A lifelong Michigan native, I'm the baby of four and live in 'Bluewater Country', less than a mile from the bottom of beautiful lake Huron. At an early age I was dubbed an 'earth mother'; taking care of friends and family is my raison d'etre. As a worker for a University, wife and mother of two growing sons, I care for a lot of people, plants and pets, and can cheerfully do 10 things at the same time!
My favorite things to cook
As with many midwesterners, my mother was known for her fabulous cooking and baking. I was not a good cook in my youth, but time and persistence has paid off.
I usually cook fast and easy because of my schedule, but I'm I'm also getting into 'scratch' cooking and baking when I have the time.
My husband and I both adore Italian food, which is hilarious because my ancestry is Norwegian/Irish/Swiss and his is German/Scots. In high school all my friends were Polish Catholics, so I learned to love and make Pierogi, Gwumke (sp) and Borscht. Then I went to college in Kalamazoo and Detroit, where I learned to enjoy cuisines from all over the world. I also live right next door to Southwestern Ontario, which has wonderful food cultures all its own and the best strawberries in the world! In short, if it's made with fresh ingredients and cooked with care I'll happily eat it, then run home and try to re-create it!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mother's side of the family is large and intensely proud of our Norwegian heritage. Christmas has to include Lefse (potato pancakes) and Sandbakkels (shortbread tart-like cookies made in special tins).
The granddaughter of farmers, I grew up with and love garden-fresh produce (especially sweet corn and green beans) and I'm proud to say my sons' favorite 'snacks' are sliced fresh cucumbers and tomatoes!
My husband (a great cook who's taught me a lot) ran a couple of pizzerrias when he got out of college; so we love to make our own pizzas, strombolis and cheese breads. He also taught me an italian way to do potato wedges that my entire clan raves about!
Saturday nights in our house are often 'Nacho night'...homemade nachos and a favorite movie or board game!
My cooking triumphs
Everyone loves pie, and I love to create them! I have an original frozen chocolate-orange pudding pie that makes folks weak in the knees! I found a scratch piecrust recipe I can make perfectly every time and I made my uncle a blueberry pie for his 80th birthday that he said rivalled my late mother's. That was a very proud moment for me. I am also starting to garden and cook with fresh herbs, which is a new and wonderful world of food and flavor.
My cooking tragedies
I have yet to master yeast breads. My four-year old oven is a lemon and heats very unevenly. But I am taking instruction from an artist friend and am slowly improving.