In the 1980's, I learned to cook on the fly, as a married teen with zero experience. Over the years, I preserved & used my own garden produce and chickens that we butchered & preserved. I have 10 children and love to cook for them, and their friends!
Since living in the south, I have learned to use native foods and recipes.
All in all, I consider myself a "Mess Hall Chef" (my mess, my hall).
Recently, a NYC chef told me that I was "just" a cook and not a real chef. I laughed out loud and told him to get a dictionary. Obviously, they did not teach him the difference in culinary school!
One of my best friends and I are putting together a 'Mess Hall Chef' Cookbook and are playing around with a blog: http://messhallchef.blogspot.com/
My favorite things to cook
Anything that my family can serve up for themselves!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Chicken Noodle Soup in winter with home-made egg noodles or dumplings. Yes, AZ does have some cold days & nights in some remote places!
My cooking triumphs
When I learned to bake bread at high altitude.
My cooking tragedies
I have never become expert at cooking on an electric stove instead of a gas stove. I have burned a lot of meals over the years because of it.