I was raised by my grandmother, who always wanted to make sure I could fend for myself in the kitchen. And, being Native American, some of my heritage definitely comes through in my tastes and cooking styles.
My favorite things to cook
I prefer making desserts, baking and making side dishes. I've recently begun brave enough to try yeast breads and meats for main courses.
My favorite family cooking traditions
We were always about bread and variety at our house. Every meal consisted of a main dish, two side dishes, and some sort of bread. Almost everything was made from scratch, and a lot of the ingredients came from commodities since we were very poor.
I don't tend to cook with a lot of spices, because those were not things we had very often - they were simply an expense we could not afford! So most of my seasoning is limited to basic salt-and-pepper style.
My cooking triumphs
Nothing will ever beat the thrill of successfully making frybread for the first time. It's sort of a right of passage in the households where we're from, and we all know how intimidating yeast bread can be.
My cooking tragedies
I have made some truly horrific desserts before, but nothing will ever beat the brownies I made once for Christmas. It was a new recipe that seemed okay, but called for yogurt as its twist. They were the most disgusting chocolate confection I've ever made.