I have been cooking since I was 4.....Grandmother always had me helping in the kitchen.! I collect rare and unusual cookbooks, as well as any new ones that look good, and read them like a novel; every page, every recipe, every ingredient, and at last count, had over 600 cookbooks in my collection. I love to cook and garden...it is my therapy and a way to relax from a stressful profession. I grow fresh herbs in my greenhouse year round and love to experiment with new recipe ideas that pop in my head or sound good in my mind. I read 'regular' books too,and never leave home without one! I learned a lot about cooking on multiple trips to many different countries in Europe. Sometimes simple is so darn good. Healthy eating is so important but I certainly can chow down on the calories when I feel like it.! Love cooking for my family and friends and have even catered friends' parties for them. Now that is a REAL job.
My favorite things to cook
One word here.......EVERYTHING.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Grandmother was a 'meat and potatoes' cook from Kansas and she used to cook for our farmhands 3 meals daily (15 to 20 hungry men). One thing I learned from her was NEVER to make anything that contained jello.(she had about 5 different jello concoctions with most meals..UGH.) I still shy away from anything with jello in it. Had enough of that as a child. My Mother was a great cook and she did make a lot of German dishes which are rich, saucey and oh so good. I really don't use recipes, even though I read 1000's of them. I just start slicing, dicing and chopping and have something in my head before I start that sounds good to me. I love all ethnic foods and love to try out new dishes of all kinds,( except liver and onions.) I just cannot acquire a taste for another animals' filter. Unless it is pate, then I cannot get enough. I even make my own pate' now and even though it's a lot of work, it is worth it. I could live on great cheeses, a loaf of bread and a jug of wine with some fruit.
My cooking triumphs
I started a monthly cooking extravaganza with about 15 of my likeminded friends and each month we pick a 'theme' and everyone decides what they will make to add to the menu. Sometimes I dole out actual recipes to them and they do their best. Never had a failure yet.!And everyone brings a wine in the theme and from the country we have picked. We do Italian, Cajun, French, Mediterranian, American, Greek...you name it. Then after we clean up my kitchen,(thank God for 2 dishwashers), we play spades until 2 or 3 in the morning at beginner to advanced tables. This has been a tradition for 25 years and we still are going strong. Now, that is a triumph.
My cooking tragedies
Now, my poor gentleman friend, who is a simple meat and potatoes guy and doesn't like many green veggies, has to suffer through my 'foo foo' meals, as he calls them. But I will say, after 8 years, he never really complains, just says "thank you for the meal honey. It was.....interesting." I know whether or not he liked it only by how much is left over on his plate or if he asks for seconds. And this is a man, whom when I am gone off somewhere across the country working for a month or two or 3 or 4, eats POTTED CANNED MEAT AND CRACKERS FOR SUPPER.!!! Now that is indeed a TRAGEDY.!!