I’m a married career woman who lives in the Washington, DC suburb of Reston, Virginia, with my husband, four indoor rescue cats, and one outside stray. I’m an only child of a military officer and German mother, and grew up overseas in a very close extended German family, and make yearly trips back. Growing up overseas afforded me many opportunities to explore various cultures and cuisines, and being an only child gave me the independence and confidence to act on those opportunities. I am passionate about food – all food. Food for me is an experience, meant to be explored, savored and enjoyed, even when alone, although preparing a meal for, and sharing it with, people you care about is in itself an act of love. I also love learning about food-food describes a people, their culture, and their lives. It stands to reason that I also love to entertain, and we have dinner parties centered on a country or region. I’ll research the country and its food traditions, all fun table conversation!
My favorite things to cook
Oh, let me think about this for awhile but off the top of my head obviously German food, and Italian. My number one hobby is cake decorating which combines two of my loves - art and food. Life truly is good!
My favorite family cooking traditions
I have so many wonderful memories:
Standing in my German grandmother’s kitchen “helping” by tasting; tasting, and tasting……I mean stirring! Sitting down punctually to eat lunch every day at noon, in fact, Bad Duerkheim tests their emergency sirens at noon on Saturdays, and without fail there would be Oma walking through the door with the first pot as they began to wail.
Another favorite memory of mine is of my best friend and me, in Heidelberg, Germany, where we went to school, venturing into a Greek restaurant late one evening and being invited to stay and participate in a Greek celebration. The Greek family who owned the restaurant was celebrating the visit of their dear friend, a German man who loved their Greek culture but who lived and worked in Thailand--there we were speaking German, dancing and breaking plates to Greek music, eating Greek food, and listening to the man tell stories of life in Thailand. Talk about multi-culturalism!
My cooking triumphs
In my early twenties, I successfully cooked and served a sit-down Easter dinner for sixteen complete with hors d'oeuvres, ham, duck, sides, etc. in my oh so beautiful Georgetown apartment but which had an oh so tiny galley kitchen…on one side was the stove next to a small counter (18in about) and cabinet pantry (not much larger). The other side had a sink, small counter over a dishwasher next to the refrigerator. That’s it. I had to empty the cabinets out so I had somewhere to place food in between courses. I had tented gravy and vegetables in the cabinet over the stove; the mash potatoes were under the sink; and I was stepping over the salad in its serving bowl on the floor. I had nerves of steel back then…..fearless I was indeed!
My cooking tragedies
Oh the early ones were the best - of course my first turkey made for my then new boyfriend. I had just finished graduate school, started my career, and had a new boyfriend to impress. I lived in a beautiful apartment in Georgetown, Washington, DC, and was “all that” - in my own mind of course. I was so proud that I remembered to remove “that little bag” of God knows what (I didn’t want to know) from within the poor thing, and promptly called my mother to brag, who in turn, and in that heavy accent, asked “vat about zee bag in zee nek”? uuuuhhhh no one told me about that one!!!! Then there was the cheese fondue that started to harden so naturally I turned the temperature up and up and up so it would melt, and the cheese kept seizing until it was just a tight little hockey puck. Now how did that happen!!!! Ha!