Virginia Wolf – “I have lost friends, some by death, others through sheer inability to cross the street.”
Anna Quindlen – “When I think back, I realize that in my own life there was a girlfriend interregnum, a time during which I lost the knack for, the connection to, but never the need for close female friends.”
Not that long ago, I decided that I would make every effort to reconnect to my girlfriends. I was feeling the void that had been created when I left the workplace. I knew, even then, that most of my outside relationships revolved around being similarly employed. It was easier to find common ground when you spent 60+ hours a week with someone. It was easy (sort of!) to find time to grab a coffee and bitch about work, kids, life, boss… But when I left the job, we no longer had anything in common. In the few instances that I was able to meet up with someone from the old office for lunch or coffee, I found out quickly that I was no longer interested in the office gossip and also had nothing to contribute to the dialog. So, slowly over time, we went our separate ways.
But among my fellow cube dwellers, I also had a handful of friends that I found I truly adored and no matter what the situation or how long it took for us to simply meet and have coffee, even if it was more than 2 years!, we still connected quickly and more deeply than office politics would have allowed. These are the friends that you look to when times are tough. These are the ones that you call to talk about the newest stage in your teenager’s dramatic middle school life. These are the friends that I hope I have forever.
I may even be willing to cross the street for them.
When I did my first post on cooking from my family’s recipes, my mother’s longest and dearest friend, Ann, sent me this email. I am posting it here in its entirety. Friends do matter.
“CRAZY CAKE 3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 2 Tsp soda, 1 Tsp salt, 6 Tbs cocoa,1 cup oil, 2 Tbs vinegar, 2 Tsp vanilla, 2 cups cold water.
Put all dry ingredients in sifter. Sift into 9X13 un-greased cake pan. Make 3 depressions in dry mixture. Into 1st put 1 Cup oil, into 2nd put 2 Tbs vinegar, into 3rd put 2 Tsp vanilla. Pour 2 cups cold water over all. Stir well with a fork. Bake at 350 until done. Approximately 30 minutes. Use any frosting you desire.
This is just the way your mom gave the recipe to me. I never used frosting, as it was so yummy just as it was. Helped us that it had no milk, eggs, or butter!
We had so much fun being neighbors and sharing everything from food to clothes. Our friendship has been going strong for 52 years, and is such a blessing!”
Chefs Note: I have made this cake twice now. The first time, it came out wildly underdone in the center, even though a toothpick came out clean after 40 minutes. The second time, I cooked it for 50 minutes, which was perfect. However, it tasted terrible. Not sure this will be a family favorite.