I love to garden more than anything. Cooking and baking comes in second. Canning & freezing comes naturally with the garden. I love to try new things both in the garden and with cooking. I also quilt. I like to quilt because it allows me to use scraps of fabric to make something the way I want it. With quilting there is no right or wrong. You can do it your way and create from your heart.
My favorite things to cook
Breads of all types. Baking cookies, pies and candies for Christmas
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmothers both cooked meals on Sunday where we would all gather to eat and play with our cousins. My mother still carries on this tradition. Now that my children are older they sometimes come over for Sunday dinners, something I enjoy very much still. It seems like all of the stories about their life experiences become table talk and make you feel like you gave them a pretty good life.
My cooking triumphs
Since I was about 10 I wanted to learn to make good homemade bread. I tried everything, experimenting with ingredients, mixing, baking etc. Then I bought a bread maker, joined a breadmaker group online and learned so much about bread from that. I am now baking all sorts of breads, like rolls, black rye, German stollen etc. It took about 40 years to figure out how to make good bread thanks to the breadmakers online group.
My cooking tragedies
Ive been cooking since I was about 7 years old. As I got older I would cook meals and was always experimenting. I made Orange Chicken once and had to substitute concentrated orange juice since I had no real oranges. Well the casserole was horrible in my opinion but my father's comment that it wasn't too bad made me realize how much he loved me to say something like that. As I became a teenager my mother thought I had enough experience to cook for a group of men who were coming to our house to shell corn (She had to work at her second job) So I prepared a meal like I would for our family of 6. There were 10 hungry men that day and you can imagine that I quickly ran out of food. I was so embarassed. I could tell by the smile on their faces that they were amused. The two cherry pies saved the day. From then on I decided to count people and multiply by portion sizes when cooking for larger groups.