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I'm a "raised here" Texan- the alternative is "born here"- with 2 sons: Nate is 8 and Mike is 15. Mark is my domestic partner (just not gonna do the marriage thing again!) We have 2 rescued Siamese, a rescued Pug, and a purchased Boxer- that one wasn't my idea. I have a horse but she's a Thoroughbred broodmare and so doesn't fit the stereotypical "everybody in Texas has a horse" theory... and certainly neither do I! All of this living takes place in Denton, a northern suburb of Dallas.
Since I haven't figured out how to retire early yet, I have to work. I make my living as a senior manager for a major pharmaceutical wholesaler. Yipee! If I happen to capture the elusive combination of time to myself AND expendable income, I ADORE going to estate sales. I'm part snooty buzzard and part snobby crow: I like bright shiny things that belonged to dead rich folk. Oh, the finds I could tell you about...!
I'm a terribly cynical Gen-Xer who's discovering a passion for cooking and baking. There are three major ironies with this: 1) my mother was a gourmet cook and I hated every minute of it; 2) I had gastric bypass 5 years ago; 3) my children are absurdly picky eaters and Mark puts hot sauce on EVERYTHING.
Mother recently found both sets of her grandparents in Ellis Island records, including their official immigration papers (from the Abruzzi region in Italy.) This has helped to spark my intense interest in mastering all the family recipes I grew up with as well as developing some of my own. As an aging only child, it's become terribly important to me to preserve the heritage so that my sons have them when I'm gone.
Italian has always been my favorite type of food, even when I was younger and steadfastly rejecting everything I deemed mainstream. I could eat pasta every day and will quite often eat it for breakfast if there are any leftovers available.
I have 2 cookbooks from St. Anthony's Catholic church in Aliquippa, PA (Mother's hometown) which are chock-full of great recipes- including our traditional family staples. I collect cookbooks- love the local ones I find at sales from groups like the "Dallas Debutantes of 1978", etc. I can sit for hours reading them like novels. I'm like the old man waiting for the mailman when it's time for a new magazine to come- I've got a subscription to practically all of them.
I've recently conquered my fear of yeast and am now working on sponge-based goodies. I'm also learning how to fix exotic veggies and more better-for-you dishes. Make no mistake though: I still love a good 'ole Southern fried feast and can whip one up on a moment's notice.