FFWD – Celebration Week #4: Grand Finale

Now that our group has, collectively, cooked through the whole of Around My French Table, we’ve moved on to four weeks of celebratory posts, reflecting on our more than four-and-a-half years of cooking together.

Our assignment this week:

For the improvisers among us, share an original recipe that was inspired by an AMFT recipe or do a recipe that you would like to Make-Up or just make again. We also suggest that you say whatever you wish to say in this Post. We intend to have boxes of tissues on hand when we read everyone’s posts.. Do your best with this one.

Salted Butter Break Ups

Cooking together. It’s one of the simplest expressions of caring that I know. Cooking for friends and family is nurturing, but cooking with someone develops camaraderie and involves more than a little synergy. It’s easy to see this at work as you move through a kitchen, working with a person or a group.

It’s not something I knew was possible to create by cooking through a book with a group of bloggers scattered across the world.

Each week, as the French Fridays crew worked on another selection from Around My French Table, we began by sharing our questions and concerns with one another, then ended by reading about each other’s experiences with the dish. That alone created solidarity, as we identified with difficulties, helped each other problem-solve, and congratulated each other on successes.

However, it’s what we wrote alongside the practical details that really created our community. We shared stories, in the same way that cooks in a kitchen together might. We learned about the markets and culinary specialties of the places each of us live, while we shared the challenges we faced in finding ingredients across hemispheres, regions, and seasons. We cheered each other on in trying flavours, foods, and techniques we might have been too intimidated to try on our own. As we got to know one another, the quirks of our palates (and those of our loved ones) became fodder for discussion. And as we moved through the recipes, we shared our selves.

So, yes – camaraderie, synergy, and friendship built along the pathways of the Internet. Offline, a number of us have met in person. And even though this part of the journey has ended, we’ll keep following each other’s adventures online, while taking the opportunity to meet up in real time whenever it arises.

None of this would have been possible without Laurie Woodward, who first created Tuesdays with Dorie, then launched French Fridays with Dorie. Mary Hirsch and Betsy Pollack became the administrators of the group a little later on and their warm, encouraging presence made the group feel like a circle of friends. And Dorie Greenspan herself has been the warmest and most welcoming one of all – her encouragement to us along the way has helped us to become better cooks and bakers. More importantly, her generosity of spirit has been the model for how we’ve approached our connections with one another.

  

Now, I encourage you to go back and discover this wonderful cadre of bloggers for yourself – not only the fabulous stalwarts who’ve made it to the end, but also those who cooked alongside us at various points along the way. And do think about joining Tuesdays with Dorie – many of us are over there, too. Then check back with French Fridays in the fall. Laurie and Trevor Kensey (who coined the term Dorista) have something in the works. Until then, I’ll lift a salted butter break-up in salute to every one of the wonderful Doristas.

As you can see, I’m determined that this is not adieu, but à bientôt.

Grab your tissues and read through the Doristas’ wrap up posts, here: Celebration Week #4: Grand Finale

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18 thoughts on “FFWD – Celebration Week #4: Grand Finale

  1. à bientôt, indeed! As always, your post is thoughtful and spot-on. This has been a terrific community where we can share our love of cooking, but our common (and uncommon!) bonds. A great source of ideas and change-ups (I appreciate all of your efforts to adapt recipes for Kevin – it helps when I want to do the same for friends), and all of the encouragement. Your images speak to me. When I was growing up in the midwest my mom and her back-door neighbor Lou always canned and baked together each year – some of those are recipes I still make today. This has been a new-century version of that.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you’re up to – I always look forward to seeing that email that says you’ve posted something new! Your thoughtful commentary and lovely photos are just delightful.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!! Candy

  2. You did a nice job of describing the last few years and how our group has evolved into friendships. A bientot!

  3. Teresa, you summed up FFWD just perfectly. I needed the tissues. I always think of you as my first FFWD friend. I feel like you were the first Dorista who regularly visited my blog and left comments and in reading your posts, your blog was the first one where I felt comfortable leaving my own comments. I always enjoy your thoughtful insights about what we cook that week, or on the world at large. I really hope we have a chance to meet in person some day. In the meantime, we’ll continue this friendship on those internet pathways. A bientot!

  4. A lovely post to close out this chapter of FFwD. I do hope that there will be a next, but either way, I will continue to check in on your blog from time to time.

    I have truly enjoyed cooking along with you these past years. You exude a calmness and down to eath style through your writing which I really enjoy.

    Wieder = again and Sehen = to see, so the German “auf Wiedersehen” means, until we see each other again:-)

  5. Teresa, what a wonderfully written blog post – I for one am not going anywhere and will make sure to continue following your blogging adventures in the future – I certainly appreciate the friendship that we share through the various cooking/baking groups and I am am looking to cooking along with you in The Cottage Cooking Club!
    And I am curious to see what the future holds for us with respect to the plans to continuing the AMFT site, we will see.
    “See” you very soon, dear friend,
    Andrea

  6. Teresa, it has been fun. I have enjoyed reading and posting with you and I know we will all continue
    to be in touch. Good luck to both of you.

  7. Teresa – I am so glad to have been able to meet you virtually and in real life. This was a beautiful summary of the group and what it has turned into. I will continue to enjoy your explorations of your city through your posts and on Instagram. Until we meet again…

  8. Teresa you captured so well what our group was about. I am grateful for everyone who made me feel welcome every time I would resurface after my blogging hiatuses. It was definitely as if we were long time friends – the kind that don’t see each other all the time but feel as if they had just talked to the day before.

    My husband and I were talking recently about how much we would love to go back to the Pacific Northwest/Canadian Southwest. You would be the first to know about it when we do. I know we will stay in touch through our blogs and social media in the meantime. XO

  9. Teresa, I loved this post. Though I spoke to the book side, you spoke to the magical people side. The “stalwarts,” all of you who were around the whole time, you all have made the group what it is: welcoming the wayward children back when it came up (hee hee!) and generally seeming like really nice, interesting people. I also love the idea of à bientôt instead of adieu. So, à bientôt!

  10. This has been a magnificent journey,Teresa! Not only for the adventure of cooking new and unfamiliar recipes, but also because of the people we have bonded with through the years. You have put it into words so eloquently. It has been a joy getting to know you, and I will continue to follow your very informative blog. Here’s to new adventures!

    BTW…I received “Teatime in Paris” yesterday! Merci! It has so many delectable looking recipes, I can’t wait to make something!
    …à bientôt 🙂

  11. Congratulations on your FFWD accomplishment Teresa! Although I haven’t been a regular participant in this cook along process I did enjoy all my experiences.. especially connecting with many of the Doristas along the way. I look forward to staying in touch with you and checking out your cooking adventures..long live the strawberry shortcake..there must be a few more recipes for us to try with those wonderful berries ;). Take Care xxooxx Patty ..oh and don’t forget fresh cherries, I feel a cherry clafoutis coming on..soon!

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