Feliz Navidad, Boas Festas, Buon Natali and Joyeux Noel! Mele Kelikimaka, Hari Natal, Maligayang Pasco and Geseende Kersfees! Sung Tan Chuk Ha, and Nollaig Shona Dhuit!
Gud Jul, Froliche Weihnachten, Frohe Feiertage, Glaedelig Jul, Prettige Kerstdagen, and Lystig Jul! Kalos Christou Yenna, Sreten bosich, and Rozhdestvon Khristovym!
Beannachtaí na Féile, Meilleurs Voeux, Felices Fiestas, Happy Jolabokafloo, and Frohe Festagge!
“Peace, Love, Hope, and Joy to you this Christmas from the Culinary Corner!”
As we celebrate the Winter Solstice today, and look forward to celebrating the Joyous Christmas and Holiday Season, I have a wonderful gift for you. I present Nancy Allen, who will assume my toque in the Culinary Corner full time as I step aside as of January.
My intention had been to share our tasks until my 20th anniversary in April 2020, but she has demonstrated a readiness to do the column, as well as the unique skills to perform the journalistic duties in writing and photographing food.
You have seen her work, and I know you will appreciate her as much as I, even inviting me back to do an anniversary column or occasional guest spot. One of the joys I had over the years was meeting my commitment to the community, running recipes from locals — or even those far away. Neva Hamilton’s Lemon Ice Cream from the Hamlet immediately comes to mind, and many from Linda Tonkinson, now living in Arkansas.
As I flipped through my binder of columns, I was filled with nostalgia as I recalled friends who are no longer alive except in memory. And I got a big laugh about when my birthday buddy and colleague, John Brannon, suggested to my first editor, Bill Morem, after a big Mexican dinner at my house, that I could not only write but cook, and should also do a recipe column. (Little did they know I had already done a culinary column for the USAF Officers’ Wives Club in 1966.) I had already signed on to do some freelance writing and photography for The Cambrian, with Kathe Tanner’s recommendation “one dark and rainy day.”
I agreed to do this monthly, but after immediate positive response, was asked to write weekly, which meant not 12 columns, but 52! Well sure, the story of my life always enfolds this way. I elicited reader submissions, and ran some really good and unique ones. In those days, I was not yet on the computer, and so watched Lee Sutter and Kathe to learn on the job. I faxed and then emailed many a column during my international travels, sometimes barely meeting deadlines.
Through many times dealing with my notorious Capricious Computer I was blessed with two other patient editors, Bert Etling and Steve Provost — and now Dan Itel. I was tickled to see what they would come up with for headlines, eg., “Belly Up to the (Lemon) Bars!” One humorous occasion, after sharing directions for the Macedo family’s Portuguese Egg Bread, I received a call asking if I would bake several loaves for a lady who no longer does that because it is so much work.
The multicultural, ethnic and series were lots of fun, including pocket breads, international Christmas cookies, scones, crisps, buckles, and crumbles and vegetarian and reduced fat and sugar recipes. Because they appeared weekly in sequence, we made a complete set. I happily “plugged” local events and benefits, commented on nature and celestial events, and of course, my supportive family.
So, now I retreat to my home on the range, and bid, “Peace be with you all in the New Year!
Shalom, Salaam, Friede, Mir, Pokoj, Henva, Beke, Sulh, Vrede, Iri’ni, Paco, Ruaha, Iri, Perdamaian, Kapayapaan sa Mundo, Beannachtaí na Féile, Hauole Makahiki Hou; Pas and Pax Vobiscum.
Schaslivovo Novogo goda; Amani Duniani; Asomdwoe ä; Selam ä; Here ä; Mutenden; Lumana ä; Nye; Runyararo ä; Emirembe; and Ukuthula ä from the African nations. Blwyddwyn Newydd Dda!
Akemashite omedeto gozaimasu! (That’s ah-kay-mah-shi-tay “Open the new Year — Congratulations”); Gung Hay Fat Choy (Cantonese); Gung Shi Fa Sai (Mandarin); Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Vietnamese); and Sun Nien Fai Lok!”