Meet the Cook: Pirate96

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Say hello to Pirate96 from North Carolina!

Q. What are your favorite things to cook?
I have really enjoyed baking bread and pasta dishes–the transformation that happens with simple ingredients is astonishing. Both bread and pasta sauces seem to take on a life of their own and no two are the same. It never hurts that I also usually add the mystical cheese to the equation.

Q. How/when did you learn to cook?
I cooked a few things growing up and while camping. I really gained an interest in cooking one summer after my first year in college. I was washing dishes in a Seafood restaurant on the Outer Banks of NC when given the opportunity to cook breakfast. I figured why not, since it was better than washing dishes. I thrived and soon was the primary breakfast cook for the summer. I even had to stay and remind the lunch chef to take the burgers off the grill. Ever since that summer, I have been cooking for family.

Q. Tell us about some of your cooking triumphs.
There is no greater thrill than hearing my family say “It is not as good as Dad makes”. I am guaranteed they like my cooking when on special occasions they request one of my meals versus going out to dinner.

Q. What was your most memorable cooking tragedy?
The one that sticks out in my head is the first time I cooked for my now wife. I was making lasagna and talking to her. I knew I had a problem when I was finished prepping the lasagna and realized I had not opened the box of noodles. It must have worked out because she married me 9+ years ago.

Q. Describe your kitchen. Do you love it, hate it, and why?
We hate our kitchen because it is a galley kitchen. The cabinets are the basic starter house kitchen cabinets and so are the appliances. One of the things we would like to do is replace appliances–the refrigerator is too small; and the oven is horrible and never the right temperature. We chose to fix the stove a few years ago versus replacing it out right to save money. Big mistake as it throws error codes often. We long for a day when the gas oven just works. Who needs error codes from an oven?

Q. Is your pantry organized and are your kitchen drawers tidy? We need to know.
Absolutely not. Every few weeks we tend to organize both the pantry and drawers. Everything has a place in our kitchen. It just seems there are four places! Where I put it, where she puts it, where the kids hide it, or where it walked off to.

Q. Do you have any favorite family cooking traditions?
We are building our own traditions. We really have enjoyed fixing Dutch Baby. Occasionally the “who” sneaks into the house and colors the Dutch Baby. The children are always on the lookout but sometimes when they turn their head the “who” colors it with food coloring.

Q. What is the one gadget (or ten) you couldn’t do without in your kitchen?
I have got to go with the cast iron cookware and the bread bowls. Take away either of that stuff and my cooking skills would diminish. What is more forgiving than cast iron and how would the bread rise in a normal bowl.

Q. If you had to take one food to a deserted island, what would it be?
I am thinking bread would be my choice. Have you ever done a low carb diet when bread is your favorite food and cheese is your second? Talk about denying yourself–it was no fun. I think bread has earned the moniker “the staff of life”. It amazes me how many different ways bread can be made with such simple ingredients. To me it is almost as mesmerizing as staring at a camp fire.

Q. What is your go-to comfort food?
I tend to fall back to Macaroni and Cheese. The oooey, gooey cheese melts in your mouth. I have really enjoyed the Amish Macaroni and Cheese that Bonny submitted. The wife outdid herself again with the Turkey this year but there was fighting over my Mac and Cheese with leftover turkey. The children were lobbying to cook another turkey just for that dish.

I have made many of the recipes featured on Farm Bell. I do have to say that the name Suzanne McMinn is almost a dirty word in our house much like Dave Ramsey. The children never know when the next store bought treat is going to go next when Farm Bell is loaded up. They are quickly reminded how good they have it when they visit a friend’s house and eat.

Pirate96 has contributed just a few blog posts, but they’re good ones!!

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Click on the photo to open the recipe in a new page.


pirate96 blogs at Wokokon.

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