What is my greatest cooking influence?-
Matt, my dh, is probably my biggest cooking influence. He likes me to cook because he likes to eat.. he has NO problem being a taste-tester or "guinea pig" for new recipes and he promotes that by keeping my cook book collection growing and pointing out (He's not shy either) what looks good for "Oh, say NOW..Honey, I'm hungry.." --That's my Matt! And he gets so genuinely excited when he sees his plate full of food and makes such a big deal of telling me how good it looks, thanking me for making it, etc.. Who wouldn't want to cook for a guy like that?
My favorite things to cook
Favorite things I Cook-
I think one of my favorite things to make is Sea Turtle Wisdom Bread. I make it every Thanksgiving, fresh bread shaped like a turtle, complete with four fat feet, a head with raisin eyes, and slashes across the back to make a pattern in the "shell".. each person at the table gets their own turtle and it's more than enough bread to go with the rest of the meal, and.. they're just so "cute"!
I also like making homemade biscuits for my dogs.. we have 5 and store bought "cookies" can get expensive.. plus I like to know what all is in those biscuits. So far the ones the dogs favor are the ones I made with bacon grease and Easy Cheese.. I get 5 noses pressed against the oven glass when the puppies know their cookies are in there!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Every Easter time my Grandma made these wonderful Bunny Faces, which was a sweet bread, shaped like a bunny's head with long ears. It'd have jelly bean eyes and a raisin nose, perhaps a licorice mouth and it was a meal in itself! They took forever for her to get done and we all looked SO forward to them.. and then when we got to eating them, we could barely finish one off.. SO filling and rich you didn't want another one for about a year.. but that didn't stop us from fighting over them. The one time I made them for my family I got the same chewy, rich, wonderful result and the bunny faces are something I look forward to and relish every Springtime.
My cooking triumphs
Go ME! (WHat I DID Do Right)-
The list is long.. not to say I am patting myself on the back.. Matt likes food and I get thumbs up from him a lot. Maybe he's easy? I don't care.. I like cooking for a guy that appreciates it as much as he does, who'd rather eat what I make then go out somewhere.. So I guess cooking for my Matt is triumph enough.
My cooking tragedies
OH NO! My Tragedies in the Kitchen-
Oh the first time I baked bread.. THAT was definately a goof. I was hundreds of miles from home, in Navy housing and I knew no one. So alone I decided to bake a loaf of yeast bread never having tried it before and what I got was a brick. Hard as a rock. If I'd thrown it at someone, I could have killed them! I called my grandmother, teary-eyed and ticked off that I had wasted all my time and ingredients on something so inedible and she quickly discovered what my problem was, after walking me back through it step by step.... my water was so hot I had not merely burned, but incinerated my yeast!
I used that "bread" as a doorstop until the puppy gnawed it down.. it didn't make a good loaf, but it came out as an excellent teething toy for a canine!!
And yes, since then I have learned, and made some wonderful breads, thank goddess!