Salmon Summer Supper


I’m always amazed when guests say things like “you make entertaining look so easy” or “I could never have you over to my house”.  You know what?  I’m actually an exceptionally lazy cook and a lousy housekeeper.  But, I LOVE to entertain.  (I have a regular cleaning service which I consider an essential household expense and critical for my sanity).  I believe the most important part of entertaining is enjoying HUMAN CONNECTION!  Is this heightened by great food?  Sure!  But you don’t have to put on a gourmet feast to entertain successfully.

Tonight, it was just my brother Luke and my boys here for a Sunday night supper on the porch and I made my favorite summer dish.  Of course, it has to be served on a platter because that’s what I do…. serving food family-style creates a greater feeling of intimacy and connection around the table, in my humble opinion.  It also just looks pretty!

So, how do I go about this particular meal?  This is the menu:  Poached Salmon with steamed Asparagus, Roasted Baby Potatoes and a Horseradish Mustard Mayo.  I promise you that this is simple.

To serve 6 people you’ll need:

SALMON: 2 – 2.5 lb side of salmon, 1 bottle of white wine (prosecco works too), half a bottle of orange juice or more, water if needed to fully submerge salmon.  POTATOES:  1.5 – 2 lbs baby potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. ASPARAGUS: 2 lbs asparagus.  GARNISH: 1 orange thinly sliced in rounds, half a lemon cut in wedges, chopped parsley. SAUCE:  1/2 cup of Mayo, 1 TBSP Horseradish (or more), 2 TBSP Grainy Dijon mustard (or to taste).


Do you own a roasting pan?  I have a big oval one with a lid that was initially used exclusively for my Thanksgiving Turkey.  During the summer it’s my go-to pan for poaching salmon.  I have a GE Café Stove with an elongated middle burner which I think was really designed for the griddle pan for pancakes and the like.  I bought it because I knew it would be perfect for poaching salmon!  Don’t worry though, you can just place the pan over two burners on your stove if you don’t have the middle burner and you could actually cook it in the oven too.

So, for this dinner, I took a 2lb side of salmon (serves 6) and put it in a mix of orange juice, white wine, and water.  I’m not going to be exact about quantities.  If I’ve got a bottle of wine on hand that I’m not going to drink, I’ll throw that in the pan.  If I’ve got plenty of OJ, then the poaching liquid will be all wine and orange juice.  If I don’t have enough, I’ll add water.  No big deal. Anyway, I bring the liquid to a boil first and then place the side of salmon in it, bring it back to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, preferably with a lid on, however if it’s fully submerged in the liquid then it’s not necessary.  If it’s done cooking before everything else, I’ll just turn it off and let it sit in the warm liquid while the vegetables are cooking.  To see if it’s done cooking – stick a knife into the thickest part to see how pink it is inside.



Meanwhile, as for the potatoes, I prefer the baby variety!  I’ll leave the tiny ones whole and halve the slightly larger ones.  Throw them in a roasting pan, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until they look like they are crispy enough for you!


While it’s totally possible to roast the asparagus, but because the potatoes are roasted, I like to steam it.  An inch or so of  boiling water underneath a steam basket with a lid, for 5 to around 7 mins depending on the thickness of the spears, should do the trick.  Depends on how al dente or soft you like your asparagus.


With everything cooked, it’s time to assemble it on the platter…. Salmon first.  In my case, it inevitably breaks up when I transfer it to the platter.  That’s why I garnish with sliced orange and parsley to hide the damage. Feel free to drizzle some of the poaching liquid on it too.  Then, I pile on the asparagus garnished with sliced lemon, then the roasted baby potatoes.  Because the salmon is quite sweet and silky, I love to serve it with a punchy Dijon Horseradish Mayo…literally made up of those 3 ingredients to your liking.

So, there it is!  Simple, pretty, with a variety of textures and flavors.  My kind of cooking.  If you are cooking for a bigger crowd, simply increase the quantities, I often will cook a couple of sides of salmon together in the same pan.

Enjoy!  Here’s to a fabulous summer!

