I learned basic technique while working as a prep and line cook in a very busy restaurant. I have also worked all aspects of fine dining so I learned about wines and worked under some fine chefs. In my family, the men were always the cooks. My father cooked in the service and I know how to "cook for crowds", there are always leftovers. I find my best meals are wrought through instinct rather than following a recipe to the tee. When I cook, I draw from several recipes and incorporate my own flare.
My favorite things to cook
By standard, I'm what you call a "wartime cook" -- basic Sunday suppers using fresh and indigenous ingredients. Any food or cuisine gets a shot at my hand. I love to cook with fresh vegetables and make something everyone loves. I loathe recipes that list canned or processsed ingredients. Making your own stock, sauces, is easy and healthier. I also enjoy canning.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I do Polish holiday fare well -- every year, the pierogies although it is a long day's work. I do every holiday whether people are here to eat or not and I love to make different ethnic dishes for every holiday. I've been known to try things and then give it away to neighbors.
My cooking triumphs
Coq au Vin, Brisket, any soup/ stew, and I've nailed some crazy baked goods -- many things that were beginner's luck and which I potentially screw up next time around.
My cooking tragedies
I've messed up expensive cuts of beef several times,-- and who hasn't placed a Pyrex dish on a warm element to have it shatter all over the kitchen?