My mom, who's a Taste of Home field editor, cooks mostly from scratch. Sometimes she uses mixes for convenience. She's been altering some recipes to make them healthier for my dad, Dwight, who's watching his cholesterol.

She enjoys trying recipes from other countries. Her specialties include Italian garlic chicken, Greek spinach salad and bulgogi, a Korean beef dish.

Mom learned to cook while growing up in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania. Her mom taught her how to follow a recipe, but her grandma taught her how to add a "pinch of this or a pinch of that."

My mom has passed on her skills, too…to me and my brothers—Ryan, an automotive instructor at a tech school; Aaron, an apprentice painter in my dad's contracting business; and Ervin, who works part-time in the family business. I like to play violin and draw designs for clothes.

We've all been home-schooled. Mom, a freelance writer and newspaper correspondent, wrote a guide to home-schooling. Sometimes she gives talks on the subject. When she has to be gone, she leaves a meal for us in the slow cooker.

In this Story

  1. Turkey and Trimmings
  2. Adapting Family Favorites
  3. Kids Help in Kitchen