2017: My Top Ten Food Experiences


I woke up on New Year’s Day 2017 in New York City.  My first meal of the year was Steak Frites at Le District by the waterfront in Lower Manhattan.  Little did I know that 2017 was going to take me to some places I had never been and encounters that I could never have imagined.   And I’m not talking about traveling.  I decided to review my year of food by picking 10 experiences/themes, in random order:

ONE:  @frommyporchtoperu

I embraced Instagram this year and have loved it.  Yes, I’m that obnoxious person that posts food photos.  I love it!  It’s fun and I have drawn endless inspiration from other foodies along the way.  After my Breast Cancer diagnosis this summer, one of the first things I thought about was: what could I take control of during treatment and in the future?  One evening, whilst grasping for inspiration, I found it on Netflix in the form of the documentary Forks Over Knives.  I was sold.  It all made so much sense.  Control what you put in your mouth and you can tackle what ails you.  It became my mission alongside the necessary medical treatments.  I found it fascinating to change the whole concept of what food meant to me.  Me….a vegan??!!!  Good grief.  A few months later, I can report that I’ve had lapses but ultimately it’s a lifestyle that works for me, in my unique way.  I kind of see a “Pesce-vegan” thing working.  I just can’t give up oysters.  They are just such a huge pleasure in life, right?  And lobster, crab, shrimp, mussels……. I used Instagram as a method of expressing my creativity, but also my accountability.  So for all of you who encouraged and acknowleged that, I thank you.  It meant an awful lot




Breast Cancer aside, 2017 also brought some romance into my life.  While it didn’t stay the course, I’ll be forever thankful that this lovely man came into my world.   We had been dating just four months when I received my diagnosis.  When I called to tell Andy the news, I told him that I absolutely didn’t expect him to stick around because it was too much to ask.  He was horrified and showed up at my appointment with the Surgeon the next day.  Yes, he is that kind of guy.  He breathed life into me while it momentarily felt like I was losing it.  We ate in lovely places, had some fabulous experiences and I think I can speak for us both when I say we learned a lot from each other.  The way to this girl’s heart is to make dinner reservations and that he did many times!  He even tolerated me taking pictures of our food.  There are many to choose from but I think my two favorites were these two.  The first was dinner at The Boathouse in Rockett’s Landing where we had a table on the deck overlooking the river.  We ate our oysters, the AMAZING Burratta Salad and perfectly Seared Scallops while watching a huge storm roll in.


The second restaurant was Dutch & Co, which I already dedicated a whole blog piece to, but it bears repeating.  Beautiful, innovative food in a great space.



FOUR:  Eating and sipping on my Porch

Despite being pretty gregarious and loving to entertain, I treasure my alone time on my porch.  During warmer months, I’ll sit there with a cup of tea in the morning and often I’ll come home for lunch and enjoy some quiet time.  As it’s west-facing, the evening sun hits it, which in the summer makes it brutal but on cooler spring and fall days, it’s perfect.  Below is a picture of a bowl from Local Vibe Cafe, a new favorite of mine that I plan to write about in more detail soon. The food is delicious, healthy and so beautifully colorful.  Eating it in the sunshine on my porch was just a delightful experience.  Also pictured is a glass of bubbly I enjoyed one warm Friday evening, the perfect way to start the weekend.



FIVE: Camden’s

Andy Howell, my longtime friend and catering partner is the owner of Camden’s Dogtown Market, so I feel a little bit like I’m a part of the place.  He has created beautiful food for many years in various different restaurants that he has owned.  I ate here a number of times this year, but one of my favorite dinners was the pre-Valentine’s Wine Tasting.  Another meal that already has a piece on here in its own right.  I had two truly “aha” moments when I drank two wines that I don’t normally care for on their own, but paired with the food, sprung to life for me.  That moment when you get schooled in the most fabulous way….yes!   The first wine was Complicated Chardonnay which he paired with a Crab Quesadilla with Peach Salsa, a glorious marriage of flavors.  The second was Rosa Regale which he paired with a dark chocolate pate, ricotta cheese and a pine nut cookie.  Quite possibly one of the loveliest dessert combinations I’ve ever had.


It was a tough year at Camden’s though, as Alix, the front-of-house manager, tragically passed away.  I spent many an evening at the bar, chatting to her, trading advice and gossip.  She loved fashion, hair, make-up, art, music and relished giving me dating advice over the couple of years that I knew her.  She even persuaded me to dye my hair red.  I like to think I was the older, wiser one dispensing words of advice, having more years behind me, but in retrospect, she was wiser than me in many ways.  She lived for the moment, spoke freely (often punctuated with profanity) and charmed everyone she served.   She made me laugh!  When she was suddenly taken from us, it was so shockingly sad and left such a painfully huge void.  So much so, that Andy stopped serving dinner for a few weeks.  You never know who might have a big impact on you and sometimes we sadly don’t realize it until they are gone.  Alix mattered, she touched many lives and I know I’m certainly the better for having known her.



