Been cooking all my life. Both my parents were excellent cooks, my mother made a a wide range of things, my father was a gourmet Chinese chef long before it became stylish to cook Chinese. One of my earliest memories of cooking is helping my dad make egg rolls from scratch. I make a mean Peking Duck, too. Got a husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats. We used to have two birds, but we've recently moved and didn't think they'd survive the trip. I don't have a favorite cookbook, but I go through phases. I guess Joy of Cooking is the best for basic everything, and I'm very partial to The Gefilte Variations. Not only are the recipes fairly yummy, but the stories she tells are really delightful.