Over the last 10 summers or so, my mom has enjoyed coming over to my place and stayed for a few months. Since she usually have lots of free time on hand, she took the opportunity to practice the different things she have learn over the last few decades at cooking classes and schools. Sometimes she also tried improving her secret recipes using local ingredients, and make some pocket money selling to local Asian restaurant and grocery stores.
She never handed me any recipe she collected from classes for she knows that I would easily share them with my friends. Her reason was understandable as she has spent lots of money obtaining recipes that are hard to come by. Sometimes, ingredient and some simple instruction can only get you so far. You would need the "secrets" that make your cooking and baking truly unique and great tasting.
Nevertheless, when I expressed interests in making some of the stuff myself, she would start writing them down in small notebook. I never really paid attention to them because when she's here, she would do the cooking or baking anyway. But lately I started become serious in making sure I know how to create some of my favorites food that she has been making all these years for me. And when I dig into those notes and trying to figure out what to do, I realized she has only writing down the ingredients but never write down the instructions! She even went so far as labeling a certain ingredients as "magic power". (I did later figured out the magic pill was baking power)
So, in the past 1 year, I have tried to decipher what she has written, by calling her to ask for the instruction, comparing them with what I could find from the Internet, and actually try them out myself. I have set out to document what I could "reverse engineer".
Besides stuff from my mom's recipe books, I am happy to share what make good home cooking and baking a joy for myself. Since I am merely and engineer who has not culinary training, if I can do it, I am sure many of you can too. The drive behind my efforts has always been the end products themselves. :)