I have been here many, many, times over the years.  So many great memories.  This time, it was just Polly and I, on a perfect warm Fall day.  Steamers, hardshell pound-and-a-quarter lobsters, a bottle of Chardonnay…..sitting on the dock.  Always my favorite culinary experience.  What a treat.




My birthday fell right in the middle of my radiation treatments, but I celebrated nonetheless with my lovely friends.  I turned 45.  Moving into the latter part of this decade, I know I’ll continue to face more challenges but hope that perhaps they may be a little less dramatic than those I’ve faced in the first half!  Ladies Night at home, then a weekend involving dinner at the The Brickhouse Run then a recovery brunch at Ammo with guava mimosas in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, was a great way to celebrate!




Radiation was a little more challenging than I thought it would be.  I’m still working on a blog piece about the experience as a whole.  My last treatment fell on Wednesday 1st November, our usual Ladies Night.  I had vowed to drink Veuve Cliquot to celebrate and that I did!  I was surprised with another delicious vegan chocolate cake from Buttermilk Bakery, decorated in the most appropriate way, with one red boob.  We drank plenty of good champagne and it was warm enough to sit on the porch.  Despite being exhausted, sore and so ready for healing, I felt buoyed once again by the love and support of these incredible women.  A night I’ll never forget!




When in the throes of divorce, it’s kind of strange to be involved in working in at least a dozen weddings a year!  But each is always different, lovely and interesting in its own way.  Andy and I catered three this year; a large outdoor wedding at Glenward Gates in Carson on a gorgeous Saturday in May, a lovely intimate small Fall wedding at Folly Castle, and last, but not least, our friends Kate and Mark’s party to celebrate their recent nuptials.  I have known Kate since she was a baby so to be part of this was really special.  No gifts, no formalities, they just wanted friends and family to gather and celebrate with them.  They had a couple of specific requests for food but otherwise left it to Andy and I to come up with a menu.  It’s always fun when you are given creative and artistic license.  It snowed that day but it was cosy, warm and festive inside the house.  Joan and Lawrence have traveled the world so we used a lot of the gorgeous pottery that they have collected.  A joyful occasion that was an honor to be a part of.




Our friends Alain and Aimee have, without a doubt, the coolest abode in Petersburg. Alain built a pizza oven this year and on a unusually warm evening a couple of weeks ago, they invited us over for pizza.  Just being in their house is an adventure but they are truly dear friends.  My cousin Georgia, Geoff and Jake had arrived for Christmas and so we all walked over there and were in for a treat..  I think what made this experience particularly memorable was the interaction with the youngest members of our party.  Jake at age 8 just loved the pizza making process, as did Rory and Ben.  But it was our conversations whilst eating it that really made an impression.  The emerging of powerful personalities with opinions and plenty to contribute.  I loved that Jake kept whispering to me, asking when and if the subject had changed.  He desperately wanted to keep up.  A delicious evening.




Having family join us from England for Christmas was the best gift ever.  My mother would tell you that Geoff taking over the cooking was the icing on the cake.  He produced a gorgeous dinner of Rib Roast, Yorkshire Pudding, Leeks in Bechemel Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots and Peas.  Finished off with Traditional Christmas pudding, of course!  There’s nothing like family and to have them here with us, especially after a tough year, made it joyful indeed.  The addition of dear friends, plenty of wine, Christmas Crackers and Charades by the fire completed our festivities.  I felt the most at peace this Christmas than I have in years.



It was a huge year!  But once again, I’m reminded of the pleasure of sitting around a table with great company eating fabulous food.  I’m grateful for the many wonderful experiences I had doing just that in 2017, with the host of phenomenal people I am surrounded by.  Here’s to a great 2018, cheers!


Snow Day!


There’s little more lovely than waking up to discover that your small part of the world has turned into a winter wonderland.  Especially if it’s a Saturday and there is no obligation to be anywhere.  What can result is a blissfully peaceful day of travel and culinary adventure right in your own back yard.  After indulging in a lovely lie in and a nice cup of tea, the boys and I enjoyed French Toast and Maple Syrup for brunch, made with baguette, our favorite kind…

After texting around the usual suspects, plans were made for sledding at 3 followed by Mulled Wine, Beef in Beer Stew and more wine of various kinds.  As we hadn’t played charades at Christmas, that became part of the agenda too.  Old Towne looked quite lovely all covered in snow and the sledders had a blast while the spectators almost froze to death…

After about half an hour of fun, it was time to go back for some mulled wine by the fire.  So, just in case anyone thinks this blog depicts some sort of perfect life, it really doesn’t…. things really do go wrong quite frequently.  Making mulled wine on this day is my case in point.  Silvia’s mother, who lives in Germany, recently went to her local Christmas market and mailed Silvia some mulled wine spices and dried fruits.  We poured a couple of bottles of red wine in a saucepan to simmer with the mixture and soon the house began to fill with the lovely aroma….


