Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Maria's Happy Birthday Cookbook!

photo by ana traina ~ 2011 ~
The other day, I was flipping through Facebook when I happened upon my friend Maria Deasy’s post and read this line, “Hazelnut Pastry Crust for a Sunday in November...very healing.”  With further investigation I discovered this recipe was from a makeshift cookbook of Maria’s.  Of course, it struck me as a purrfect Zingertale, as it encapsulated most of the sentiments of a Stillroom Journal.  So, I quickly set out to ask Maria if she would like to share the story of this wondrous book... and here is what she wrote ~

photo by ana traina ~ 2011 ~
My friend Molly and I met in the ninth grade. We were both chorus girls in The Pingry School's production of "South Pacific." My first after-school trip to Molly's house was during a snowstorm. Three blocks from her home, the bus skidded and our lady driver threw up her hands with an "Ahh!" and plowed into the front yard of a neighbor, who was subsequently surprised to find us at her door requesting a shovel.  After college, The Moll and I were both working jobs in New York to support our artsy aspirations -- she at an ad agency and me at a law firm. She studied opera. I studied acting. Come my 25th birthday,  I was sharing a rambling apartment on Morton Street with a roommate, Alec Beckett, the ex-boyfriend of my best college friend (to be found among my FB friends), and we decided to have a party.  Molly presented me with a Birthday Book with recipes she'd copied from the mom for whom she was a nanny, Alex Timchula. (I think Alex was an artist -- a photographer -- I remember she had cute little ones and lived in the carriage house on a farm in NJ; Molly revered her.)  For the party, we made Cheese Delights, which involved combining cheddar cheese, mozzarella, mayonnaise and olives and spreading it on English Muffins. Sinfully delicious!  The book had many blank pages, on which I have pasted recipes from the New York Times, O Magazine, in-flight magazines -- anything that inspired my tastebuds.  Twenty years later, it is my go-to source whenever I get the cooking urge, but I have to admit I have only fantasized about the desserts I've clipped. Today, Molly has two blonde children, Rudy and Katherine (who dances in the Nutcracker at the Santa Clara ballet). And well, you know my story...

Maria Evelyn Fionnuala Deasy aka Super-Sublime-Stupendous-Woman!

photo by maria deasy ~2011 ~
Last bit of ODD and END: Maria (an actress and muse) and I met many years ago when she acted in The Crucible, with my husband Scott. They performed the play at the Roundabout Theater in New York City.  However, it wasn’t until we moved from Soho to the Upper Westside about five years ago that we became close. A friendship I am most grateful for.