Self-taught in the kitchen. I find cooking and baking very relaxing and find satisfaction in doing it well. I love to collect and read cookbooks, cooking magazines, and browse cooking sites, always looking for new ideas.
My favorite things to cook
Anything Italian! My real passion is baking and I will attempt pretty much anything.
My favorite family cooking traditions
At Christmas, we always put on a Swedish smorgasbord for my husband's family. We eat Korv (sausage), silta (a pork/veal mix in a jellied loaf), rice pudding, boiled potatoes w/dill, ham, Bondst cheese, limpa (swedish rye bread), and pepparkakut (a spicy cookie). With my background being Polish and German, I sometimes throw kielbasa & kraut in for the heck of it.
My cooking triumphs
Teaching myself how to make a light, flaky pie crust, and homemade yeast breads and rolls.
Also, the day my hubby presented me with my very own Kitchen Aide stand mixer--wow---aren't they the greatest!
My cooking tragedies
My first attempt at making jam involved my daughter, then 4, and I picking wild blackberries all morning. We came home scratched up and tired, but I couldn't wait to make jam. I didn't have any pectin and didn't own a candy thermometer, but went ahead anyway thinking it couldn't be all that tough--cooks had done without those luxuries for years and made jam. Anyway, the next day, I proudly put a jar out for my husband to have with his morning toast. It was so thick and stiff he could barely get it out the jar. Of course, I burst into tears realizing I would have to throw out the whole batch. Needless to say, I purchased a candy thermometer and have used pectin ever since, although my husband later commented my jam would have made an excellent road tar!