I stopped eating meat a few years ago although I never could give up seafood. I do cook meat for my hubby; he's an avowed carnivore. I recently remodeled my kitchen and now you can't get me out of there...unless it's to go shop for more food. Nothing makes me happier.
My favorite things to cook
I am very much interested in the healing powers of food and love to produce a beautiful and healthy meal. I have had a passion for the kitchen since I was a child...my first Brownie Scout badge was for cooking. I love to make multiple small dishes, featuring lean meats, seafood and veggies. It's not unusual for all six of my Viking burners to be going at once, even if I'm only cooking for two. Most nights we dine on a protein and three or four side dishes, mostly veggies. I also use alot of fresh herbs which I grow year-round. I love making soup and look forward to the cooler months here in Northern California when we take it indoors for a change. Even then, the grill pan is often going!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I'm half Greek so I can't resist making dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) every spring when the young, tender leaves first show up in our little arbor. I make baklava every Easter and I've even developed a version of my mom's Pastitsio using a meat substitute. From my husband's side of the family, I treasure his mother's 120+ year-old sourdough starter and faithfully follow the hotcake recipe handed down to him over several generations whenever we make a celebration breakfast--and always on Christmas morning. We are now keepers of the starter and will pass it on to our granddaughters to keep it going for many more generations, hopefully.
My cooking triumphs
My chili won a gold medal at a local cook-off, the only time I entered such a contest and I'm very proud of that. It is requested by my co-workers every year at our Christmas potluck so I guess even though I no longer eat it, I'll keep making it.
My cooking tragedies
I've had my share but the most memorable had to be the first Thanksgiving dinner I ever cooked as a young bride, when my electric oven element burned out two hours into the process. Friends arrived in a motor home and we carved the legs and wings off so as to fit the huge breast in their small oven. We broiled the dark meat, since that element still worked. I still remember running back and forth in a downpour to baste that turkey breast all day long. Amazingly, everything tasted wonderful in the end.
Imagine my surprise when, twenty years later, my gas oven quit on me one hour into cooking another Thanksgiving feast. This time, we borrowed a roaster oven and managed to finish the bird in one piece.
I've been serving whole turkey breasts ever since and that is the honest truth!