I started out on this section being transparently real. However, it had such a heaviness to it that I decided to revert to superficiality and keep it light. Therefore, life is good! I have a husband of 23 years that has a keen sense of humor. I don't know what I would have done without it. We have five children together; three sons 18, 21 & 22 and two daughters 12 & 17. I have been a stay at home mom who has been involved in all aspects of my kids learning (Except, I must admit, their homework ~ sorry guys I graduated a long time ago and I can't remember my dad or mom ever going over my homework with me). I love to make killer sandwiches. My kids say I have a knack for taking whatever we have in the fridge and turning it into a gourmet delight (I sometimes think they're playing me so they don't have to make it themselves). Due to budget restraints I attempt to recreate some of the flavors from our favorite take-out places. For the most I get real close.
My favorite things to cook
I love to try to duplicate the food we enjoy from take-out places. They challenge me to get closer and closer each time to the original. All holidays equal food to me. New Years gets a nice cut of meat not usually had at other holidays, it changes. Valentines get heart shaped chicken breasts and cakes. St. Patrick's gets a brisket since we don't care for corned beef. Somewhere around the end of Marh first part of April we are honored to remember the single most imortant act of selflessness ever witnessed by man. For Easter we have been experimenting with lamb recipes as somewhat symbolic of the slain Lamb of God. April Fool's gets an array of all the worst for you, but best tasting faire (c'mon, at least once a year). May Day gets a hearty vegetable soup, hot breads, and an extravagant salad with the most exotic ingredients freshly offered at the local farmer's market. June gets a never before tried cake a week to tie into weddings and two of my children's b-days.
My favorite family cooking traditions
July is everything Americana. Hot dogs, ribs, corn-on-the-cob, apple pie. August is full blown summer food. Lots of skewered meats, vegetables and fruits. September is mostly quick and easy, grab n go while we prepare/sign kids into school. Octobers end signals an opportunity to create ghoulish recipes to delight (or disgust) those around you. November celebrates fall veggies, huge birds, and spicy pies, cakes, and quick breads. Last, but not least, we have December with the best ham you can afford, prepared with the most love you can muster. Along side the savory is a slew of sweetly ladened morsels purposely in overabundance to share with loved ones. This tradition serves the dual purpose of getting to have a gift for all and facilitating an out with the old in with the new time of renewing.
My cooking triumphs
My father raves about the New England Clam Chowder and the Cream of Broccoli soups I made especially for his birthdays. My eldest son and his birthday attendees still hound me for barbeque pork ribs I made one year for his celebration. My second to oldest son won't let anyone but me fix pan fried steak for him. My youngest son asks for "Bloomin' Onions" or fresh hash brown potatoes. My oldest daughter likes my kitchen sink green salads, as well as the pasta ones. My youngest leans more toward any of the "big batch" dinners: spaghetti, shrimp/pork fried rice, stove top tuna casserole, anything that I prefaced with there being enough for all you want. Then we have the house carnivore, my husband. His motto is "If it once got around without the help of a person, he'll eat it". Loves how I fix steaks, marvels how moist I can cook a bird without it being pink, gives me props for taking tough cuts and cooking them so you enjoy them.
My cooking tragedies
The usual misreading of recipe amounts. Switching salt and sugar amounts. Over salting has been the bane of my cooking. I have had to learn the hard way about the proper pacing of salt additions. Like hearing it was good to season the water when you cook pasta. So I salt the water, I salt the meat, I salt the tomato sauce, I salt the ricotta blend, I'm sunk. My mantra with my children has been, "you can always add it, but you can't always take it out".