My friend Jane died suddenly last week. A breast cancer survivor, or rather a “teacher warrior” as she referred to herself while battling breast cancer, she actually died of leukemia.
We met at college and were linked together by a strong cast of women who are still very much a part of my life: Greta, Laurel, Phoebe, and Kerry. We weave in and out each others lives, and now with one less we are all very sad.
She had a wonderful spirit and zest for life. As a kindergarten teacher in San Francisco, where she chose to live out her years after college, she spent her free time exploring the outdoor world. After her breast cancer treatment, she climbed Half Dome in Yosemite and even traveled to Patagonia. Last summer, she was going to come to Colorado for a white water raftng trip.
Jane introduced me to Amish Friendship Bread, how to make play dough and countless crafts. She was a very good baker. Jane had the patience for baking and paid attention to the details, qualities a good baker posseses. I posted the Amish Freindship bread back in November as a holiday gift idea. I am going to be starting a new batch of starter to bring to her memorial in San Francisco.
I asked some of our friends to share some food memories of Jane. Greta remembers driving through the south with Jane trying to find good food on a trip across country. In Louisiana, she was determined to have the best bar-b-que. She begged her friends to leave her at a “dive” since everyone else thought she was crazy to want to eat there. When they returned Jane was not only satisfied with her find, but she had befriended everyone in the place, young and old alike.
Pam shares this recipe:
“Jane made this for me when I visited her in San Fran in the early 1990’s. It has become one of my favorite meals, and I made it for my family on Friday night in honor of Jane, when I knew Greta and Kerry were at Jane’s funeral. For a few years I called her every time I made it, but then sadly I got out of that habit, and now wish that I had kept it up. “
Jane Bresnick’s Fettuccine and Chard
(AKA…Pasta and Greens, adatped from Field of Greens by Annie Somerville)
FIRST – Prep:
1/3 C brown butter (unsalted – cooked in iron skillet 8-10 mins till amber, strain in coffee filter. (I have started using ½ this amount and it’s still great!)
½ C. walnuts toasted in dry iron skillet
1/4 C. currants, plumped in boiling H2O with sultanas below
1/4 C. sultanas (golden raisins)
Parmesan cheese freshly grated
½ lb fresh fettuccine
To START – sauté in olive for 5 mins – til’ soft:
½ medium red onion thinly sliced (~ 1 cup)
salt and pepper
ADD to above and sauté til’ tender on low heat
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 bunch swiss chard, 8 cups packed leaves chopped
add the brown butter, sultanas and currants
over pasta and stir it all together
sprinkle with toasted walnuts and Parmesan on top.