I began seriously learning how to cook in college when I was going out with my boyfriend, now husband, who is a vegetarian. I began to experiment with tofu, whole wheat pasta, garlic, lots of nuts, cheese, vegetables and many of France Moore Lappe's recipes. Consequently, years later I'm good at many aspects of cooking, but am not very knowledgeable about meat, even tho I eat it occasionally. My meals are influenced by the seasons, my garden, farmer's markets, the challenge of a recipe, holidays, or, what's on sale. When I was active in our local herb guild (eventually becoming president), I collected many herb plants that members were eager to share. Now I have an abundance of herbs, but not always sure what to do with them. I love chocolate, dried apricots, trying every variety of fruit imaginable and, well, Chicago-style hot dogs.