I'm a Peace Corps Volunteer currently serving in Azerbaijan. I spend my time teaching, working on development projects, visiting friends around town, and trying to learn something new every day. I was more of a baker before joining the Peace Corps, but necessity is the mother of invention--as a result, I think I'm getting to be a pretty decent cook. I've certainly become more creative, and I've never had any complaints.
My favorite things to cook
I like cooking anything that is healthy, colorful, and fresh. I detest lots of oil or anything bland.
My favorite foods to cook are:
Azerbaijani: Pumpkin xengel and dovgha.
Indian: Palak paneer, daal, and channa masala.
Mexican: Homemade corn tortillas and mole negro.
Middle Eastern: Hummus, baba ghanoush, and shakshouka.
My own recipes: Anything I make with pumpkin turns out pretty good.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My favorite thing to do is cooking time intensive Azerbaijani food with my host mom (like dumplings or stuffed grape leaves). We gossip and laugh while we work. Its good "us time," and it really feels like we are mother and daughter.