• Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    A lesson for the living in the passing of a "first"

    Edna Lewis has left this world but not without doing best that any of us might aspire to do - she offered a superlative example of how to live. Plain-, yet soft-spoken, entitled to be bitter but evincing none. Living fully and deeply loving life. Displaying open delight in her relationship to food and her relationship with her friend Scott Lewis - the so-called the Odd Couple of Southern Cooking, he being white and several years her junior. They shared a love of good, mostly Southern food and the talent to impart it so personally that to hear them, even if only on TV one could imagine you were perched at the kitchen counter.

    As is often the case with women of her generation who achieved something that warranted public attention if not recognition, she was a woman of firsts. Born a grand-daughter of slaves and raised close to the land, she nonetheless rose to become a chef and an author of cookbooks when being either female or black would earn you that recognition as a first. She was both and carried it with typical Southern grace. Next time you fry up some chicken, say thanks and blow a kiss to Edna. I know I will.
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