When I got the message on 30 June that Barbara Harris, wife, mother, cook food blogger and human being extraordinaire had passed away the day before, I was struck with a pang of deep sorrow. Sorrow because death is so very, very final; because I would never get to meet her in person; and because there was so much more she wanted to achieve when her life was rudely interrupted. But how do you commemorate and pay tribute to somebody you have never met in the flesh? What better way than to do it online, the ethereal space where my friendship with Barbara grew and blossomed. As it was my turn to host Meeta’sMonthly Mingle event, we decided to adopt a theme of “A taste of Yellow“, the name of the cancer-awareness event that Barbara initiated and hosted on an annual basis.
For those of you who do not know Barbara, my first piece of advice would be to read her blog, Winos and Foodies, to give you a sense of her joie de vivre; her gentle humour, her love of her family, her love of food, and her grace and courage in the face of cancer. During the course of hosting this event, I have had the privilege of reading so many wonderful memories and trbutes that people have shared about Barbara, including this beautiful tribute by Cath of A Blithe Palate. You shared memories of Barbara and stories of loved ones you have lost to cancer; you talked repeatedly of what a generous presence Barbara was in the blogosphere, always encouraging new bloggers and taking the time to send personal notes and comments; and most of all you expressed deep regret at never having met her. I also received this comment from barbara’s husband Bryan:
As a family we have been truly amazed by the outpouring of support and praise of Barbara’s life and work, the blog being her favourite interest. We have all worn the yellow wrist bands from early in her fight, vowing to remove them only if she was to leave us. There is now only one remaining, it is hers, and on my wrist. Winos and Foodies will remain on line with one more post to come: we intend to put up the program from her funeral which includes a recipe, one of her favourites.
My family hugs you all.
And a few people also suggested that although we have lost Barbara, we should all try and do something for those who are still living with and fighting this disease: be there for somebody going through a chronic illness or bad experience, offer to do some chores for them without being asked, or even just show up and sit and chat over a cup of coffee. even something that small can make a difference. And of course, we can all help the fight against cancer by donating to one of the many cancer charities available – here are a few to which you might want to make a donation in Barara’s memory:
- Livestrong Foundation
- The Austrailan Cancer Research Foundation
- The Cancer Council Australia
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia
- The MacGrath Foundation
- Cancer Research UK
- MacMillan Cancer Support
- The American Institute for Cancer Research
- The Cancer Association of South Africa
And now without further ado, let’s paint the food blogosphere yellow with your recipes!
DISH: Lemon Tapioca Pudding with Crush Raspberries and Lemon Shortbreads
NAME: Arfi Binstead
LOCATION: New Zealand
DISH: Lemonade with roasted fennel seeds, honey and mint leaves
NAME: Sandy Neumann
LOCATION: Jena, Germany
BLOG: Confiture de Vivre
DISH: Bulgur salad with pepper and courgette
LOCATION: Oldenburg, Germany
BLOG: Food Vegetarisch
DISH: Eton mess with Saffron, Raspberries and White Currants
NAME: Meeta Khurana-Wolff
LOCATION: Weimar, Germany
BLOG: What’s For Lunch, Honey?
And that, as they say, is that – over 40 golden entries (see the full visual effect here on the taste of yellow Pinterest board!). A huge THANK YOU to all who participated for your stories, your emotions and your recipes. Here’s to you Barbara; we will always remember you and your kind brave, generous nature – I hope you are smiling wherever you are now. Next month’s Mingle is hosted by Zizi’s Adventures and the theme is street food - see the post for more details.