When I was first on my own, I had little money and learned to cook out of necessity. I learned to do a few things well (soups, chili, omelets) and pretty much stuck with those. Then I discovered Justin Wilson. I bought one of his cookbooks and my interest in ethnic/regional cooking expanded from there.
My favorite things to cook
Each year I eagerly await the arrival of cool weather as I love to make soups, stews, gumboes, chili, etc. I enjoy preparing seafood such as shrimp, crabs, and scallops. In the summertime it's hard to beat a good piece of fish or a thick, juicy steak on the grill.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My maternal grandmother was a farm wife and a wonderful cook. I learned a good bit from her. My mom taught us to enjoy a wide variety of foods (you ate what she prepared or you didn't eat!) and for that I will be forever thankful.