10 Apr

Words to tell you the unspeakable

Yesterday, my closest partner in this project passed away.

I had known she was fighting with chronic illness but the past few weeks she had seemed strong. She was cooking again. Her voice was joyful and excited. She waited for my visits and made me lunch. We talked about many things, but mainly we talked about the recipes I was putting in the book and stories about my family. She shared all her recipes with me up to the finest detail so that I could then share them with you. We almost tasted them; we got hungry and craved to eat a lot of the recipes we talked about.

The past years, she had lost her appetite for food, but if you heard her talking about it to me, you would never had imagined it - for the hours I was there I know she felt she had an appetite again. When she had company she ate, alone it didn't seem to make much sense to her.

I knew this twist would be coming at some point. I just hadn’t imagined it being today. We had made plans, to cook together, to share the excitement of being the first to hold the book in our hands, to make a video for you so that you could meet her and put a face to her name.

But however much we plan - life doesn’t listen.

I saw her for the last time on Friday, she made me the most amazing Μπριαμ/Briam (stewed vegeatables) I have eaten. It was not chunky and rustic. She had cut all the vegetables in small cubes to make it as refined as possible. She was a woman who was not brought up to be refined but had her own sense of sophistication. She liked to show her skills off to me, and sit and explain just how she liked to cook her food and why. Listening to her speak gave me reassurance. You already all know her name.

We only have one photograph together from these sessions as she hadn’t wanted me to take photos of her (though I did take a few without her noticing, like the one below). For some reason the laste time I saw her had seemed like an appropriate time to take one.