My love of cooking comes from my mother, who was an excellent and adventurous cook. She lived in the era where women exchanged prized recipes, subscribed to Gourmet magazine and threw parties for 20 or so people with what seemed ease and grace. She loved to bake as well as cook and our freezer was always full of delicious morsels to thaw at a moments notice. She loved to gather recipes from others and was always extending her horizons. When she met a Greek family she learned to make little filo delicacies, from the Armenians baklava and from Mexicans and Italians all sorts of dishes. No challenge was to great for her — she even cooked the squid my brother brought home from a high school marine biology field trip! I learned to cook at her side in the kitchen (although my brother taught me how to cook a fried egg sandwich — the full extent of his repertoire, I believe). As I grew older we tried Chinese and Japanese. She was always eager to accommodate special diets and prided herself on creating vegetarian dishes when needed and re-tooling recipes for diabetics.