Welcome to Cora Cooks!

A few years ago, my life came full circle when we moved back to my hometown. Now my years of cooking, traveling and collecting recipes have inspired work that I love -- cooking classes I teach, a food column I write for a local newspaper, a website collection of my columns, and my latest project - this blog called Cora Cooks!

Along my way, I have learned two things: #1 - Everything important goes better with good food – close family, dear friends, honest work, new adventures, laughter and love . . . and . . . #2 - You can go home again!

I am the oldest of six children - I have five younger brothers. Yeah, I know!

I am married to My Favorite Husband, who is a pilot.

We have been married for 39 years, lived in 6 states, moved 11 times and lived in 15 "homes" for anywhere from a few weeks to several years. I may have one more move left in me, but not anytime soon! I love my home and consider it my sanctuary.

I have a degree in English and am certified to teach English and American History. I have never worked full time as a teacher, but I did work many years in education -- at preschools to universities. During the past 36 years I have had 21 22 jobs, which does not speak to my work ethic or employability, as much as it does moving.

I have one child, a son, named Grant. He and his beautiful and faithful Weimaraner, named Grace, live about two hours from us and we see him a lot. Grant loves outdoor stuff -- climbing, hiking, rafting, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, sailing, swimming, biking and most likely some crazy sports I don't even want to know about. 

I have visited 47 states all 50 states (see "moving" above) and 2 countries. I doubt I will make it to all of the countries of the world, or even all the continents.

I lived in Washington, D.C. during the summer of the Watergate hearings.

I have lots of friends in many places, but I've had the same best friend for my whole life -- well, since nursery school, which is about the time I consciously tuned into the life of me.

I love to read, visit art museums, travel by car, eat at quirky restaurants with surprisingly good food, embrace the characters in good books and tv series as friends, spend time alone, take close-up photos of flowers, and look up anything and everything on the computer, so that I can complete my file of useless -- but oh-so-interesting -- information.

I have no patience for people who lie, talk down to others -- especially children and older people -- scan the room for someone else to talk to, don't listen or assume they know my political views or spiritual beliefs.

I am not into small talk, sci-fi or cartoons. I rarely read the newspaper or watch the news on TV. I'm not sure if that is a survival technique or plain old denial, but it works for me.

I like music, but I am not musical and don't know much about it, except I know what I like - James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Rod Stewart American Songbook, Frank Sinatra, Patsy Cline and jazz.

One time I spent a magical week in New York with a very good friend and had the most amazing time. We saw Woody Allen play with his jazz group and heard Bobby Short sing, both at The Cafe Carlyle, in the same week. It was like moving back in time. Forever memories!

My favorite color has always been blue, but now I am also drawn to soft pink and buttery yellow.

I like gold jewelry, classic clothes and comfy shoes. Give me one perfect pair of jeans, one pair of good black worsted wool slacks, a soft, slightly over-sized white oxford cloth shirt, a well broken-in pair of black leather loafers, my favorite gold bracelet and my emerald and gold wedding rings and I'm set for life.

I drive a 1999 Red VW Beetle Toyota Sienna -- my friends don't play soccer, but we do enjoy a little comfort and room for shopping bags. My niece now drives my 1999 Red VW Beetle.

I adore Brit Coms, especially old ones like Fawlty Towers, To The Manor Born, Jeeves and Wooster, Good Neighbors and As Time Goes By.

I buy used books, instead of new, every time I can - thanks Amazon and used book stores everywhere!

I love walking and acupuncture -- not at the same time, of course! Both have changed my life.

I vividly remember an incredible number of food experiences, both the first time I ate something and many memorable dining experiences.

My favorite foods are, in no particular order - thin and crispy homemade pizza, crispy-crunchy fried chicken, salads, raspberries, papaya with lime, grilled salmon, fresh fried oysters, fresh fried clams, thick veal chops, oatmeal, poached eggs, salted butter, grilled cheese sandwiches when they're crispy golden on the outside, homemade macaroni and cheese, Ritz crackers, blue cheese, almost any kind of beans, tzatziki, Buster Bars, dense and moist chocolate cake, Ina Garten's perfect Outrageous Brownie recipe, tomatoes in July and August, creme brulee, Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand, Maker's Mark bourbon, martinis made with good gin and three olives, Paradise Tea, Earl Grey tea, Hawaiian Punch, crushed ice, the first tingly sip of an icy cold Coca Cola - especially in those little glass bottles, Eastern North Carolina Barbecue, jasmine rice, Honey Crisp apples, Southern Illinois peaches in July and August, collards, alfalfa sprouts and avocado on sandwiches, coffee like they used to serve in First Class on the former Eastern Airlines, and Greek yogurt with honey. I used to dislike honey, but now I like it a lot. Funny how tastes change. This list may get longer over time, but it is unlikely anything on it now will ever be dropped.

Foods I can live without . . . almost every kind of organ meats, weird sea creatures, citrus fruits that make my tongue break out and my throat feel tight, raw mushrooms, turnips, bamboo shoots, most fermented or pickled things, store-bought cookies, store-bought ice cream that's full of air, store-bought bread that's full of air and tastes like a sponge, soft drinks in cans or plastic bottles, lamb, strong tasting fish, soy beans, canola oil, arugula, granola bars, architectural food towers, food foam and most candy.

I've traveled a lot and waited a long time to be where I am now. It was well worth the journey. Life is good.

Please feel free to leave comments on Cora Cooks, or contact me -- coracooksblog at gmail.com

Thanks for visiting my food blog!