I'm really a fibergeek -- I also weave and spin -- who likes to eat cheap and well ;) I don't believe that there is any food group that is "bad" for you, just that everything should be taken in moderation. Though we are not vegetarian, my husband and I have several friends who are so finding something that accomodates us all sometimes can be a challenge. I used to be married to a guy who was aprofessional chef, who was trained at the CIA in New York; I learned a great deal from him. Even though he's gone his way and I've gone mine, I have a lot to thank him for in this regard.
My favorite things to cook
Wow! Andalusian Spanish, Russian, Greek and German foods are my favorites. I love fresh foods and don't tend to buy canned or prepared foods at all if it can be avoided. My husband and I have fairly sophisticated palates, so spicy, piquant things tend to be our favorites.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My heritage is Russian and German, so those are the most familiar items in my repertoire. My husband is Scottish and German. Though Spanish is not part of our heritage, it has become a favorite at our house.
My cooking triumphs
Feeding 200 people a full, gourmet and historically documentable five-course meal using only a tailgate barbecue.
My cooking tragedies
The Infamous Smelt-Cake Incident.
While my husband and I were still dating, we decided to have a dinner party. I wanted to make something special; and since it was early spring, I thought making Smelt a la Benedictine as an appetizer would be wonderful. We can't get fresh smelt down here in Virginia like we could up north, but the grocery store did have frozen smelt so I thought I'd substitute them.
Suffice it to say, I remain unsure what other people do with those frozen smelt but they sure as heck didn't work for this. When dinner was served, I tasted one and discovered, to my horror, that the fish was a bit off. Everyone had "the look" -- while their mouths were saying, "this is delicious," their faces looked as if they'd bitten into lemons. Fortunately the rest of the dinner (chicken breasts stuffed with spinach and feta with fresh, steamed asparagus and a tomato salad) was a success, but what a beginning!!