Celebrating Francie with Memories

She would have been 54 today. My talented, charming and beautiful friend, Francie.

2010.02.13 Celebrating Francie
Celebrating Frances Lee, 
May 25, 1956 - Jan 11, 2010

The memories of the last few days of her life are fading slowly, paving the path for her return in vivid, vibrant memories. Her laugh, which was an echo of pure sunshine, rings in my ears every time I think of her.

Happy Birthday, dear Francie, I will raise a toast to you tonight and to all the fun memories we made together. I cherish those as much as I do you.

* * *

I would like to recap the memories some of you sent in, the act of which is probably a memory itself since this is overdue by almost 7 months! But something tells me you won't mind rewinding a little bit and reading your own posts. I enjoyed them last year and I loved reading them again now. If you are game, tell me your thoughts as you relive the words you penned last fall.

Freshly made butter. Pillowy and white. Cool fat lingering on the tongue. Sweet undertones. Soft like a baby’s cheek. Clean cream. Who can offer such encomiums for that nasty ole margarine?
Who indeed! Maybelle's Mom made butter with her toddler.

There was a rhythm to the production and I didn’t want to acknowledge it but I loved the food prep. I suspect my mom knew it too.
I am sure she did! Jaya Wagle apologizes to her mother for being a brat as she reminisces while prepping stuffed anaheim peppers.

She always kept them polished and even as a kid I loved the two fat little jars, presiding over my aaji’s tiny little kitchen, sniffing the aromas of her simple cooking and my grandfather’s occasional mutton curry.
It's not just a simple cup of tea with biscuits. Jaya Wagle writes about two brass jars bursting with memories.

She waited with quiet patience for me to evince some interest in the kitchen and when that was not forthcoming she felt compelled to force-feed these skills to me.
Indian mothers are like that only! Deepika stirred up some memories with Mangalore cucumbers.

On and off, it hits me that here's a dish I used to have when my grandmother was around, and haven't had or enjoyed properly since she passed away - it's not always something exotic or special or unusual, just that it's unavailable to me for various reasons, one of them being a slowing memory.
That was the point of this exercise! Sra eulogizes her grandmother with a fiery mixture of constants and variables.

As a kid, there was something very exciting about all this activity with a rhythmic muted “whoomph” of the pounding in the background. 
Aparna took the modern route to make muthusaram with fistfuls of advice from her mother.

She sold the best fish, her credentials of being an excellent haggler, a sweet talker with the customer yet a tough women with anyone trying to cross her path.
Anjali digs deep into her Koli heritage to make sweet Mughal samosas.

I sat by her wide eyed while she toasted the seeds in the hot iron skillet on the clay oven. No ovens, no gas stoves, all she owned was a portable clay oven.
Soma toasted pumpkin seeds as she reflected on her grandmother's influence on her life.

Every perfect morsel, with a bit of eggplant and a portion of quince, was mixed into the rice with a little bit of the gravy and devoured in silence.
Anita regales us with tales of rare quinces from Kashmir.

Major props to Srivalli for turning around the fastest post ever on Kadambam Dosa - less than 7 hours since IFR: Memories was announced. Adai and flavorful coconut chutney! How could I say no?

Mooli parathas take PJ back to a meal after a bus accident in rural India.

As for me, reconnecting with friends from my childhood in Kenya led me to irio.

That, my friends, is the round-up for IFR: Memories.

To those of you who have not given up on me completely, I am going to try not to disappear again. I haven't worked out how often I will post but I am a firm believer in one step at a time, and this post is definitely a beginning.

Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Or should I just say I'm happy to be back?