I have been a baker and cake decorator for 39 years. A former bakery owner but now retired due to medical issues. I still make cakes & cupcakes for family and friends occasionally. These days I spend alot of time getting healthy, planning healthy meals and working out in a warm water therapy pool. I am now 178 lbs down from my highest weight.
My favorite things to cook
I love to make comfort foods, like my moms cabbage rolls, stuffed bell peppers, swiss steak, etc..but also try to make them healthier by using quinoa, brown rice, etc. Altho I don't bake as much as I once did, I love baking homemade cakes, cobblers, cookies, candy, etc.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Some of my recipes have been in my family for 50+ years and one for 100+ years...that would be my pop's pop corn balls and molasses taffy recipe. He grew up in Canada and his mother used to make the taffy and pull it on a hook in her kitchen. She then sold it to the local mercantile. Every fall we could hardly wait for a Saturday nite when we would invite friends over to make these. We would pop popcorn for hours and my pop would make several batches of the syrup. Mom would fill the huge bowl with popcorn and when the syrup was stirred in, we would all butter our hands and dip in cold water and make the popcorn balls. Sometimes we got burnt hands but it was all worth it in the end. The leftover syrup was poured on buttered plates and pulled into golden taffy. yummm
My cooking triumphs
I have made many beautiful wedding cakes and cakes in the shape of anything and everything. It was truly an honor to be a part of the bride & grooms special day. There is nothing like seeing the eyes of a child light up when they see their special birthday cake.. I once made a NASCAR car shaped cake for racer, Steve Sellers (Coca Cola car)
My cooking tragedies
Altho I only had a few cake catastrophies in the 39 yreas I have been making cakes...I was always able to make the necessary repairs in time for the event or wedding. I was always able to improvise when a florist didn't bring enough flowers to decorate the cake. Scouring yards for greenery and flowers can be challenging, but doable...Keeping a cool head can be an asset in those situations. : )