I come from a large family of home cooks who like to experiment and share recipes with each other. I love to read cookbooks, newspaper and magazine articles and search the net for new recipes and cooking styles. Luckily I have a husband who isn't afraid to try new things and likes just about everything!
My favorite things to cook
I think I go in trends with this, depending on the weather and the season. When it's cold outside I love to experiment with roasting meats and casseroles of all kinds. When it's warm I tend to lean toward seafood dishes both indoors and on the grill.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Among my favorite memories is my mother preparing Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year pies for our huge family. I'm the youngest of 7 and Mom is 85 yrs old now, but when she was doing the cooking she'd make the pie dough and line up the pie plates in assembly line fashion all over the kitchen counters and table. She'd have several varieties of dessert pies and also her Canadian family specialty, pork pie. It was nothing for her to have 15 or more pies going at once. We'd all be in her way trying to "help" so she'd give us little tasks like peeling apples or other fruits or cranking the handle (gasp) on the grinder to get the meat ready for the turkey stuffing and for her pork pies. The highlight for us was after all the pies were assembled and she'd let us roll out the leftover dough to make cinnamon or jelly tarts as a treat. I honestly don't know how she did it and never lost her patience with us since she'd be at it till very late at night. Thanks Mom!
My cooking triumphs
Finally making ribs that my husband has declared "the best ever." I started with a Martha Stewart recipe and tweaked the seasoning over and over again until I finally got them exactly as we like them. (I didn't change too much Martha, just added a little heat.) Before that he always had his favorite place we'd have to go for ribs but not anymore. I make them on the grill all summer long for him and every time we have a BBQ, and they're fall-off-the-bone wonderful.
My cooking tragedies
Hmmm, I don't know if I can recall anything I'd really call a tragedy. Like most home cooks I've had things come out "not-so-great" or I may have been a little too exuberant with the seasoning, but it's usually been edible. More likely it was something like a cake falling or getting stuck in the pan, which always seems to happen when you're baking it to bring somewhere!