I'm a stay-at-home wife to a wonderful husband,Charles (who is a great cook himself)and mother to two handsome young men,ages 19 and 22. I grew up in a house of women who loved to cook. My maternal Grandmother lived with us... I'd say her specialty was baking, although everything she made tasted wonderful. My Mom is also an excellent cook, as are my three sisters. Grandma and Mom were always encouraging us to try new recipes, so I remember cooking at an early age. My paternal Grandfather, who was from Sweden, lived right next door and he had a huge garden every summer. I have many memories of fantastic meals made just from that garden!
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking ethnic food... Asian cooking was the first cuisine I experimented with, when I was in college, due to the fact that my best friend was Korean. She taught me to make some great dishes. I've tried Indian, Mediterranean, and right now, lots of Mexican dishes. My husband and boys love Mexican!
My favorite family cooking traditions
We had great Sunday family dinners when I was growing up that I still remember fondly. There would usually be at least 10 of us around the table. Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles were always included. We always had a roast of some kind, usually beef. Always lots of different vegetables, especially in summer, and then some wonderful homemade dessert. People definitely like to eat in my family! My sisters and I learned a lot about cooking from those Sunday dinners. What I always think of now is how did Mom and Grandma get it all on the table, hot and perfectly cooked at the same time. I still struggle with that in my own cooking!
My cooking triumphs
I made my husband a stuffed leg of lamb for his birthday one year when we were first married. I got the recipe from an old Bon Appetit magazine my mother-in-law had given me. It was stuffed with feta and shitake mushrooms along with spices, etc. He raved over that dish! And I lost the recipe!!!
My cooking tragedies
Too many to name them all, but the one that stands out for me was a marinated mushroom recipe that I'd never tried before and took to a neighborhood Christmas party... a big YUCK! How embarassing! But it taught me an important lesson about testing(and tasting)recipes first before sharing them with people you don't know that well!!