ffwd – the grand finale

As I’ve thought about this post over the past few weeks, running up to our final FFWD post from Around My French Table, I’ve thought of creating a finale evening, with champagne toasts, cheese-it-ish crackers, and of course, gourgeres. That would have been fun. Or some kind of eloquent reminiscence of the journey.

I’m pretty certain that there will be Doristas who do both of those things. And it will likely cause a few sniffles, if not actual tears (yep, I’ll have some). But this is really a graduation of sorts – so just like kids striking out on their own after the safe embrace of childhood and even university life – one of those “I’m an actual adult now!” moments. That’s both scary and exciting, and often bittersweet. Gone are the days when your mom or dad reminded you of your need to get out of bed, get a haircut, change the oil in your car (if you were lucky enough to have one), and even supplement your budget when things got short at the end of the month. So many responsibilities, now! But this is also a time when you can really choose what you want to work on, where you want to live, and learn how to do a lot of those little things that were taken care of for you for all those years. It’s a time of challenges – good and bad, and an opportunity to meet them and grow from them. I suppose that’s why graduations are often correctly referred to as commencements.

I’m trying to think of this as a sort of graduation too! We have become a close-knit group, and in advance of this inevitable graduation, among us we’ve come up with several ways to stay in touch, whether the Alumni group on FB, Andrea’s Cottage Cooking Club that several of us have been participating in for the last year, or the new group being sponsored by Alice, Emily and Christy, we’re pretty committed to staying in touch, and cheering each other on in the future. Of course, there may be other forays into groups either based on this one, the TWD group, or something else. Who knows! The future is bright, and we have ways to stay connected. I’ve thought of a few ideas of what other ways we might informally, or formally, challenge each other as well. We’ll see!

And like so many others in this group. I have other cookbooks. Lots of them. Really, lots. And that’s after sharing some with my nieces who have become good cooks, and sharing with strangers through book drives (yes, it’s true). Of course, I always add more, even though with this project I have tried to hold back. I’m looking forward to actually baking more from the beloved Baking Che Moi. But also I’m excited about cooking from The Slanted Door – Modern Vietnamese Food. I’ve also just purchased Teatime in Paris, and Food 52 Genius Recipes at the behest of our Dorista Family members (note to all who have the Food 52 book – the Carnitas recipe is genius indeed – the same recipe I’ve used for years. Diana Kennedy is to Mexican Food as Dorie Greenspan is to French). So, see, there are so many other things to cook. And bake. And enjoy. And share!

So, starting out in this new phase, I’m probably going to be looking to my “family” to help with the transition – maybe the occasional challenge or nudge. And of course for your inspiration! I am looking forward to seeing what cooking (and other) adventures people are endeavoring. What we will get up to. With a bit of trepidation, I’m hopeful and excited.

One of the things I’ve found most entertaining in putting together these last few posts is looking at all of the food pictures I’ve taken. Some are terrible, some not so much. Some food was amazing, some not so much. So I’m going to depart with a number of photos. In no particular order, certainly not preference. But what an amazing array from over the years!!

ffwd - salmon and tomatoes en papilloteffwd - tourteau de chevreP1020037100_1278IMG_1356100_2106100_3085100_3288100_3278IMG_2352100_3909100_1155100_0989100_0950100_0996100_1501100_1513100_1626100_1580100_1544100_1606100_1682100_1669100_1930100_1856100_2022100_1994100_1963IMG_1713IMG_1706100_2375100_2317100_2436100_2449IMG_2020IMG_1990IMG_2096100_3033crepes5100_3221100_3141100_0175100_0387100_0703100_3429IMG_2478c100_3521100_3536100_3713DSC00555100_3886100_3874100_3854100_0145000_0006100_0373100_0303\100_0269100_0252100_0218100_0196ffwd - spinach and sausage quicheffwd - bacon and eggs and asparagus saladffwd - roasted rhubarb ffwd - cola and jam spareribsffwd - vanilla eclairsffwd - orange-almond tartffwd - garlicky crumb-coated broccoli ffwd - basque potato tortillaffwd - chicken b'stilla ffwd - michel rostang's double chocolate mousse cakeffwd - gnocchi a la parisienne ffwd - spiced butter-glazed carrots

So with this, I bid a fond adieu! And look forward to the commencement of the next chapter in all of our journeys! You can find all of the final posts from my fellow bloggers at French Fridays with Dorie if you log onto the site. I’ll have my tissues ready for reading all of your posts! I am looking forward to all you have to say and share!

22 thoughts on “ffwd – the grand finale

  1. Of course the existing FB page and website aren’t going anywhere either. Yes, likening to a graduation cannot seem more perfect. Its really not an ending.Just different. And if you ever do have that party with BOTH the cheese-it-ish crackers AND gourgeres I hope I’m right there with you as that is my kind of party!

    1. Trevor, I would love to do that! My kind of party too! Perhaps we’ll get to toast each other in person one of these days!

      Life gets busy (as you know). I think it’s a testament to the closeness of this group that we have several ways to stay connected, even as we wait at the bridge to the Next.New.Thing. I’ll be looking out for what you’ve come up with! For me, I am happy to have that informal connection remain, since I do not want to fall by the wayside. Oh, and I’m still looking forward to some amazing new cocktail out of you! Until then…

  2. Love that you added all the photos so I could enjoy the trip down memory lane- that is what it is, no ? Kind of like a mini yearbook to go with our graduation 🙂 Lovely post and I concur with all you shared. This has been an experience that has taught us so much in so many ways, and not simply about cooking, that we are going forward with new strength and skills. It has been wonderful to get to “know you” virtually during this journey and I hope one day we can meet in person. Please let me know if you are ever in the Philly area (maybe even for work ???) – Nana and I will roll out the red carpet. And maybe crank up a Gerard’s Mustard Tart 🙂 Now, on to those cookbooks !

