I have cooked for my family almost every day, for several years, relying on the expert advise of my mother and my grandmothers.
My favorite things to cook
Just about anything Italian, Roast beef, Birthday cakes
My favorite family cooking traditions
Potato Cake: sort of a combination recipe; where a traditional Irish Potato Cake recipe is combined with influences from the Bundt cake craze of the 1950's and 60's. It is a moist, rich and 'chocolate-y' pound cake, requiring a certain kind of cocoa to make it come out right. I might add, a debate has gone on for years, in my family, about whether this cake could be improved with a frosting on it and we did experiment with a thick fudge frosting just on the top for awhile. Granny always recommended a simple white glaze but rarely made one for the cake and I suppose that would be the appropriate topping for a Bundt cake. I prefer our Potato Cake without any glaze or frosting, at all, and I like to add walnuts and dark raisins. My Dad used to say, 'Leave out the nuts and raisins'. My Dad liked to dunk his bites of cake into a glass of milk and I suppose the heavy nuts and raisins made the cake come apart in the milk glass.
My cooking triumphs
I catered my daughter's wedding, single-handedly. Well, my daughter and her friends gathered-up serving trays etc. from around town, which was a great help, indeed, since I could not leave the stove from 7 am until the ceremony at 5 pm. Barely had time to put on my formal dress. I was so proud everyone really delighted in the dinner I had prepared. Many guests were surprised I had gone to so much trouble on my own, without a caterer.(I did have a caterer for the huge cake). Guests could not tell that a professional caterer had not made the dinner. Some suggested I start a catering business, which I have seriously considered.
My cooking tragedies
Burned fresh garlic in the bottom of the soup pot, because after I put in the other ingredients, I couldn't see the garlic burning, but I did notice a strange, vinegary smell, while I was stirring the broth. The soup, I make, has fresh meat in it and simmers for some hours. When it was done and after the soup pot had cooled down to 'eating temperature', I quickly discovered, upon tasting my first bite, I had created the largest, sourest pot of soup that I had ever had the displeasure to taste. The meat I used for ingredients was so expensive, we ate the sour garlic soup any way. LOL ! Needless to say, I don't use garlic in my meat soups anymore.