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I am an 82-year-old retiree, married to the same lady for 62 years, have four adults children - all out of the nest (Yea!), we have seven grandchildren and three great-granddaughters. My favorite activity today is getting into a position (usually lying down) which causes the least pain to my ol' achin' back. My favorite cookbooks are the ones published each year by the State Fair of Texas containing all the Fair's prize-winning recipes from the previous year's cooking contests. Texans are noted for their bragadoccio but, when it comes to their cooking, many of these brags are justified. I don't have any "major" passions, but I have several peeves, most of which now come out of Washington, D.C. On a more personal level one of my pet peeves are those people who, intentionally, give incomplete instructions with their recipes (i.e. how big is a can of tomatoes or a a can of evaporated milk?) with the intent of keeping anyone from ever making the recipe as good as they do! And, I have an elevated loathing for those cooks who deliberately alter by either omitting items or giving the incorrect measurements for items in their recipe to make certain no one will ever make the dish as good as they do! I know this happens from personal experience, for I published cookbooks for many year and you would probably be surprised to know how frequently this ruse occurs. Tacky!
I do very little cooking from scratch because of my back problems -- I now cook the best meals you ever thaw! If I have any fame, it is for the Peanut Butter Cream Pie which won me a blue ribbon at the 1976 State Fair of Texas. My all-time favorite restaurant is Court of the Two Sisters in New Orleans. I don't know if the food is all that great or if the ambiance makes it taste so much better -- patio dining by candlelight, lush tropical plants, a beautiful fountain and (a great big AND) original New Orleans jazz. Locally (Dallas) my favorite place is a Mexican restaurant -La Calla Doce. That translates as "Twelfth Street" - the site of the original location in old Oak Cliff. We have known the owners and their family for over thirty years -- watching as their kids and ours grew up together as next-door neighbors. Unfortunately, in 2005, the son, Oscarino (Little Oscar) was driving to work one morning when he was kidnapped by two former employees. After kidnapping him the abductors panicked and murdered him. Now, when we eat at La Calla Doce, a lump comes to my throat when I see Oscarino's handsome, smiling face beaming down from a picture on the wall. But even with this lump in my throat -- they still have the best-tasting Chili Rellanos (and the obligatory Margarita) I have ever encountered, any where.