I was born in Ruston, Louisiana and grew up in Morgantown, West Virginia, the son of a stay at home mother and a University Professor father. I have 2 college degrees in my own right, and I still need to finish the 3rd. I started learning how to cook from my grandmother who lived with us, and as I grew up from my mother. I now live in Buckhannon, WV with my golden retriever Jewel. My partner of 6 years, Jason, passed away in October 2007. My mother still remains to this day the best cook I ever knew.
My favorite things to cook
Recipes that I learned from my mother. I make my own special "Texas Red" chili which is probably hotter than most palates care for, but it remains Jason's favorite food that I cook. I always like cooking ethnic foods, preferring East European and Baltic cuisines and I love to experiment with recipes I download from this site. By the way, thanks to everyone who has submitted a recipe I have used successfully-you folks help me be the best I can be in the kitchen and I couldn't do it without all of you.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Working with my mother in the kitchen. She would give me tasks to do to help her, and in so doing, she laid the groundwork for all the things I do well now. She is still the best cook I ever knew, combining traditional family recipes with innovative thinking to create really marvelous meals. I also really liked holidays best-Mother was raised on a farm so I got the benefit of learning how to make a really traditional Holiday meal and accompaniments that make it great for first class entertaining as well. My mother passed away in 1986, and I still miss her and the great times we used to have in the kitchen .
My cooking triumphs
I staged a Thanksgiving dinner for all of my friends from college one year and did all of the cooking. Everyone raved about the dinner and everyone took leftovers home to savor later on. I was also finally able to duplicate my father's favorite cookie, sand tarts, the way his mother made them for him.
My cooking tragedies
My very first Thanksgiving turkey was a Butterball, and I didn't read the directions, nor did I consult my mother about cooking times and temperatures. So when the little pop-up timer popped up, I automatically thought the bird was finished. Boy was I wrong-the timer was faulty,and the meat was still uncooked in the legs and deep in the breast. I had to put it back in for about two more hours to finish.