Death is a shadow that follows us around from the day we are born. I don’t know why we ignore it and are shocked by it when it happens. I have lost many beloved people in my life and I have learned to allow grief to pass through me – accepting the inevitable and learning to love their invisible form. And they have helped me to prepare for my own passing. I think that finding peace with the ending makes the days of my life more meaningful. It adds substance to my thoughts and deeds. I have made it clear to my children and my fiancé what my wishes are when that time comes.
The first recipe is my interpretation of a dish I grew up with, cooked often by the woman who inspired me to be a chef. It may not be comfort food for everyone but for me it is.
The second was a recipe that I developed with a girlfriend who passed suddenly 3 years ago. She was a brilliant chef (but not so good at writing recipes) - so this one was a joint effort. It is truly delicious and will be comforting to anyone who makes it.
My paternal grandmother, Aida Padagrosi, emigrated from Rome in the first decade of this century. Like many other Italians, she brought with her a love for her native foods, baccalà (or salt cod) among them. Most holiday and special occasion meals at her house
My Grandmother's Baccalá Salad
started with a large array of antipasti, which might have also included oil-cured olives, roast peppers, crudités, and small salads. Her baccalà salad was one of my favorites.