May 2, 2013 7:13 am
Updated: May 13, 2013 6:36 am
Maybe hoarding is a harsh word. It occurred to me yesterday as I walked down the hall past the guest bedroom headed toward the kitchen. I had to stop and turn around. The cozy little room that has been a sanctuary to family members and dear friends
is turning into a storage room! Piles and…
It brings me a lot of pleasure experimenting and improving on my cooking and baking skills. It's something I take pride in. I'm a canine mom, and raise backyard chickens ("my girls")for entertainment and the wonderful eggs they produce. Growing up, I really wasn't allowed much in the kitchen except to wash or dry the dishes. Occasionally my mother would let me help her bake Toll House chocolate chip cookies. When I left home I was armed with a skillet and a slow cooker. Fast forward, I now enjoy my repertoire of pots and pans, mixers and food processor, several small appliances, and a variety of unique casserole and serving dishes. In addition to cooking, I'm a collector of antiques and love to surprise my guests with interesting mixes of linens, fine china and silverware at the table. In the summer time, I move my cooking outside to the grill and spend a lot of time on my back covered patio. It's a great gathering place for friends and family.
My favorite things to cook
My favorite things to cook are turkey and all the trimmings! I like to cook the BIG meal at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Mexican cuisine is regular fare at our house. In the winter, I bake a lot of casseroles and slow cooked roasts. In the summer time, I always cook steaks, burgers, chicken and ribs outside on the grill. It doubles as an oven to roast potatoes and veggies. I also love to bake desserts. Cheesecakes are my specialty.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I grew up in a small family, just me, my sister, Mom and Dad. We rarely had anyone else at the dinner table, so most occasions were just the four of us. My Dad loved to cook out on the grill, and made one mean burger. His were the best! Always done to perfection. Juicy on the inside, slightly charred on the outside. And he always went to the local bakery for fresh buns. So now, I am known for making the killer hamburgers. I fondly refer to them as "Eddie Burgers", and they never disappoint.
My cooking triumphs
I think the biggest triumph is when everyone oohs and ahs at the presentation of the food. Then it gets REALLY quiet at the dinner table. The occasional "mm mm" or lip smacking adds to the compliments. Clean plates followed by "when do you want to do this again?" top it all off. Mission accomplished!
My cooking tragedies
Oh my. I remember trying to impress my boyfriend at the time (now my DH) by inviting him to my place for a home cooked meal. I didn't want him to think that all I could do was boil water. After work, I went to the store and grabbed the latest copy of "Bon Appetit" and opened it to find a beautiful picture of Chicken Parmigiana. That's it! I thought. Okay, now to shop for the ingredients. With groceries in tow, I went to my apartment to begin the preparation. He was to arrive at 8 PM. It was now 7 PM, and had barely started. In reading the recipe, I was like "pound the breasts with what?" and when I finally had them dredged and ready to fry, the oil wasn't hot enough. It was disastrous. And my sauce burned to boot. When he knocked at the door and stepped in, he could see things were not going well for me. In a very kind way, he asked, "would you like to go out to dinner instead?". We ended up at a five star restaurant on the waterfront drinking wine and laughing. The rest is history!