I'm a 56-year-old woman who loves to cook, although I don't have a big family. I can always find interested parties though, LOL. I also like to grow my own herbs when possible and I like to can.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make dinners that wow the people I'm cooking for. Three tiers of appetizers or a huge platter of pasta with three different sauces, or the best chicken and dumplings they ever ate, that's what makes me happy.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Good, fresh food, prepared simply and creatively can never be anything but delicious. Especially seafood! :) I also carry on one of my mom's cooking tradition by making what was my father's favorite birthday cake. It's a hot milk sponge cake which I make in three layers. I then make a fruit and nut mixture which is mixed with some of the icing and spread between each cake layer as they are stacked. The icing used is a 7-minute meringue icing that is spread all over the the cake which is then patted all over with shredded coconut. I've never met anyone who didn't love it.
My cooking triumphs
For Thanksgiving last year I cooked dinner for my friend's whole (local)family. His mom is 83 and she hasn't been able to have the whole family for dinner in a while so I told her I would cook for everybody at her house. We invited them early and she kept reminging everyone so no one would forget. We had turkey (which I brined with a recipe I got from this site), collards,stuffing, butternut squash casserole, scalloped oysters, and cake and pumpkin pie. We had such a good time, we did it again for Christmas with a little different menu. This time it was seafood stew, sweet potato and buttermilk ham biscuits, and nice garden salad. Plenty of sweets were also available, includung fruit cake jewels and homemade cookies, eggnog, coffee and iced tea. All involved felt very in the spirit, I think.
My cooking tragedies
Folks, it may look good and seem like a good idea but NEVER! tempura-fry chive blossoms...unless you like the taste of aluminum foil and dirty pennies, LOL! They are pretty-they look like mini heads of cauliflower, but the aftertaste is horrid!