I love to cook! Bake too! My grandfather taught me to cook at a very young age...and I continued his legecy cooking for the family --and adding that extra amount of love! Unfortunately my grandfather died when I was 12 otherwise I think I would have gone to culinary school with his support instead of college as my parents wanted.
My favorite things to cook
Recipes that my grandfather taught me...lasagna, various italian style vegatable dishes. I also love baking. I started baking at the age of 5. I made my own candied fruit at age 16--using my family strict diet of no sugar and no artifical ingredients. While the candied fruit never fully dried--as I used honey as a sweetner--the fruit cake was delish! And became a family favorite--I wish I had that recipe!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My early childhood experiences cooking with my grandfather in his kitchens (indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen). Most of those traditions involve holiday cooking. Seafood, holiday dessert treats, traditional turkey dinner.
When my parents went organic and no sugar, no white flour it was difficult to adapt recipes but one recipe my mother refused to adapt was gingerbread men for Christmas. She used the recipe in the 1950s version of the Betty Crocker looseleaf cook book. I've since obtained a copy of a similar version of that cookbook...and make gingerbread men for Christmas morning breakfast--before the rest of the family get up! After the presents are opened, gift wrap trashed then we make real Christmas breakfast.
My cooking tragedies
When I was 8 years old, I tried to make apple pie with whole wheat flour crust. I did not know how to adapt the recipe (my father refused to allow white flour in the house). I tried to roll out the whole wheat pie crust...but couldn't get it thin enough. The crust was so heavy that it made me physically ill. My brothers loved to tease me about it...if I couldn't stomach my own cooking...then wouldn't eat it!
When I was first married (way too young) I tried to duplicate a receipe my mother made--baked sweet potatoes with apples. I didn't have her recipe or a recipe book, so I winged it...poorly! My husband was so disguested he made me throw it out--he wasn't very nice about it. That and a few other similar incidents turned me off cooking and baking...I did not cook anything of significance for years. Thankfully, years later I worked for a company with accomplished chefs. My love of cooking for others was again instilled in me.