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The Passing of a Food-Loving Friend

For months now, I’ve been meaning to put up a post to explain the extra-long hiatus on which the blog portion of this website has been.  I’ve been updating the NYC Food & Drink Events page and the Food & Drink Conferences page, but I haven’t pulled out the computer to do any other longer-form content.  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts have been the primary way to keep up with my food and drink adventures in the city.  Since moving to working in the culinary industry full-time several years ago, instead of just writing about it, long vacations have been hard to come by, as have been all those extra hours I’d spend cataloging photos and writing posts.  I’d hoped to catch up on posting (and even to write the mea culpa post about not posting) over this holiday weekend.

Gorgeous Yorkshire PuddingYorkshire Pudding, a part of my family’s annual holiday dinner with Roast Beef & Horseradish Sauce, recipes which my friend liked so much she used it at her holiday table, as well

Instead, I have to write about one of the saddest, most upsetting pieces of news I’ve ever received.  On Wednesday evening, I had a call from a friend to inform me that another very good friend of ours had passed away suddenly and without warning.  This person was one of the biggest champions and supporters that I had for migrating my career path into a culinary direction and of this blog, which she shared often on her own social media streams.  She was my foodie wing-person trekking to markets, food fairs, restaurants, wine bars, pubs, all kinds of places just to check out what was going on in the city.  She kept probably at least as keen an eye on the NYC food scene as anyone in the media or blogging world did, and she was always my “outside the industry” / civilian food-lover checkpoint for any new fad or idea or gourmet, artisan, locally-sourced something-or-other. Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti 2

Chocolate-Pistachio Biscotti, from a friend’s annual New Year’s Day Party, which we both attended this year

Out of respect for her family’s privacy, and, in some ways, my own as well, I will not post her name.  We, her friends, are still stunned and at a loss to understand how we will never see her again at one of our parties, a hollowed-out bread bowl filled with Spinach-Artichoke Dip or a plate of Pickled Shrimp (from some Junior League Cookbook) in hand.  She was always a fan of the culinary classics and loved entertaining and get-togethers, bringing her friends together just to enjoy being around each other.  She’d taste tested so many recipes and is woven into so many posts on this website, that I’m not sure that I can even link to all the stories on these pages that include her.  Her insights and feedback were invaluable.  We didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but we could agree to disagree on what we liked and didn’t like food-wise and in other areas.

SmorgasburgSmorgasburg, just one of the many food markets that we explored together, along with Hester Street, New Amsterdam, the Brooklyn Flea, and others

This news is so fresh that it’s still really, really difficult to believe that we’re not bantering back-and-forth about the Peas in Guacamole brouhaha that was in the NY Times this week.  I can’t imagine that we’re not at this moment trading phone calls and texts about how and where we’re going to coordinate watching tomorrow’s fireworks display over (yay!) the East River, as well as what to consume while watching said spectacle.  I don’t know who is going to traipse around with me to check out the seasonal markets or help me to cross off all the places that we’d made a list of to try, in search of our new favorite eats and drinks place to recommend to friends and family.  We had so many great excursions in this city yet to do and always had more of them to add to our wishlists.

Blood Orange MargaritaBlood Orange Margarita from Colonie, one of our go-to places

Dear, sweet, friend, you are missed so much by all who knew and loved you.  No one can believe that you left your place at our table so soon, never to return.  Last night a small number of us pulled together to share wines and food and to try to comfort each other in our loss.  It was a tiny way that we could start to reflect on what the world will be like without having you there to share our meals, drink various beverages, tell stories, and join in the laughter about everyday life here in NYC.  May you be enjoying a glass of a well-chilled, crisp white wine (or a Rosé, as it is summer) and a plate of plump, briny oysters, one of your favorite combos, wherever you are.  We will wipe away the tears and find an opportunity, soon, to gather together to do the same for you, in your memory and in your honor.

BOE SignBOE Tasting Room, another favorite place to grab a glass of wine, plus a plate of oysters

We were still raving about the now-gone 2007 Merlot that we’d had on one of our first visits there