I am 30 years old, and have been happily married for 10 years. I have two sons, 11 and 5.
Cooking did not come naturally to me. I grew up with a single mother who worked often to care for us, and as the oldest raised my two younger brothers. We were often left with very easy to cook comfort foods, as I started babysitting when I was very young...too young to use the stove. Most of our meals came frozen out of the oven, or out of the microwave.
We ate very few vegetables. And by few, I mean nearly non-existent. I didn't even know corn wasn't a vegetable until I was a grown woman. We occasionally had a salad with dinner, but that was the extent of our vegetable eating. As I got older, old enough to use the stove, our food got slightly more sophisticated, but was still easy-to-prepare meals from a box.
When I first got married, my husband cooked all the meat because I didn't know how! And raw chicken frightened me LOL.
But now I've learned, and love cooking for my family.
My favorite things to cook
I love cooking most things, and prefer cooking to baking. I do like to bake sometimes, but mostly breads and muffins.
I love cooking with vegetables. As I child I didn't eat very many vegetables, then due to health issues as an adult I really had to learn to like them. I did this by experimenting with different ones, and different ways of preparing them. And now I'm finding I dislike eating without them usually!
My favorite family cooking traditions
My grandmother, all of my life, made homemade rolls and frybread. I can remember as a very little girl, her making bread and my entire family cramming into her little home waiting for frybread and rolls. We'd all sit around the coffee table and eat it fresh with butter and jam until our bellies were crammed. I was fortunate to have learned to create her bread recipe before she died. My mom and aunt continue to make large batches of her recipe for family gatherings, and I will do so as well.
She also made the single best fried chicken I'd ever eaten. I attribute this to the fact she never made it in anything but a cast iron skillet. I'm interested in learning to cook with cast iron in tribute to my grandma.
My mother makes, hands down, the best homemade potato soup I've ever had in my life. I hope to master this for her, and make it for my own family.
My cooking triumphs
I have successfully made 3 holidays meals that fully satisfied everyone who came, including my grandmas wonderful homemade rolls on two of those occasions! On one of them, and asked for bravery from my family as I made a homemade stuffing for a Thanksgiving turkey (only stovetop for my husband's family as a kid, so that's what we've had :p) and it turned out wonderful! I was so proud, it was full of sausage, apples, cranberries, and sage, and everyone loved it.
I've also turned my very anti-Italian food father-in-law onto chicken parmesan, which felt EXTRA good.
And my biggest triumph, was the very first time I attempted a marinara sauce from home grown tomatoes, and I NAILED IT! Everyone in my house gobbled it up I was almost in tears because I'd worked so hard on it.
My cooking tragedies
I cannot cook fish to save me. And I love it. But I feel like every time I try it's a disaster.
Also, I want to be able to make a killer homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch and still can't quite accomplish that.
My biggest tragedy was the first FIVE times I tried to make homemade bread. Fail after fail. Each time it came out too hard, or didn't rise. It took a lot of trial and error for me to figure it out, eventually becoming a finalized effort with help from my mother ;)