taste quite as good as hers. That is what I mean about her having the gift! She was an excellent cook!
My cooking triumphs
Mastering homemade-from-scratch Banana Pudding. My husbands favorite desert! His mother has been making it 'perfect' for years. When I started making it, it took a few times before it was as good as moms! Also, Napoleon... I had a dear Armenian friend that made the most amazing Napolean! She said the trick is to keep your puff pastry as cold as possible (she used a slab of marble to roll her dough out on) and to make it as close to serving time as possible. The fresher it is the better. If you get a FRESH piece of Napolean, the layers of puff pastry are still a little cripsy and the custard is just right... Heaven!!! It's a bit of work but so worth the results. Next up... Sushi. I would love to learn to make good sushi. But where to find the freshest fish?
My cooking tragedies
Nothing major comes to mind, but I do remember the first time I cooked Prime Rib... I used a recipe that called for you to pack the Prime Rib in rock salt. After cooking, the rock salt forms a crust that you break off in chunks. Well, I thought I got all the rock salt off... Let me tell you there is nothing worse chewing a delicious piece of Prim Rib (because the flavor was wonderful) and biting into a piece of rock salt! Hello!! Luckily, I was serving it to my family, and since it was so good, we ate it. We just made sure examined every bite before we put it into our mouths!