“So Cherry, where’s your sieve?” we ask when it seemed like it was ready.  “I don’t actually have one” says Cherry.  So we began with a coffee filter in each glass which proved to be a messy disaster and then ended up lining a strainer with coffee filters and pouring it through that into a mixing bowl.  This then required us to put the bowl of wine into the sink and use a ladle to put the wine in glasses.  A LOT of work for 6 glasses of wine that should have yielded at least 8 but it was delicious and a highly entertaining process!  We snacked on cheese with it and slowly began to thaw and relax.  We then had two different types of beef in beer to eat along with mashed potatoes so our evening was pure comfort.

After food, we played charades by the fire.  The 3 boys teamed with Lucas against us “girls”.  A great way to end our snowy day of adventure.


Ladies Night

“You know, it might be good for you to get out for a drink with some of the girls one night” said my dear friend Hope almost 2 years ago, after I was reeling from my separation….she’s one of those beautiful people in life that everyone should be lucky enough to have in their corner.  She was right, and we made it happen.  We sent out some messages, met at Wabi Sabi on a Wednesday night at 6:30 and so began “Ladies Night”.  In 2 years it’s become so so much bigger as the lives of a dozen+ women evolve and we celebrate, sympathize, support and sometimes simply drink too much wine together.

Eventually, during the warmer months, our Wednesday night gatherings moved to my porch and then when it’s too chilly, to my kitchen.  At one point I was worried that it took away from time with my boys but even they know how important it is.  They love having people in our home and I think that can loosely translate as they love seeing their Momma happy.  This past Wednesday was Ladies Night: Christmas Edition.




Ladies night has gone FAR beyond just getting me out of the house.  Shoot…we all have our burdens to bear and triumphs to celebrate!  What has transpired is a beautiful support network of women in all stages of life, in all chapters of their careers and different statuses of relationships.  No one is exempt from challenges in life and our group is no exception.  Everyone gets their moment to be supported and in return to be a support whether it be battling cancer, giving birth to twins, career challenges, promotions, lifestyle changes, trying to make a decision, relationship issues or simply venting about our  general frustrations or celebrating our victories, however small.  Not everyone comes every week, but if they do, they simply know to show up with a dish and a bottle to share.  Great things happen when ladies gather together with food and wine.

As we approach this Holiday Season, we have all the more to be thankful for.  We are not alone or lonely because we have each other.  These women carried me through a crazy time and to be allowed to even attempt to reciprocate is a priceless gift in itself.  Lucky me.  Cheers to this tribe of phenomenal women!


Celebrating Life



You just have to celebrate birthdays.   It seems that the older you get, the less you worry about the age you are turning and the more you are grateful just to have the opportunity to celebrate.  I have phenomenal friends and two of my favorites have birthdays within days of each other.  Last night we celebrated Aimee and Kerry’s combined 100 years of gracing the world with their extraordinary talents and general loveliness.  When asked what they wanted to do, Kerry said “Steak Night would be perfect”.  As well as sharing a wonderful friendship, the three of us, along with many others, share a love of steak.  The big, fat, juicy kind.  Medium Rare.  Served with salad and potatoes.  And great wine.

We initiated the fledgling tradition of Steak Night about 3 months ago.  Everyone provides their own meat, brings a good bottle of red and I make the sides.  I think it started when we talked about having a hankering for steak but lacking the budget to go out for one.  I have a grill on the side porch of my kitchen and last night Bart braved the cold to grill about 15 steaks perfectly.  Seasoned with just garlic powder, sea salt and pepper, they could not have been more delicious.  We served them with Gratin Potatoes and a salad with Field Greens, Pear and Pomegranate with  Honey Balsalmic Vinaigrette.



Dessert was provided by my mother in the form of two cakes:  chocolate with fudge icing filled with freshly whipped cream and raspberries and a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting.  This was no night for calorie counting… I think we are hoping that the salad and red wine may have negated the damage that the steak and potatoes surely did to our arteries.

