I grew up spending summers with my grandmother on our family dairy farm in Prince Edward Island, Canada. A summer on a farm means making jams, baking pies, fresh yeast breads, and preserving any vegetable that came from the kitchen garden. We are Irish so there were a lot of root vegetables, cabbages, and of course, beef. Today my favorite thing to make is still a winter meal but living in California has given me access to the world's best produce and now cooking styles of Asia, India, Italy and France. I attended a two-year part-time pro cooking class at the New School of Cooking in Los Angeles, but I don't consider myself a chef. I'm a good family cook who can look at a nearly empty cupboard and come up with a meal in a pinch. I also attended vacation cooking schools in Italy and Ireland.
My favorite things to cook
One-pot "peasant food" is my favorite dish, no matter the ethnicity. Stews, soups, pastas, braised meats, yum, yum, yum.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Sunday dinner! Growing up, my father would be up before church, peeling potatoes, carrots and turnips and leaving them in pots of cold water. Then he's pop a roast in the oven and we'd head to church. After service, we would pick up anyone who didn't have a place for Sunday dinner (often the priest or a nun) and we'd come home to the most delicious aromas. My mother had a former job in the hotel industry so our tables always looked like a five-star hotel. Today, I collect antique crystal and china and have my mother's silver. I have six sets of dishes, from Italian and Polish ceramics, to fine English bone china. I love dishes!