Jan. 23, 2015 2:27 pm
Updated: Jan. 24, 2015 5:54 am
One of the first kitchens I worked in was for the Rusty Pelican. My first wife and I lived in a small apartment in Brea. While out on a bicycle ride, I T-boned a Camero that came tearing out of an ally and into the street and I rolled
over the hood. I was okay, but got stuck with the hospital…
I'm a single dad of 2 teenagers, a boy and a girl. I run my own swimming pool service and repair company and surf on my days off. I usually cook for my kids, at least, twice a week. I've a short list of tried & true dishes, but struggle to find new and interesting recipes. I've cooked professionally off and on since high school. I've gone from working in a small kitchen, to line cook at The Ice House, to head broiler chef at The Rusty Pelican, to short order cook at the local pub. No matter how many times I quit, I always seem to end up back in the kitchen.
My favorite things to cook
The older I get the less I enjoy the hectic pace of the line. However, the last few years I cooked professionally, I ran the kitchen alone. I suppose it might be different working with someone else. I did enjoy the camaraderie. I enjoy cooking for my kids, mostly. Dinners like my mom used to make. I also like making breakfast. I make a hot breakfast for the kids the mornings I have them. Usually twice during the week and Saturday, so once again, 2 or 3 tried & true recipes I can knock out pretty quickly before school and work.
Since my divorce 5 years ago, I've established a relationship with my slow cooker. There just doesn't seem to be much of a variation in recipes though. I tend to start my recipes on the stove top, then transfer them to the slow cooker to simmer.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother wasn't the greatest cook. I remember milky mac & cheese, and overcooked meat. However, she did have her triumphs. She was known far & wide for her homemade bread. She baked bread about every 2 weeks and I remember the way it made the house smell. My favorite part was when my dad would cut an extra thick heel off a fresh loaf and cover it with butter.
My family struggled financially when I was young. I remember my mom getting 5lb blocks of cheddar cheese from the government so we had cheese on all kinds of stuff. A favorite of mine and my sister is cheese & carrots. She'd peel the carrots and slice them in half, then parboiled them. She let them cool, then laid them out in the bottom of a clear baking dish, spread them with butter, covered them with the sliced cheese and baked it in the oven until brown and bubbly. My kids won't eat cooked carrots, but occasionally my sister or I will make them for Thanksgiving.
My cooking triumphs
Anytime my kids like what I make.
My cooking tragedies
Oooooo.... When having company for dinner, don't try a new recipe for the first time. Enough said!!!