I currently live in Baltimore, Maryland, and am pursuing a PhD in Language, Literacy, and Culture. I remember being no older than five or six, but I was already begging my mom to let me cook something. She did let me although she had a few "special" recipes she would let me try--the easiest ones! But I never stopped enjoying the art. I don't have as much time to cook elaborate dishes now, but after I graduate and settle in a new job, I hope to take up cooking as a more frequent hobby on which I can improve.
My favorite things to cook
My husband loves chicken fried steak, baked macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes with gravy; so I try to make that pretty often.
I also love cooking many Asian and Mexican dishes. I would like to learn more about different styles of Asian, Mexican, and Mediterranean dishes though.
I also enjoy cooking appetizers that we can eat while we watch sports.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother's biscuits with chocolate gravy. No, I'm not kidding. It is soooo good. My husband's grandfather makes the absolute BEST fried catfish. I've found that in Maryland, fish tends to be battered rather than dusted with cornmeal.
My cooking triumphs
My Southwestern egg rolls are always a hit, but an actual triumph occurred when I was dating my husband. He was working, but I surprised him with the absolute best--seriously, they were to-die-for!--burgers I've ever made. The secret was Liquid Smoke to give them a nice "grilled" taste. I think he was hooked from that moment on.
My cooking tragedies
I made the best pot of meatball soup, but I ended up scorching it, so the entire pot had to be thrown out!! I was so sad. Also, I once attempted to emulate my mother-in-law's famous chocolate pie (she gave me the top-secret family recipe). But, my husband and I were on the Atkins diet, so I used Splenda instead of sugar. Yikes ... it did not work. It was really embarassing.