I learned to cook with an old iron skillet on a cast iron stove. Yep - the "new age" hit us late. I was making my own breakfast at age 5, and baking with just supervision by 7. There are no "box mixes" in my pantry. My husband has his own shelf for his "junk" food like Pop Tarts and canned alfredo sauce (yes, I make my own).
My favorite things to cook
I love Basalmic Vinegar and garlic and work them in wherever I can. I love experimenting with chicken, and have fun with beef and pork. I spend a lot of time coming up with my own seasonings, and varying other recipes (using them as a base, but tossing out half the recipe to make it my own).
I share some of these at www.goldenbrownfood.com.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Oh, how I love a slow-cooked roast, french toast with homemade bread and peanut butter cookies. The lady who taught me to cook made everything from scratch, so I'm a "basic" shopper. If it's not the actual ingredient, I don't buy it. That pantry? The remaining shelves are all core ingredients.
My cooking triumphs
I've never made a chicken dish that was inedible. I've just about mastered fondue and bourbon chicken, but my real triumph is a killer chicken tortilla soup. Corona is the key ingredient.
My cooking tragedies
What's up with this anti-raising flour some stores carry? I've baked some pretty flat and heavy bread that's like chewing on sheetrock. But my worst was when I underestimated the cooking time on my bourbon chicken the first time out. It tasted great, but we all got hammered!