Retired!. I have just started to really enjoy cooking. Before it was always a ways to a means - getting food on the table to eat. Now I have time to enjoy trying different recipes. So far, I've found my favorite thing is BAKING. Not good for the waistline. So I have a rule. I bake, I get one slice (of what-ever) the rest gets given away.
My favorite things to cook
Pear Pie has been my favorite so far. I've made the recipe so many times I have it memorized, then I started experimenting with different things and enjoyed my results. If it isn't dessert - Its definitely a vegetable dish (So far I haven't found one I've had the chance to try) My husband is the meat eater, so anything easy would make me happy, I just don't enjoy eating meat that much.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I remember making home made polish sausage with my grand-mother. Unfortunately no one has the recipe, she didn't have anything on paper it was in her head. I learned how to make "sinker" dumplings, from my Mom, both of my daughters are grown, and that is a recipe they have called and asked me how to make. Staying with grandma's tradition - we don't seem to write anything down, nor measure anything - its just all in our heads!.
My cooking triumphs
I learned how to make chili from watching my Mom. When I grew up I started making my the chili my own way which was a variation of the groundwork I learned from Mom. A few years ago, I put this all to the test in a chili cook off (I went all out) and I won. And once more keeping with our family traditions - this recipe wasn't written down, and I didn't measure anything.
My cooking tragedies
I was in an ethnic flavored grocery store. There was a whole side of the produce section filled with things I have never seen. I was eager to try something new. I saw a woman filling a bag with this weird shaped green monster looking things. They were called "bitter melon". I approached the woman and asked her how she would fix them. Her English was very broken, but she explained, cut them open, remove the middle seed part, chop them up, sauté with onions and ground meat. Sounded easy enough. I never thought to ask her about seasonings. This was the only dish ever - my husband took one mouthful and refused to eat. Yes - the bitter melons - were very biter.