Friend Lost, and Friend Found

Circo dinnerware, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas - tangledpasta.net

Circo Ristorante dinnerware, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas – tangledpasta.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fringe benefit of the power of social media is how it permeates the fabric of our world.  Ever since I began this blog in June 2012, I have had a relative in Italy whom I had not seen in years contact me; a former French graduate school colleague who lives in France asked if I were this person [she introduced me to Gitanes, upon which I nearly choked to death], and several other with whom I had lost touch.

However, last weekend, a reader left me a comment inquiring if I was indeed her former undergraduate college roommate, the one who was a bridesmaid in her wedding.  Those who know me well know that I am rarely speechless, but when Jackie contacted me, I was at a loss for words.  Fast and furiously we sent messages back and forth.  We had over 30 years of our lives to share with each other.  We agreed to talk via phone on Thursday evening at a well-appointed hour.

Three-and-a-half hours later that night, we still had not caught up completely.  Next week we will converse again.  We have plans to meet face to face after we scrutinize our work and family schedules.  For the past days, I have been euphoric about our social media and phone reunion, for we had great times together in college.   Although she pursued health sciences, and I English and later music, our personalities and sense of humor meshed.  As the years rolled by, I wondered off and on about Jackie.  I thought of her living in Lexington, Kentucky, in the fabled Blue Grass state.  She now is back home again in Indiana.  Searches for me were in vain.  For years I had carried a 15-letter married surname; I legally reclaimed my name several years ago.  And so it went as we canvassed the landscapes of our lives since the late 1970’s.  Jackie would not have known that about me.

Once we commenced talking, the years melted away.  She was Jackie:  Spirited, funny, compassionate, and brilliant.  Her overriding question was, “How did we ever lose touch with one another?”  I think I have the answer:  Our lives at some point did not diverge; rather they digressed.  She had married and started a family.  I returned to the university to pursue a music degree, travel back and forth to Europe, earn a graduate degree, and relocate for years to Houston.

In retrospect, I was careless about our friendship what with my hop, skip, and jump lifestyle.  I thought about other friendships that have fallen by the wayside over the years.  Some friendships simply ran their course; others were consumed by complicated lives.   However, I have been given a tremendous gift through this blog:  The gift of renewing a cherished friendship with Jackie.

I have learned to mend my errant friendship ways.

Ciao for now.

Toujours bon appétit, Julia!

Cover of "Appetite for Life: The Biograph...

Cover via Amazon

One of my great passions is cooking.  Whether it is for family, friends, or myself, the art of cooking never fails to intrigue me.  At a young age I attempted to emulate my mother, who herself was a wondrously wonderful cook.  How well I recall the sheer joy of opening a present from Mama.  Inside the colorful wrappings lay my first cookbookBetty Crocker’s Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook.  Since that first cookbook, rarely have I stopped cooking for any length of time.

 

Julia Child entered the world on August 15, 1912.  My father was already two years old when she arrived; my mother didn’t appear on the birth horizon until 1915.  Today Julia Child would have celebrated her 100th birthday.    What a fascinating person she was, to say the least.  With brio I read her book My Life in France, which my daughter bought me in 2006, the year of its publication.  I have read and re-read the book multiple times over the years in which she eloquently expresses her ardor of FranceAppetite for Life:  The Biography of Julia Child, by Noël Riley Fitchstands dog-eared on my bookshelf from numerous readings too.  Other books, both by Julia Child and those written by others about her, have enlightened me too.

Cover of "Mastering the Art of French Coo...

Cover via Amazon

Yet the coup de grâce, the crème de la crème of them all is Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Heavenly is the only word to describe her Boeuf de Bourguignon.  Every time I make it, and I never stray from her recipe, it turns out perfectly:  so moist, succulent, and savory that one could bask in the euphoria of it throughout the night, along with a glass of fine vino rosso.  This recipe alone would have put her on the culinary map in my humble opinion were not other recipes from the book superb, like her Reine de Saba cake.

 

Tonight over dinner I plan to raise my glass of Pinot Noir and toast Julia Child, who so aptly counseled us:  Toujours bon appétit!  Bon anniversaire, Julia!

 

Ciao for now.