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In Which I Wax Sentimental…

One of my keenest memories from law school (which I have otherwise tried strenuously to forget) is making the acquaintance of a girl named Lily, on the first day of class. Her opening statement to an assembled group of terrified and sweaty classmates was as follows: “I’m not really looking to make friends, I have enough friends already.” This has stuck in my mind for 20 years as one of the stupidest things I have ever heard said by a sane and rational human being.

I have friends, too, but in the past year I have made two new ones who have so completely blindsided me with kindness and goodness that I feel I could sprout wings. Or something. One friend is “live,” and one is “online,” but they have become sort of essential to my well-being, and both of them contributed greatly to my recent coronation canonization award-from-the-City thingie.

My friend Alice nominated me for the award, spent time she did not have writing about my wonderfulness and attended meetings to convince a committee that I could, indeed, walk on water (while making perfect meringue). She is a fierce little person, my friend Alice, and she convinced them. She then proceeded, on the night of the award ceremony (when she had a bad cold) to throw me a wonderful party complete with a stocked bar and a bartender, good things to eat, fabulous company, and her beautiful new deck strung with Christmas lights and lit with candles. She is a fabulous cook (see, I’m going to talk about food a little bit) and promised to fill the bowl with her vegetarian steamed dumplings. I’m waiting.

My friend Claudia from cook eat FRET conspired with my husband via e-mail to make my night of glory even glorious-er. First off, she recalled that I had first visited her blog to rhapsodize about this dish, way back in August. She instructed Rob to buy the pasta, the chives and the creme fraiche, and she sent me truffle butter which is possibly the best gift I’ve ever received in my life. (Well, in my adult life; as a six year old I would have been totally traumatized to receive truffle butter instead of the Penny Bright doll with a nurse’s outfit and a tiny stethoscope). I will add that we had the Spaghetti with Truffled Creme Fraiche for dinner this very night, and that it is both really easy and to die for. I don’t care what you have to do to find the ingredients; do it and you’ll thank me Claudia.

But that’s not all, folks. Claudia and Rob knew that I kind of have a thing for Michael Ruhlman (his writing, I mean) and Claudia has actually met him. He is, in my opinion, one of the finest living food writers, plus he actually knows Anthony Bourdain and Thomas Keller. Among others. And Claudia, of course, who helped Rob get a personally inscribed copy of his newest book, House: A Memoir. A lovely personal inscription. It was as if Claudia, who I have spoken to, but not actually met (yet) was with me at Alice’s, on the deck with all my other friends and family, and I could really not have been happier.

I would like to think that I have attracted these women because I am as wonderful as they are. I think though, that I’m really just lucky. Damned lucky.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

9 responses »

  1. I have to laugh, Ann, because I have often said in the last few years “I have enough friends; I don’t need any more.” And I mean it. My work has brought me a truly incredible set of friends, my life feels as full as a pint well poured.

    The reason I bugged you to become my friend is because you are indeed so wonderful. Who knew I had, one block away from me, someone who feels about food and words the way I do? Remember when I said to you recently, in the midst of the city-development-related hell, “Is it just me, or are we the only two gay men in this neighborhood?” That’s why I bugged you to be my friend.

    You so earned that award not so much through acts (though your acts have been splendid and numerous) but through person. You’ve made this whole neighborhood have the warmth, the passion, the intensity, the flavor of Forest Street Kitchen. I am so grateful to you for that. My house now has a home in a way that, before, my home only had a house.

    There are few joys in life as joyful as throwing a simple, happy party on a sweetly lit deck for someone who deserves it. What a wonderful way to christen our new deck (which someday soon will be able to host sit-down candle-lit diner parties for 14, and you know what that means to me).

    That Rob did all those sweet things preparing presents for you (shipped to our house) — awwww! That made it all that much more fun.

    Before I stop waxing sentimental myself, one plug for the bartender, my very good friend and professional advisor Danny Black (, who I am plugging because he did it for me at about half the usual price and with twice the usual charm:

    You rock. And they’re fried dumplings, not steamed, and they will appear soon….after City Council meets once or twice more!


  2. Aw shucks, Alice. If these people knew how accomplished and famous you are they’d be even more impressed that you like me. As for the stuff about Danny…its absolutely fascinating.

  3. I’m just so glad to have found a great food writer who blogs regularly! Even if we didn’t live within a stone’s throw, I would be glad to have found your blog. It is such great reading.

  4. thank you for inspiring me to try and be a better writer – and for all the wonderful posts. i’ve never skimmed…

    and thanks for somehow finding me out there in the vast foodie blogoshere those 8 months ago, so that i could find you…

    write on, sistah

  5. You are a lucky gal! Luckier still because you know it!


  6. Great things come to wonderful people, Ann.
    You’re a lucky woman!

  7. Lacy, you are SO right.

  8. Count your wealth by the number of friends you have found….
    You are truly blessed and a blessing to others! Keep up the good work!

  9. Chris you are so right. I always cry at the end of “Its a Wonderful Life” when everyone rushes to save George, and I guess I’ve felt a little George Bailey-like lately. I am not rich in money at the moment (!) but I am VERY rich in friends.


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