I'm a Seattleite working as a research scientist. For me, cooking is like chemistry, but with less dangerous ingredients and more protocol variance. :D
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking with vegetables. I'm not a vegetarian, but my mom is, and I learned the majority of my cooking knowledge from her. So right now, meat in general is a blank for me. I'm learning, though!
I also love baking cookies and cakes, but I don't get a whole lot of practice with that because I live on my own. Having a cake all to myself is a bad idea! lol. I do make cookies a lot, though.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Just cooking anything with my mom in the living room. My sister and I used to decide we were going to make something and end up totally destroying the kitchen and pestering mom with a million questions! She'd get annoyed, but everything turned out all right when the food was on the table. Great times. :)
My cooking triumphs
When I started bringing my cooking to other people and getting genuinely positive responses ("Wow, that's REALLY good!"). There's nothing better!
My cooking tragedies
Oh, I've got a few.
The worst one was when I was first learning how to cook and, in short, set olive oil on fire before I got anything else in the pot (I was making sauce). Dad had to use the fire extinguisher, except he used it wrong and got close to the pot. So instead of putting the fire out, he created a fire-cloud that left a permanent stain on the ceiling.
Also, we didn't know it was permanent at the time, so after everything had settled down, I went and drew 'CB was here' in the ash smudge. Dad couldn't clean it off all the way and we sold the house with the smudge still there. I didn't go near a stove for five years after that.
It was only when I went to college and realized that cooking was like my chemistry labs did I start learning how to cook in earnest.
Also, never use a stir-fry vegetable mix to make a chicken pot-pie. Blech.