Cooking is a creative outlet for me: improving, improvising, experimenting. The challenges now are to make favorite family recipes healthier, and to learn to cook for two or four instead of a crowd. I use weekends to entertain or prepare meals for the coming week, so there are still many opportunities to practice the art. I have a collection of literally hundreds of cookbooks, and another collection of over 100 teapots, so I love to combine the two interests at a holiday tea party.
My favorite things to cook
Baking is my first love; currently I turn out lots of cranberry banana nut bread and orange raisin scones...and pumpkin or blueberry muffins...and cakes, apple cobbler, yeast breads and kolach. With the help of my daughter and son in law, I have made homemade tamales (for my Mexican-American husband)- it takes all day and every pot in the kitchen, but it was a wonderful feeling of achievement - the tamales were excellent!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I love to cook for a crowd - family gatherings of 35 people or so, parties, lunches at work or church. Now the family gets together to cook the dishes our Hungarian Mother used to make, chicken paprikash, stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers, goulash soup, wonderful nut or apricot pastries -and share memories while passing on our cooking traditions to the next generation.
My cooking tragedies
Since I come from a large family of 8, there were few tragedies - there was always someone who would eat whatever I cooked, good or not-so-good!