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Pushing 70 (pretty hard), I have been collecting recipes and cooking for myself, family and friends since the ripe young age of 15 (maybe even earlier but mom was in attendance). I am a retired occupation health and safety professional. I always wanted to be a truck-driver, so I got my license and went to driving coast to coast. When ever I could, I would ask customers to loosen up with their favorite recipes. For instance, I was picking up some cooking oil in New Orleans and came by a recipe for "Shrimp Stew." I learned "Memphis Style Barbecue" from a gentleman of that fine city. My lark ended in 2005. I still get correspondence from wonderful people all over the U.S. Food is truly the "universal language." Bon apetit!
Oh Lord, I have so many "favorite dishes." I am most famous for my ragouts (beef, lamb). I have achieved some fame (from family members and friends) for my "Arroz con Pollo, Enchiladas Rancheros and Rouladen mit Spaetzel (Germany, 1956 via the USAF)." Here's one for you: when I was stationed in Germany, the chow-hall that I ate in would have "chili and beans over rice." I just couldn't get enough. That turned out to be my favorite dish. I still make it every now and then. Try it, you'll like it!
My favorite restaurant is a little 6 table place here in Bakersfield called Sirloin's. Best ribeyes I've ever tasted. I like the small "mom and pop" restaurants. I will not patronize a chain. I also like our Basque restaurants (several in Bakersfield).