I went to a wake today for a man who loved to cook - no, create culinary explosions of delight - for those around him. He fed me my first plate of Lobster Newburg. It was like nothing I'd ever tasted. He made award winning New England Clam Chowder. He could roast potatoes and make them magical. Corned Beef and Cabbage was an event. He was a culinary genius.
I will miss him. He was a grandfatherly figure for me. His humor and zest for life reminded me of the best parts of my grampas, who passed on a long, long time ago. He was full of stories and he loved his wife, truly, in the most wonderful and sweet way.
In true style, his children hosted "refreshments" after. He would have loved the biggest, cheesiest lasagna I've ever seen. A platter of pasta salad that could feed a third world country. Chicken, antipasta, beverages, and a dessert table filled with snickerdoodles, cannolli, and mini cream puffs, eclairs, and petifores and more I can't remember. And pies. Lots of cheesy, sweet comfort food. Did I mention the cheese?
I buried a little sorrow in lasagna, chicken, and pasta salad. I treated myself to a mini cream puff and eclair. I drank a lot of water. It felt comforting, warm and embracing. My head is now sore, I've become congested, and my tummy is dancing, but the cheese was well worth it. Sometimes a girl needs comfort food.
I'll never eat lobster, be it boiled with butter, bisque, newburg, or on a roll, again without remembering him. Prime rib and roasted potatoes will make me smile with warm memories. And I'll never forget the Bourbon Pumpkin Pie he made with me in mind one Thanksgiving day. It was the most spectacular pumpkin pie I'd ever had.
Tomorrow I'll return to juice and salad and natural, healthy fair. Today I will remember with comfort food.