I love having a house full of people eating, drinking and laughing.  My boys do too.  It breathes so much life into our home and makes it so much richer.  Fun times with great people.  Cheers to dear Kerry and Aimee!



EDWARD DICKINSON  9/3/36 – 11/26/16

The first restaurant meal I experienced with Ed Dickinson was during the summer of 1993. I was just 20 years old and meeting the couple who would become my parents-in-law 4 years later.  There was a twin lobster special for $15.95 at The Weathervane in Kittery, Maine.  It was the first time I had eaten lobster and where better to do so than in this part of New England, a place that I would grow to adore.  Ed, Polly and Steve patiently and painstakingly instructed me on the art of dismantling this delicious crustacean, making sure I didn’t miss a single part.  Dipped in melted butter, I enjoyed every last mouthful and so began my love for lobster.  Ever since then, whenever I’m in Maine, there is rarely a day when I don’t eat it in some form or another.  Years later our favorite place to go was Chauncey Creek, a delightful place on a dock in Kittery, where you can take your own beer and wine and sit at colorful picnic tables by the water.  We would eventually bring our own kids there. I’m not sure if we ever paid for a single meal there or anywhere for that matter.  Ed loved to take his family out to eat.




Just as he had introduced me to New England cuisine, I in turn introduced he and Polly to my English family which resulted in lots of time eating in pubs, a trip for them to Ireland with my grandfather and even a few days in Paris.  When we opened our own pub here in Petersburg, they were naturally fixtures there when they came to visit, and we finally got to buy them dinner for a change.

Just two weeks ago, the weekend before Thanksgiving, I flew down to Florida where Ed and Polly retired to, and where we have enjoyed countless visits to their home in Cape Canaveral.  This time it was not such a happy visit as Ed was seriously ill in the hospital.  Life can change in an instant. He had been living with multiple forms of cancer for 15 years but it was his kidney that was getting the better of him.  It was never going to be an easy weekend as I knew I may have to say goodbye for the last time.  I was also going to spend 72 hours with Steve after having been separated for over 2 years in an environment with many wonderful shared memories.  What transpired was a weekend that was focused on family, memories, support, and healing.  It was painful, emotional and transformative all at the same time.  I watched as my father-in-law slowly faded but all the while being lucid and aware of what was happening.  The man who had always been a bit of an anxious guy, was suddenly calmer and more peaceful than I had ever known him to be.  I hope he gained comfort from Steve and I being there together despite no longer really being together.  You just can’t erase 23 years of history and we will always be family.

The food in the hospital was in no way appetizing but this man who had always enjoyed eating and drinking, no longer had any appetite.  Steve and I spent time together in the cafeteria when we needed some food, chatting and reminiscing over such delights as buffalo chicken salad, iceberg lettuce and all the fixings from the salad bar, pop tarts and some particularly bad candy.  Here we were, facing losing such a big person in our lives at the same time as coming to terms with how our own lives had changed.

We all have our ways of coping and dealing with a crisis like this.  For some it is to provide a reassuring quiet presence in the hospital room, for others it’s running errands, some simply pray….  Me?  I get cooking.  After a day of eating barely palatable hospital food, I wanted to make sure everyone ate well at home.  For me, food is a source of nourishment, but also joy and comfort.  Cooking for others is an act of love.  I couldn’t cure Ed, but I could make sure there was food in the house for his family.  Heather arrived on Saturday and I picked steak for our dinner with roasted baby potatoes, a salad of field greens, Gorgonzola, caramelized onions, toasted almonds and balsamic vinaigrette.


As we ate and drank wine, we chatted and shared the tough realization that Ed was declining and that we were facing the inevitable.  A really hard fact to swallow.

The next day, my last full day, I prepared myself for taking over Polly’s immaculate kitchen in order to cook some meals for the days ahead.  I headed to Publix, the local grocery store which was packed full of people shopping for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  It’s always so surreal to go to a crowded public place when you are going through an intensely emotional and sad time.  It feels like somehow everyone should be sad. But life goes on and the population of Cape Canaveral needed to stock up for their dinners.  As I navigated my way through the crowded aisles, I was suddenly overwhelmed by hearing “Sweet Caroline” playing loudly throughout the store.  I found myself singing along but then memories of times spent watching the Red Sox play on the TV and at Fenway park came flooding back.  I remembered being with Ed and Steve when the Red Sox finally won the World Series for the first time in their lifetimes and it suddenly truly hit me that I was going to cook this food and then go and say goodbye.  I was alone and surrounded by strangers and started to cry.

