I am an artisan baker and deli manager at a local food cooperative here in ciudad de Las Cruces. I basically taught myself to cook once I first moved out of my parents' house and into my own apartment at university...that was about 10 years ago.
I believe that people have extreme power when they hold a fork in their hand, and the food choices that they make can make waves, globally. People come together over food, but it is also an essential part of being. The food choices people make affect many lives, including their own, their families', those of migrant workers and those in other countries, those of the farmer and the animal...if people really THINK about what they are putting on their plates, think of WHO they are affecting, then the WORLD may be able to come together over food. It sounds cheesy, but just think about it for a minute - the power you have...
My favorite things to cook
As a vegetarian, I love taking traditional recipes from my childhood and making them into vegetarian or vegan cuisine. However, my favorite dishes to make are surprisingly, ones that I never grew up with...mostly international cuisine, especially asian and indian. I don't eat cheesecake or french pastries, but I do occasionally make them for various benefit auctions in the area and I am told that I make a killer cheesecake...there's always demand for them the following year. I am also known for my artisan breads, vegan biscuits'n'gravy, black bean hummus and vegan french onion soup!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have memories of making cookies with my mom and siblings a lot when I was little...especially sugar cookies around the holidays. Making fudge from scratch with my grandma. My fondest memories are of my father's cooking over a camp stove when we would go camping several times a year...potatoes and bell peppers, sauteed with onions, spices and olive oil...very fond memories!
My cooking triumphs
I've had several...making cheesecakes for an auction that benefited an organization that I am involved in and four cheesecakes sold for over $200...the purchasers called me to ask if they could pay me to make more! Also, making several different dishes for a local food cooperative when I was a graduate student at University of Illinois, having them sell out within two hours, then the people coming back to buy more of whatever I was making the following week during my shift.
Today my triumphs lie in making entire meals out of completely locally grown and produced ingredients. Buying local means you're supporting the local economy, you KNOW the person who grew your food and don't have to worry about FDA-failed contaminant screening (I don't worry about my tomatoes...do you?). There is no reason for me to buy an onion from California or grapes from Chile when I can just as easily and safely get them from my own county, from farmers that I know personally. Eating locally decreases our f
My cooking tragedies
Hands down: many breakfast foods. I cannot make a pancake to save my life...I've failed at making sunnyside up eggs for my partner and I've only recently gotten the knack for making hash browns. Sometimes the most seemingly basic of all recipes just stumps me! Although, I HAVE learned to make some killer huevos rancheros since moving to New Mexico, land of green chile!