I am a very creative person with a flair for making things beautiful. I am interested in the quality of life. I appreciate family, traditions, symbolism and the history of foods and the stories behind them. I have finally come to the realization that if you want your family to enjoy REALLY good food you need to make it yourself. And always add that special ingredient ...LOVE!!
My favorite things to cook
Stuffed Peppers, old European and New England Recipes, all types of wonderful and creative green salads, Jello Salads and molds of all types, Rhubarb dishes, Eggplant Dishes,Fresh berries and Yogurt (muesli) Pennsylvania Dutch Foods (especially Red Beet Eggs and Snow Peas and New Potato Soup in Milk Broth), Chocolates with the Kids at Holidays, British Foods (Cauliflower Cheese), German Recipes (sour kraut, bratwurst,apples with red cabbage, egg noodles, smoked pork chops), crock pot easy comforting dinners (sauerbraten, pork roast, london broil,turkey, brisket, corned beef),fresh farm veggies, Casseroles (turkey/chicken divan, Great Aunt Eleanor's summer squash casserole),Chicken Paprika, Salmon, Lobster,Crab, Shrimp and Scallop Dishes,Soups of all kinds, Chinese Dishes (expecially Pork Chop Tea with Lotus Root) ....
My favorite family cooking traditions
Pennsylvania Dutch, Old New England / British, Chinese. Corn Bread was the first thing that I remember learning how to bake when I was 8 years old. I taught my daughter how to make Gingerbread when she was 6. Home grown Veggies from the family garden and learning how to tie sugar peas the first crop of spring, green and wax beans to the strung wires, staking and tying the tomatoes with little pieces of panty hose and making baracades out of folded newspaper to protect the roots, my dad teaching me how to make small mounds of dirt with three holes for the seeds for the various summer squash, zucchini, watermelon and pumpkin plants. Bell peppers and Eggplant. I taught the same to my children. At harvest they filled a cornucopia with their best veggies. My mom put me in charge of salad making when I was in elementary school and now my son has this job! Both my parents came from traditions of eating plenty of farm fresh seasonal fruits and veggies. Farm markets, farm stands, pick your own
My cooking triumphs
Pennsylvania Sugar Peas with New Potatoes in Milk Broth and Chinese Pork Chop Tea with Lotus Root and Red Berries (both are traditional family soups) are always a hit! As well as my New England Clam Chowder and Lobster Bisque! My children love Broccoli Cheese Soup. Their favorite dessert is simply an assortment of sliced citrus or fresh berries and vanilla yogurt!They also marvel over my many jello creations (and most are Sugar Free!).Jello let's an artist shine!! This summer from this site I learned how to make Basil/Tomato/Fresh Mozzarella from this site. Also,a green salad with Blackberries, Grape Tomatoes and Feta / I use Poppy Seed Dressing. Both were HITS!!
My cooking tragedies
Forgetting to watch the stove once and scorching the food in the pan. That is a mistake that no one would make twice. Also, this season I tried to make an old family recipe for Rhubarb Cake and it did not rise; I thought that perhaps my sister forgot to copy it down right. Then I tried to bake a Blueberry Buckle as a former boss from Boston and Philly always raved about this wonderful old time recipe. It smelled great but again didn't rise. I then realized that my Rumford Baking Powder was expired by the date at the bottom of the can! Bummer...won't make that mistake again. Other than that I usually don't have trouble. I use tried and true family recipes,my favorite PA Dutch Cookbooks, Recipes that I learned from working at the largest banquet facility on the east coast through HS and College, recipes from websites with five star ratings or from well known manufacturers websites (Pillsbury, Jello etc.) and follow directions carefully and usually I have good luck.