    1. I would love so much to meet you two in person! The good news is that maybe I can make that happen… my best friend used to live out there, and so monopolized my time when I was there a couple of years ago. but not now! (they moved to the west coast – still my bf). I am finding myself looking at project locations, to see if I can’t figure out a ffwd meet-up. Luckily, I have “people” now, so I’m going to figure out how to get away for a bit! 🙂

      I DO have a fair number of them! I’ve even cooked things, thinking about blogging about them, but haven’t gotten to it! So maybe!!

      Hope you enjoy the weekend, my friends!!

  3. I love all the FFwD photos—so many winners that I need to make again. And it’s exactly like graduation—our skills, our photos, our ability to tweak a dish have all improved with help from Dorie and our Dorista friends. Looking forward to meeting you in person one day!!! xoxo

    1. Me too, Liz! Funny, I found myself re-making the quinoa salad this weekend… and thought, nope, not “really” done. But graduations are fun too!!

  4. What a great post, Candy! Your sentiments strike home (no surprise). I love that even as we “graduate” from this project, there are so many possibilities of what each of us can do next both individually and together. I can’t wait to see what challenges you might put out there. I have a few on my mind too. My cookbook collection has grown through FFWD, but most of those books are a little neglected. I’m hoping to get reacquainted with them over the summer.

    I do hope you come east at some point and we can meet in person. As I’ve told you before, I sometimes forget that we haven’t actually met in person. One of my good friends just moved to Phoenix, so maybe I’ll be out there to visit her and we can meet in the west instead or in addition!

    Looking forward to sharing some adventures with you in the next chapter!

  5. Your photos are wonderful. Looking back at all of them, it’s amazing what has been accomplished. This has been fun and I know it is not really goodbye because we will
    all stay in touch on FB and continue on the new site that was set up. Good luck to you.

    1. Nana, you are so right that this isn’t the end! I can’t imagine not following all of the various adventures that people will have! I have so enjoyed following you and Tricia, and I hope that I’ll be able to meet you in person one of these days too!! Thanks for your kind words. Some of those photos were bad!! 🙂

  6. Dear Candy, what a tribute – entertaining, a bit sad but full of hope and inspiration at the same time! I do not what I would have done had it not been for all of you lovely members of the French Fridays group – your pictures make me want to rush to the kitchen and start cooking and baking – all wonderful, all delicious and so special.
    It has been a true treat getting to “know” you through this lovely group of bloggers and I would not want to miss any of it and, particularly our friendship,even it is just virtual (for now) – it seems as if I have known you for the longest time…
    Now, let´s plan a Dorista meet in Paris…that would be fun!
    Looking forward to our CCC adventures and so much more, dear friend!
    All the very bets and “see” you on the 28th,

    1. I couldn’t agree more that it would be lovely to meet! I am all for Paris, and would be happy to visit Germany too – my Dad loved it there, and so have always thought it would be fun to visit.

      I’m so happy that we have the CCC to fall back on – it definitely helps to have a goal! I treasure our friendship, and am looking forward to all of our next adventures!!

  7. Yes, we have graduated. Looking forward to what is next – I may even need to finally get that Facebook account that I have avoided for so long.
    I love the line up of pictures – such a trip down memory lane.
    Here’s to future FF meet-ups that still need to happen.

    1. Cher, I completely understand your aversion to FB. I go through it all the time, and try to limit mine to far-away friends, and also my ffwd friends. I think Mardi only uses the ffwd page. Now that we have the Alumni page, I think it will be fun too. But I totally get it (BTW, it’s possible to “hide” people, without the aggressive “unfriend” action – so you can see what you want to see).

      I have so much enjoyed sharing all of our adventures. I have to double-check to see how I can follow you on your site. It’s always worth visiting and seeing what you’re up to! So, I surely want to stay in touch, however that works. And I would absolutely love to finally meet you in person! One of these days!

  8. Your post made me smile so much, Candy. There are still so many more culinary adventures to go on, and cuisines to learn and love. You inspire me to take on some of those ambitious endeavors like your French Thanskgiving dinner. I hope we get to meet at some point but in the meantime I look forward keeping in touch through FB and whatever’s next for our wonderful group.

  9. I love that photo retrospective, Candy! It’s so amazing when we think of all the things we hadn’t made before coming across the book and the group.

  10. The graduation metaphor is apt – I also love Tricia’s comment that your photos are like an annual! I just hope I can meet more of you in person along the way. Dorista reunions sound like so much more fun than high school reunions, don’t you think?

  11. A lovely post, Candy! I enjoyed all your photos and graduation metaphor…where do we go from here? That’s a good question…I also have many, many cookbooks, and a list of recipes I’ve been hoping to tackle in the future. I will also be trying to keep up with BCM. Looking forward to the next chapter! Cheers on our graduation!

  12. I’ve been really curious about the Slanted Door and Food 52 cookbooks. I hope you’ll let us know what you think of them, so I can decide whether I should take the plunge and by them. I too am hoping to keep up more with TWD/BCM, so hopefully we can stay in touch that way.

  13. I like your way of thinking of this as a graduation…we’re all moving up in the world! I also love, love, love your array of photos. How fun to see them all lined up like that! It’s been fun, and I look forward to keeping up with your next adventures!

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