On Christmas Eve I learned of the death of a dear friend.
We met in the late 80's when I was just out of school and was working at ELLE Magazine. She had been aquatinted with my boss and was trying to get some work as a stylist. My boss, Regis, didn't care to hire her but somehow she and I managed to strike up quite a friendship in the process. I can't even remember how it came about really. She was significantly older than me. She had me to dinner at her home. I met her then husband. She went to France, came back, got divorced. She stayed with me and hosted me in Paris. I began raising a family and she rediscovered her stepdaughter. Childless, she fell in love with my son and her stepdaughter's son and showered them with gifts. She spent time with my family on Shelter Island and had great respect for my mother. She was at times frustrating but her giant heart and love of life always won out with me. For 23 years she made me crazy and we loved each other.
On December 8, while living in Paris (which she hated) she had a heart attack and died. Even thought I hadn't seen her in two years my world is different without her. She used to say to me, "Oh Tracy, getting old really sucks." Always attractive, even at 70 she would show up in leather pants and decked out in black.
I have keepsakes. She used to wear all her rings on a chain around her neck. One day she took the chain off and removed a Cartier ring from it. "Mais tu est folle," I said. "C'est un Cartier!". "I have others," she said. "This one I want you to have.". Because of her I now wear my rings on a chain around my neck. When she last moved back to France I got to ransack her apartment. Among the items I got from her at that time is a small Le Creuset covered casserole which I have never used. It's perfect for confit and roasting small birds. Living as I do in my veg household I don't have opportunities to make such things so in her honor I have prepared this confit of cippolini onions.