I was raised in Coventry, RI on a farm. This resulted in an early love of gardening and fresh vegetables. I lived near the ocean while attending college and grew to love all types of seafood and shellfish. Later, I married and started to raise my family in Providence, RI. I started to develop a number of recipes and was very influenced by my multi-cultural friends. My friends were Italian, Asian, Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean...what a wealth of exciting ideas and new tastes! I eventually re-located to Georgia and found very few interesting restaurants (at that time). So, home cooking was the way to go. Thankfully, there was, and is, a great farmer's market to buy ingredients from around the world. I even began to incorporate recipes from my southern friends (like fried green tomatoes) and treated them to some unfamiliar 'Yankee' cooking! Cooking has been a great way to please my family, stay on a budget, meet new friends and enjoy international tastes right here at home.
My favorite things to cook
I would have to say Asian and Italian dishes rank very high in my favorite things to cook category. My lasagna and spaghetti with clam sauce are better than restaurant quality (I've been told!) I thoroughly enjoy Asian stirfry and have developed enough versatility to put just about any thing together and make it taste wonderful. The prep time is significant, but the cooking time is very fast.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every now and then, I have to make my mother's Boston Baked Beans, hot dogs and cole slaw. My mother served this every Saturday night when I was a child. She also made Boston Brown Bread and all her condiments were homemade (relish, catsup, etc.) Another homey meal I make in the winter is Mom's Yankee Pot Roast. Finally, my mother taught me how to make every kind of soup and stew imaginable from all kinds of ingredients. My mother never wasted food and had many ways to deal with leftovers.
My cooking triumphs
I believe my biggest triumph has been instilling a love of good food in my children. My son (24) was always a little less willing to experiment, but as an adult he has become quite the cook at an upscale restaurant and often brags about his mother's cooking! My daughter (19) goes to college and is a server at a fine dining establishment. She has a great love of all types of food, especially Mom's. I am now trying to gather recipes for her and help her become more proficient with her cooking.
My cooking tragedies
I remember a dinner back in my younger, newly married days that went straight into the trash can! My poor husband bravely said 'it isn't that bad', but I knew just how bad it was!