I like to develop recipes for friends and family and consider it a fun and relaxing way to pass the time. Most of my creations are very well received, thou I admit I've had my share of kitchen "mishaps" including leaving plastic wrap on a casserole I was reheating in the oven, and accidently leaving eggs out of a brownie recipe that a friend and I tried to make. We ate the resulting goo anyway - it wasn't half bad! Some of the recipes I create are inspired by those I've discovered on Allrecipes' website. I enjoy reading the comments of other knowledgable cooks and like to see the different ways recipes are interpreted, especially those staples of American cuisine and the subtle differences from one recipe to the next. Who knew there could be so many versions of apple pie and macaroni salad?!
My favorite things to cook
Caribbean-inspired fresh dishes, especially Jamaican cuisine. Cuban, Hawaiian/polynesian, Italian, Eastern Indian. I love baking "heritage" recipes for cakes, cookies, pies, etc., and use my imagination to create recipes based on or combining different world cuisines.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Family gatherings at home or at my Nana's house! Baking sugar cookies, Lord Baltimore, and pound cakes and biscuits. Breakfasts of scrapple, grits, and pancakes! Helping to bake whole ham dinners with mashed potatoes, corn bread, tomato salad with Hellman's mayonnaise, coleslaw, okra in tomatoes, etc. One of my Nana's specialties was her homemade peach ice cream (made without an icecream maker!). Nana always made our visits an event with relatives and friends gathering for true southern buffet that started at the kitchen table with drinks and appetizers, led out to the formal dining room for the main meal, and always ended with guests relaxing with dessert and drinks on the back porch, telling stories, talking about current events, or just listening to the quiet of the woods around the house. A real treat was when as kids we'd get to eat out on the screened porch during a thunderstorm, turn all the lights down, and tell each other ghost stories!!
My cooking triumphs
Risotta with black truffles (to die for). My first Thanks Giving and Easter dinners, my cheesecake, a recipe that gets rave reviews and many requests to have the recipe!
My cooking tragedies
The standard stuff. Burnt toast, cookies, and pans so badly scorched I've had to throw them out! I have cooked the gizzard package still in the turkey and mistook the herb dill for dill pickles in a recipe for vegetable dip. That one actually turned out to be a surprisingly tasty mistake! I've caught oven mits on fire and another time toppled off a chair I was standing on to reach something and fell down onto the stove, landing on a pot of tomato sauce that was (lucky for me) only starting to warm up. I've had my share of mishaps but thankfully learn from them! (I have a step stool now to reach things!) I hope someday to be able to cook with the same grace and confidence of the great cooks in my life- mom and Nana. Not to leave out my dad: He makes one mean plate of scrambled eggs!