New G'ma.Theophilus James C. born 7/24.Mother of 4 gorgeous girls. IU Alumni.Married to IU Alum & artist, married 27 years.Live on 1/2 acre, grow pears,apples, peaches, sour cherries,raspberries, blueberries, blackberries,Concord grapes, strawberries,currants,elderberries, rhubarb &all kinds of veggies in our gardens.I can/preserve 800+jars jam,jellies,marmalades,butters, conserves,juices,green beans,peas, tomatoes,corn&freeze venison,duck, & anything else we hunt. I'm a 4H State & County Fair Judge&teacher of home preservation, bread baking, & anything else they ask me to teach. I get asked a lot of questions on two other cooking sites & I really enjoy helping young cooks find their own way in their kitchens. Not everyone is as lucky as I was to have a grandma who was also a professional to teach them so I love to pass on whatever technique or recipes I can to help others out.
My favorite things to cook
I grew up in the kitchen of my Gmas restaurant&it was she who instilled in me my passion & love for all things baked.At the moment I'm perfecting making my own puff pastry. I bake a mean blackberry pie (I put up 72 gallons this year) & I'm very good @cooking,braising, roasting, smoking etc all kinds of game. There's not much of anything I can't/won't cook or bake except liver-)
My favorite family cooking traditions
One of the things I enjoy most is teaching my daughters all there is to know about canning &preserving. It is a craft to be learned in a way that is very safe & you must be diligent in your cleanliness& procedures in doing so.I also enjoy giving away dozen's of jars of my own marmalades, lemon curds, pie fillings etc & hope I've taught my daughters to share their harvests with others as well.Xmas morning U will find me cooking a very rare treat, my Streuselkuchen, from a recipe my mother brought back from a Canadian fishing camp she&my pops went to every summer. The cook at the camp was from West Germany&gave my mother the two special packages of imported Vanillen Sucre&Bakkin Powder required in the recipe. It's hard to get these ingrediants but I send for them every year so I can bake my family a huge kuchen & present it to them on a special platter on Christmas morning.
My cooking triumphs
Everytime I create a new recipe to can/preserve a special relish or conserve, marmalade etc or bake a souffle that doesn't fall or make my Smothered Pheasant & watch my DH devour every bite....those are good days for me but truly, every time I cook for my family & see the smiles on their faces, it's a good day for me.I spent every summer w/my Gma but in the winter if I needed advise from her I'd call her up long distance & we'd go over my recipe on the phone. I cooked a terrific Thanksgiving Dinner for mny family complete w/26 lb turkey, all the sides & pumpkin pies at the age of 8. My mom & dad were both working & came homne exhausted. It made me feel good to be able to feed them and give back to them for all their hard work in providing for us.
My cooking tragedies
To be honest, I don't have many flops in the kitchen owing to the great teaching I received in my younger years. If I have a goof up it's due to trying to multi-task & having too many balls in the air at one time.That's when my bread loaves get a wee bit over baked or my cookies a little crunchie.