I never liked to cook that much until I moved away from home. Perhaps it was need that developed my interests and honed my skills. A passion for culture was introduced into my menu during my time as a Ringling Brother's circus employee. Until then I never knew how a home-cooked meal could draw people from all walks of life together. I find it fascinating that people are so connected by a mere morsel. And I live for that genuine smile I can bring to their eyes with just a touch of food on their lips.
My favorite things to cook
Being a woman, I'm a moody creature so my favorites vary. Many times I turn to those tried and true recipes like Kay's Spaghetti and Lasagna Sauce, other times I want to add a new twist to the old like lavender fig jelly. Whenever I'm in between moods I can be found in my kitchen whipping up something sweet. Try the Best Brownies recipe - you'll never eat any another brownie!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Both of my parents are excellent cooks, my dad worked in a chef's kitchen and my mom had a natural passion for cooking. My great-grandmother was from Germany and is notorious in our family for her skills. This has given me something to strive for. Autumn and Christmas bring in a load of tradition with lebkuchen, rum balls, sauerkraut, pasty recipes, and her famous potato salad.
My cooking triumphs
My mom can decorate any cookie or gingerbread house out there. She's been featured in newspapers for her designs and talents. Any time I can plug out a design as good as hers and hear it from her mouth - I'm on cloud 9. But I can admit I'm limited in that area so I go in the kitchen where she has claimed off limits for herself. Marshmallow fondants and Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll are some of my latest personal triumphs.
My cooking tragedies
I began cooking around 9 on a regular basis and at that time, if it wasn't baking, I was guaranteed to set it on fire. My name paired with the smoke alarm was a running joke for years. Dishes like scrambled french toast that our dog even refused to eat put my cooking name in the mud. Other classic mistakes like using too small a cake pan, or soupy pies didn't help much either.