I managed to get myself together enough to get home but then the tears wouldn’t stop.  I drove to the hospital where Steve came down to meet me in the parking lot and we walked along the perimeter of the hospital grounds, a prime waterside location with a view of the cruise ships at the Port and the Kennedy Space Center in the distance.  It didn’t feel good to be losing my composure, not helpful to everyone else at all, but ultimately a demonstration of how emotional this experience and situation was and a clear indication of how I felt about Ed and his family.  The fresh air helped somewhat and I spent a couple of hours up in the room and down in the cafeteria.  I then decided I needed to go back to the house and start cooking.

The act of chopping, slicing, dicing and seasoning was calming and most therapeutic.  But I continued to cry while I occupied this space where I had cooked before but under entirely different circumstances.  First on the list was dinner for after I had left.  A large Chicken Divan for the refrigerator and a smaller one for the freezer, an easily microwaveable meal that I have made and served countless times and that is always satisfying and comforting especially when reheated.  The other dish, another favorite, Beef in Beer, which was to go in the freezer.


I had somehow instinctively chosen to make “Cheesey Potatoes” for that night’s dinner, one of Ed’s favorites.  Thinly sliced potatoes layered with just heavy whipping cream, sharp cheddar cheese, salt and pepper then baked in the oven for about an hour.  Pure comfort in a casserole dish.  It was to accompany Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Apples, Pears and Onions served with green beans.  It was served again on a platter I gave Polly a few years ago.  I love serving dinner family-style on a platter as I think firstly, it looks good, and secondly, it contributes to the feeling of a truly shared experience, creating a connection between everyone around the table.


With dinner prepared for each of the coming days, I went to the hospital where the room was darkened and Ed was resting peacefully with Polly, Steve and Heather by his side.  A number of close friends and family had come to visit so he was surely tired.  He insisted that he be woken up every time someone left so that he could say goodbye.  After the shift changed, it was time to go and it was my turn.  Needless to say it was hard, a tender exchange which I will always cherish.  We all left the room feeling highly emotional, of course.  It’s truly a gift to get to say a final goodbye to someone, especially someone like Ed.

It was sort of fitting that this all happened around Thanksgiving, the holiday that was introduced to me by Ed and Polly.  I have so many memories of this holiday spent around their table in York, Maine.  We always marveled at Polly’s ability to produce the entire feast without ever messing up the kitchen, something I will NEVER master.  I remember fondly offering to help do something my first year there and being asked to peel the squash for the Dickinson classic dish of mashed butternut squash with maple syrup and butter.  I loved the dish but have since avoided the peeling over the years by splitting it in half and baking and scooping instead of dicing and boiling it.   I attempted a Polly Dickinson Thanksgiving dinner in Petersburg, once, I believe?!  Silly me….what was I thinking?  When it comes to food, sometimes it’s best just to take the spirit of the occasion and try to carry it on.

So this year, I returned home to my boys in time for the holiday, and our 15 guests.  I was feeling deeply anxious about Ed’s failing health, not being with them all, but especially grateful to be around the table with many special people.  We carried on the traditions of love, good food, family and gratitude.  We didn’t walk the beach at Long Sands in between dinner and pie like many years past, instead we walked the Centre Hill Circle and then went around the table all saying what we were thankful for.  Ed featured an awful lot.  It’s remarkable how particularly important the simple traditions and rituals of life become at a time like this.

I texted this picture to Steve, Heather and Polly when I made the butternut squash the night before:


I will always think of them when I make this every year.

Ed spent Thanksgiving at home, surrounded by family.  Not the usual fanfare, but the place he loved with those he loved, most of all, Polly.  Two days later on Saturday 26th November, he peacefully passed on to his next adventure with Polly and Steve by his side.  Steve called to tell me just as I was heading out to go to the Model train exhibition at the Science Museum, another Thanksgiving tradition.  I didn’t cancel our outing, it was yet another lovely ritual and therefore comforting.

Thank you for your kindness, wisdom and generosity, Ed.  Thank you for treating me like I really was your daughter.  Thank you for all the lobster dinners.  Thanks for always having Stoli and Schweppes or Fever Tree tonic in the house when I came to visit, even though you really only liked Absolut and generic brands of diet tonic.  Thanks for so generously and enthusiastically showing my English family around in both New England and Florida.  I think they even liked it when you forced a shot of Jagermeister on them at the end of the night.

Cheers ❤️