Celine was a name that was synonymous with good food in my home. She was my grandmother’s cook. My mother still tells me stories about watching Celine in the kitchen. Her secret, she’d say in a hushed tone, was her sauces; sauces, she’d say with emphasis, are the secret to being a great cook.
Celine didn’t just make sauces; she turned food into something you looked forward to. She understood that the meal really started with the aroma of the food simmering on the stove. She’d plan the food so it would build to a crescendo and conclude with the perfect sweet. But the end only really happened when the coffee was served and we’d relax and let the banter and laughter continue as we sat, enchanted by the pleasures we’d just consumed.
Celine knew that if the food was good, the conversation would follow. She knew she was not just creating food to nourish us. She was participating in creating a way of life.
Celine’s job was to cook, but her legacy was passion. She focused on food with the understanding that it would bring people together. She knew how important that was and loved the fact that she affected our lives with the food we ate and the relationships that were nurtured.
How could you not be thankful for that kind of love?
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Having a party again is simply wonderful. Every summer, Mark, my husband, makes a gigantic paella and we invite friends to watch the process (trust me, it is a show) and eat the amazing results. The party always occurs between the 4th of July and the 14th, Bastille Day. Are you wondering why we make a paella to . . .