November 2009 issue of Rachael Ray

November 2009 issue of Rachael Ray's Magazine

Marianne Brocke's tip is in the margin to the left

Tips for every room in the house

My tiny picture on page 144

Recipe Testers,

I just told my sister that I wasn't sure how I could possibly even write the next recipe testing e-mail after Jeanette's death. Writing about food/recipes seemed so insignificant compared to Jeanette and her life. I do want to wait about a month to write about the grief process and some of the steps and things that happened. The hardest moments are in the early morning and when I go to bed at night. During the day I am "doing things" and have to keep going forward taking care of my kids and doing all the things that keeps life so busy, which actually help. Although sometimes I'm caught of guard and I burst into tears making breakfast one morning. Binding all of your responses in a book for Rosemary is as much a healing process for me as it is for her and I truly thank you for the beautiful words you wrote.

Cindy Guy and Lisa Harvil are planning the reception for Jeanette at Poinsettia Elementary school. It will be right after her Funeral Mass on Saturday. I can't attend the funeral because I have a wedding to cater. Jason and the girls will videotape it for me. I told Lisa I would get the plates, napkins, flatware and cups. So I went to Costco to pick up those things. While I was wheeling to the front of the line I saw the new Thanksgiving issue of Rachel Ray. I immediately knew it was the issue I was interviewed for. It is strange for me to write about the article during this sad time. But then I thought if I waited then you would miss it and the Christmas issue would be out. So I'm happy and excited to be in the magazine, but it was bittersweet to see it while shopping for Jeanette's funeral (when I wish I was actually shopping for her birthday party instead!)

My picture in the magazine is very tiny. You may need a microscope to see me on page 144. They interviewed me for almost two hours for the article and I'm sure we sent 10 or 15 long e-mails back and forth about entertaining tips for Thanksgiving. So it was funny to see how little they used. They also interviewed 3 other nationally known caterers and event planners: Peter Callahan from New York, Mindy Weis from Beverly Hills and author of Real Life Entertaining, Jennifer Rubell. You can't tell from the article who gave which tip, so I thought I'd tell you the ones I submitted that made the magazine. I didn't scan in all the pages of the article since it was 8 pages long. I just put in a few.

The first one actually is not mine, but my mother-in-laws, Marianne Brocke. Her tip was "We know you can set the table. But this is a perfect 'get it out of the way' task. Just top the plates with wax paper to keep dust off." (pg. 136)

My tips were:

"use fruit or foliage from the backyard for centerpieces"

"E-mail invitations. Unless the invite is to your wedding, e-mail is fine."

Ask friends and family coming to Thanksgiving to bring something. Thanksgiving was a "community meal" and the meaning of Thanksgiving is sharing. It is about family and friends cooking together. I elaborated even more on that but this statement got turned into: "Make a call to Amy-yes, she can bring something."

"Make lists" was turned into "Write this list"

"Put lots of extra toilet paper in the bathroom"

"Greeter (see: best friend, energetic child) to answer the constantly ringing doorbell while you finish dinner." (this quote came about when I used to have my best friends and neighbors in Georgia, David and Lizette Evans, answer the door whenever I had dinner parties. That way I didn't have to stop what I was doing in the kitchen. Lizette would open the door and give them the warmest welcome ever and David would instantly fix them a drink. It was such a joy hosting parties and having David and Lizette help me.)

"Liquid, not bar soap"

"Empty trash"

"Bar in living room to draw guests out of the kitchen"

So that is it for my contribution to the magazine article. I will start sending out Thanksgiving recipes at the beginning of November. I'll actually post some past pictures from our annual Halloween party since some of the decorations may give you ideas.

I'll end with a quick note about Jeanette. Johnny and I have been sending text messages almost daily. After some back and forth he asked me how I was feeling. I told him okay and that Katherine usually cried at night and that Melissa cried in the morning. Johnny texted back "tell the girls Jeanette is in their hearts."


Carol C. Sawyer said…
one day it will be a Maili Magazine.

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