I love to cook, I have been cooking for my family for over 40 years, first for my parents and then for friends and family. I collect cookbooks, I have over 1200. I enjoy having friends over for a "theme night" where I serve menus from various ethnic cuisines. "Chinese night" was voted the best, with "Indian night" coming in a close second.
My favorite things to cook
I love to experiment with varied ethnic dishes. We have a wonderful international market here in Las Vegas where I can find all sorts of exotic ingredients. Once after several weeks of ethnic meals, my husband asked me to please cook something that "originated on this continent". I also like to cook comfort foods, and regional specialties from the good old US. I'll try anything once. Luckily, my husband will eat just about anything.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother didn't really like to cook, and she worked in the evenings, so I started cooking dinner when I was about 12. However, I still like to make Thanksgiving dinner exactly how my mother made it, with some small enhancements. Her stuffing is unrivaled.
My cooking triumphs
I once made Christmas dinner for my in-laws in Iowa (over 25 people). My mother-in-law doesn't like to cook, so she just helped with the chopping and clean up. Whenever we visit she turns her kitchen over to me. (I adore my mother-in-law) I served Roast Pork with Balsamic Vinegar sauce, Twice Baked Potatoes with Swiss Cheese and Green Onions, Creamed Spinach Casserole and several other dishes including desserts, all from memory. My in-laws all loved the meal, and my nephew ate 5 potatoes. My sister-in-law said that she had never had food like that (in a good way)
My cooking tragedies
I once tried a gingerbread recipe from a German cookbook. The recipe called for a 10 inch cake pan and I didn't have one, so I used a 10 inch pie pan. The batter rose very high and spilled all over the oven. The recipe said not to open the oven for at least 45 minutes, so I let it drip and burn on the oven bottom all that time. What a mess. Baking is not really my forte. I am much better at savory meals.