Hi, hello, and happy Friday.
I was in the middle of rolling meatballs for dinner when I received a text from one of my friends that a former co-worker of ours had tragically passed away earlier that day. She passed the way you only hear about in grand works of literature and wonder if it ever really does happen that way. It does. While visiting Northern California, Mary and her son were walking along a jetty when a wave overcame them and swept Mary out to sea. Her son clung to the rocks and survived. Mary couldn’t, and did not. If anyone could see the poetry in how she passed, it would have been Mary, shrugging as she held up her chunky silver-ringed fingers almost to say, “Well, there you go.”
In 2007, Mary and I were hired at the same time. We worked side by side for years, she as my magazine editor, me as her art director. A discerning food critic, writer, and general fountain of knowledge, Mary was the one you went to in search of the best new restaurant, to get the scoop on the latest shenanigans on Capitol Hill, or ask where to find the best pie in Southern Utah. We spent each day teaming up and dreaming up ideas for molding the stories of other Utahns into the jigsaw puzzle of imagery and tidy soundbites, cut to fit into the sidebars and columns we checked and rechecked for that dreaded type-o we may have missed before going to print. As I flowed her words into the layouts of the magazine, she unknowingly taught me so much about writing. Her style was effortless, honest without hurting, conversational but deeply knowledge-based, and always tinged with wit.
Mary collected friends like a 5 year old collects rocks, placing them in her pocket, shining them up in the eyes of others, and putting them all in a pile to play together. She was an ally to all, propping up and helping build SLC’s community of foodies, artists, and anyone who showed a passion for whatever their passion was. Mary knew that hearts could be won over easiest with a toast of champagne, an open kitchen to anyone who passed through her bohemia-meets-Day-of-the-Dead decorated home, and when to bite her tongue when push came to shove. If those were the only things I learned from her, that would be enough. But Mary taught us all so much more. And now, even in death, her love and light carries on, shining bright.
I didn’t mean for this to become a long-winded eulogy. But it did. See Mary? I still have more to learn to write more succinct and to the point.
All that to say, live today for what it is. Because tomorrow, a wave just might take you out. In sincere poetic fashion, I’m sure Mary would agree.
Now, let’s get to this week’s Friday Faves.
Today is our wedding anniversary! I love you G!!!
I’m thinking we should all start early this year: 13 New Year’s traditions to try for good luck, from all over the world.
One of the sweetest food bloggers I know lost her home in a fire on Thanksgiving Day. Do me a favor and click over to her blog, take a look around, and show her the love the world has to share. And then get cooking.
This takes the spot for brightest story of my week (and you know the search was instigated by a parent who’s been there.)
Can’t get enough of this playlist.
Listen up: The best podcasts of 2020 according to NY mag.
Break out the earbuds: 8 food podcasts to tune in to while cooking.
Pass the bread and pass it on! How to get young people excited about cooking by someone who knows: A 16 year old.
These gingerbread crinkle cookies will have the gingerbread men standing in line.
Another reason to eggnog your make ahead breakfast.
Totally need to try this cajun spin on carrots.
This chicken dinner combo is the Thelma to my Louise.
Another gnocchi recipe to pledge your love to.
My dad’s old company still sends him a Christmas ham every year, which he gifts to us, which means I should probably try this recipe this year.
Beer, meatballs, and French onion soup makes this is one man-loving meal.
Love curry? Love slow cookin’? You’ll love this.
Eyeing prime rib for Xmas but won’t be going out? Here’s how to make it at home.
This salad is an absolute show stopper.
Seriously thinking I need to update my game with this new Crock Pot.
A few good tips for all the baking gifters.
This is one recipe I’ve never attempted but totally want to try.
Vegan pot roast for you non-meaters.
Love the clean lines of these ceramic plates.
It’s getting so dark so early so I’m ordering these for our dog walks.
This makes such a good gift and will encourage others to keep in touch.
I know several chip lovers who could use this stocking stuffer.
Get organized with this day by day to-do list pad.
This is a perfect gift for the tea lover.
Love the neck and sleeves on this cozy top.
Clean lines make this cardigan/coat perfect.
Chunky necklaces are where it’s at.
Very much liking these wire bins.
9 smart decluttering tips to take away from 2020.
Feeling anxious? Try these tips.
Get a jump on 2021: 8 ways to encourage a meaningful new year.
That’s it for this week. WEAR A MASK, and carry on.
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What is the recipe for the picture on the top of this blog
It’s a combo of this one and this one.
I am so sorry for your loss. But, as long as you keep her in your memory, she is never really gone…
So sorry for your loss. Your friend sounds lovely and you gave us a wonderful glimpse of her and your friendship. Your words are such a nice tribute to her. It’s such a gift to have so many good memories and I suspect she now will come to mind whenever you are making meatballs…that can be a good thing.
Also, happy Anniversary to you and G.
Thank you so much Jo.
I’m so sorry to hear about your former co-workers passing. Your words about her made me tear up, they were beautiful.
Thank you Phi, miss you.