I am an author so work from my home office. It allows me a very flexible schedule so I have lots of time to indulge my cooking passion. I am married to a military officer who is often deployed (just returned from Afghanistan) and we have 4 children (3 boys, 1 girl; 15, 14, 10 and 6) We have a black lab, Wolseley. Our kids are quite involved in sports and community activities so our lives can get quite crazy at times.
I love to scrapbook and make homemade cards and am addicted to stamps. I also love to knit, do quilts etc -although I wish I was at great at finishing a project as I am at starting it. I would love some cooking pen friends, if anyone is interested. firstname.lastname@example.org Sheila
My favorite things to cook
Our family loves to eat so I usually have a pretty captive audience but food dishes become much simpler when my husband is away. All food must pass the "Wolseley test", Wolseley being our 1 year old Black Lab.
It is important to me that all our food be fresh and home cooked, be nutritious and yummy but also be quick and easy at times and affordable. This website is an absolute dream come true for me -our grocery bill alone has been cut by at least 50$ a week since I started preplanning and organizing the family menu.
Being a sweet freak, baking ia also another important part of my cooking portfolio and nothing makes me happier when my children brag about my desserts. I've taken a variety of cake decorating and chocolate making courses and the little techniques I have picked up from here have been invaluable!!
My favorite family cooking traditions
We plan,shop and cook together as a family. My husband and I are historians, and our children are budding archaeologists so we often try to be creative in our meals -making ancient Greek meals historically accurate, a variety of international theme meals (Middle Eastern, Japanese, Russian) and meals that are off-beat and unusual are also of interest. Family holidays-for us-means FOOD and we go crazy with the number of dishes that are presented. Christmas Eve we hold what our children call 'the feast' which is an evening filled with very elaborate, very gourmet food =(cranberry and brie, wrapped in filo pastry, lobster stuffed mushrooms, escargot, oyster gratin ..etc...)
Lastly, as Danish-Canadians, it is important to me that we preserve our family heritage and cooking and the traditions around it, is one of our family ways of doing this. I want my children to grow up and carry these food memories and cooking traditions with them.
My cooking triumphs
We hold an annual Danish Christmas Dinner which has become infamous around people that know us and people beg for invitations!! We generally have about 30-40 people for dinner. Last year was my best ever: Prune and apple stuffed goose, duck breasts glazed in ice wine, plates of dill-infused salmon fillets, a table full of smorbrod (fancy open faced sandwiches) piles of shrimp pyramids, frikadellen (traditional Danish meatballs) all the traditional side dishes (cavier stuffed eggs, pork and cabbage, etc) and an entire buffet covered in Danish breads, cakes and sweets. Everything home made by myself (some help from family)
My cooking tragedies
There has been a few occassions (only a few, thankfully!!) where I have gone to great lengths to make a meal (dicing, and simmering and reducing..) only to have the entire family politely chew a few bites and then try to feed Wolseley without me looking. When Wolseley refuses, then I know it has been a disaster. Also, a few times, I have tried to 'create', using tastes and techniques that have worked independently in the past, and then have them all turn into a mess when combined.