I just finished making Mixed Berry Muffins. I have not made muffins from scratch in at least 10 years. I used to make them all the time when I had people to cook for. Muffins, cake, cookies, peach cobbler from my Grandma's recipe, I was quite the baker.
I was also a pretty good cook. Not a fancy cook or anything, but good and simple food I can definitely do. When I was 24, I had just graduated and moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts to work at Bridgewater State College. My Mom took the big trip with me and drove to the east coast with all my stuff in my new Corolla (Bruce I). She stayed with me for about a week before she flew back to Indiana. During that week, she helped me set up my new apartment and taught me how to cook a few things, mostly chicken.
I learned a few other things while I lived on the east coast, like how to cook Italian food. A lot of the students that I worked with were Italian and lived in and around Boston. A student named Lisa Federici taught me how to make Calzones, which has always been one of the top requested meals that I make. I also learned how to make pretty good Chinese food. Bridgewater was also the beginning of staff dinners for me, where I cook for large groups of hungry students. In my first "Indiana Dinner", I made Fried Chicken, homemade biscuits, Green Beans, potatoes, and brownies for about 25 people in my apartment.
Later on in Bloomington, I continued to cook for a lot of people. I had my staff to my house at least once a semester where I cooked for them (usually around 35 - 40 people). I remember grilling ribs in the snow one January because that was the requested dinner.
The funny thing is, I rarely have cooked for my family. Lately, I've been cooking a little more when I go to my brother Bob's house. I do really enjoy cooking for people and rarely get the chance and Bob and Diane seem open to try the stuff that I make. But usually for family dinners I get asked to make the salad, or now brownies. One friend who had plenty of meals at my house said to me one time, "Really, they asked you to make a salad? Don't they know?".
I'm looking forward to our family vacation later this month. I get to break out the Calzones for the family. There will be 17 of us in a cabin in Virginia. Then the secret may be out.