I'm a stay at home mom and have been married since 1983. I didn't cook much when I was growing up. Most of what I've learned was by trial and error, some great recipies from friends and family and just plain old necessity. I raised 3 children and helped raise three step children. In addition I now have 2 sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law who all compliment my cooking efforts. So I feel pretty successful.
My favorite things to cook
I LOVE casseroles! I love the mixture of flavors and the convenience of putting a casserole in the oven and having a good half hour to clean up any mess before I have to actually serve a meal. Plus casseroles are usually creamy in texture and creamy is very satisfying to me.
My favorite family cooking traditions
The last several years I've cooked brisket for Christmas dinner. I cook it overnight in a roasting bag with a half bottle of Claude's brisket marinade then serve it with honey BBQ sauce. M-m-m-m-m!! So tender it literally falls apart. Everyone loves it and it's a nice break from all the turkey and ham.
My cooking triumphs
When I was a little girl and spent the night with my "Mammaw" she would make me chocolate gravy and biscuits for breakfast. That was my favorite part of spending the night at her house. She made the gravy AND biscuits from scratch with a "cup of this and a pinch of that". I was told by family members over the years that no one could ever duplicate her chocolate gravy so I shouldn't even try. I did find a great biscuit recipe years ago but never found a chocolate gravy recipe as good as Mammaw's. A few years ago I asked her to tell me as best as she could the measurements of everything that went into the gravy and I tried it on my own. I was so excited! It actually tasted like what I remembered as a child. I've made it several times since then and every time I taste it I feel like I'm 10 years old in my pajamas at her kitchen table savoring every bite!
My cooking tragedies
Like I said earlier, most of my cooking expertise has come from trial and error so I've had my share of goof ups!