Retired, widowed, grew up in New York but spent 24 years as a military bride. After "retirement", husband spent another 30 years in Montana as an educator. We lived in the beautiful mountains 39 miles from Glacier Nat. Park. After my husband's death I moved to Great Falls to be near to daughters and family. I still love to cook, but have slowed down now and only cook when family is visiting.
My favorite things to cook
Of course, anything Italian and/or Mexican. My meatball recipe is from my grandmother and now both my daughters make them. I like to use the slow cooker and make chili, calico beans, spaghetti sauce, etc. My family loves soups and I did a lot of those. I used to bake and was known for my muffins. I bake lots of chocolate recipes and my chocolate chip cookies are always a favorite with the grandkids. I make homemade pies from scratch and always do those for Thanksgiving. Lasagna is a hit, but I like to try new recipes. I also try to cut back on fat and salt content as everyone is more health-conscious these days. I make homemade Kahlua for family and Christmas gifts and everyone loves my Broncos Won cake which uses the liqueur. The recipe was given me my an Army nurse at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 1965. They also prefer my Snowballs (Mexican Wedding cookies) and request those for Christmas.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Christmas wouldn't be complete unless the kids have my Snowballs and homemade coffee liqueur to pour over ice cream or cake, or stir into coffee. My daughters carry on all the traditions now. Thanksgiving means I always make the pies, and the season between then and Christmas usually means baking for gifts to exchange among family and friends. My daughters cook and bake as I did and won't settle for anything else than family recipes that have been cooked and shared over the years. All the grandkids look forward to certain "bakies" and are so disappointed if certain items don't appear, so we always try to make sure the favorites are there every year, even when everyone is so health-conscious. We always have major holiday dinners at home and would be horror-stricken to have to eat out, or buy "store-bought". I guess you would have to say we are pretty traditional and old-fashion, but we always share the love and that is the best tradition of all.
My cooking triumphs
Homemade coffee liqueur, chocolate cheesecakes, Bridge Scramble (snack), pumpkin pie, Snowball cookies, chocolate-chip cookies, brownies, meatballs, cranberry chicken, Parmesan chicken, spaghetti sauce, Mexican enchilada casserole, potato and ham casserole and anything with lots of butter and sour cream!
My cooking tragedies
Oh my. Over the years I've had many and can't remember any in particular because I had a loving family who would not hurt my feelings by saying something was awful. I always knew if it was bad and that recipe was tweaked, or thrown away and never heard of again. I have burned and overbaked and spilled and done all those things that most cooks have experienced, even the one where the lid to the blender wasn't completely on and the contents went all over everything. I have had things under-cooked, over-cooked, half-baked, or not baked at all when I forgot to turn on the oven. I have had times when I forgot to add an ingredient and it was enough to make the whole thing inedible. In other words, my tragedies are common ones among the chefs of the world.