Started in NYC, moved to Long Island as a teen, then recently bought a little motel in the Catskills. Never a fan of plain boring lawns, I started off with a couple raised beds for flowers, and now have an ever expanding flower garden for the enjoyment of the guests, and an organic herb and vegetable garden for my kitchen.
My favorite things to cook
While I love meat of all kinds - I'm an unabashed omnivore - I have been experimenting with more vegetable recipes, and learning to make healthy and satisfying meals without meat. I'm particularly partial to the spices of India and the middle east, and love to stir-fry as well.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I had to invent them from scratch. My mom was a lousy cook - totally disinterested in flavor or texture. In self defense, as soon as I was tall enough to work at the stove I started learning to cook, and gradually took over most of the cooking duties. My specialties are chicken cacciatore and a skirt steak casserole of my own invention.
My cooking triumphs
The Thanksgiving dinner I cooked when I was 16 - mom was happy to let me take over, and even her dad, a combustible old grouch, congratulated me on an excellent meal. Turkey with all the fixings - the biggest meal I'd ever attempted :-)
My cooking tragedies
The pot of chili I had to toss because I hadn't cooked the beans sufficiently before adding the rest of the ingredients, and they were somewhere between chewy and crunchy. In my defense I was suffering from a bad cold and wasn't on top of my game at the time and forgot to give them a good test.