I was the last of 5 children and my mom pretty much gave up on any of us wanting to learn to cook/bake with her. I loved being in the kitchen with her and spent many hours watching, sampling and testing. My first sucesses came with baked goods. I became skilled making pie crust. I also learned how to cook without a recipe, my mom used what she had on hand and if there was a missing ingredient, she'd just substitute. She would always taste her cooking as she went so, I learned to do the same. Cooking gives me peace and serenity when I feel like the world around me is getting out of control. It calms my spirit and makes me happy. I love it when someone enjoys a meal I've cooked! I consider cooking a gift from the heart.
My favorite things to cook
Homemade soups, pizza with homemade crust or Trader Joe's Crust, broiled salmon, enchiladas, tamales, any type of baking especially homemade pie and cookie bars
My favorite family cooking traditions
When we go to camp for Memorial Day or Labor Day, my son, his girlfriend and I have a pizza cook-off! On the day after Thanksgiving we have a friends and family dinner and the menu will offer just about anything but Thanksgiving Day fare.
My cooking triumphs
Making tamales for the first time! I thought they'd be so hard, but, they were pretty easy, just time consuming. I even developed a recipe using vegetable oil instead of lard and added beef broth instead of water to the masa, they were awesome and healthy!
My cooking tragedies
Trying to recreate a grade school favorite, ground beef with gravy over mashed potatoes! I was a young newly married woman. My husband wouldn't eat it, I wouldn't eat it, not even the dog would eat it!