Ruth and I met in Ann Arbor. She in graduate school at the University of Michigan, working on her MA in art history, and I working at Bill Moss’ design business, C. William Moss Associates. I had just opened a small women’s clothing store. Ruth applied for a part-time job. Our love of food and cooking created a deep friendship over these last fifty years. My respect and admiration for her has only increased over time as she has moved, so effortlessly it seems, through many successful careers. Chef, food writer, food critic for two national newspapers, the last editor-in-chief for the now defunct Gourmet magazine. Ruth has received many James Beard Awards for television cooking shows and food writing. Most peoples’ accomplishment list would have ended with all those efforts, but not Ruth’s. She has written and published eight books, compiled Gourmet recipe books, and co-produced PBS’s Gourmet’s Adventures With Ruth. I treasure, Mmmmm: A Feastiary, her first cookbook, a collection of Ruth’s good recipes and stories, illustrated with humorous photos of our mutual friend, Pat Oleszko, a visual and performing artist.
When I contacted Ruth to ask her to participate, she responded as I expected knowing how busy she is writing a new book, traveling and speaking nationally while somehow keeping up with twitter and her daily blog—too pressed for time to write something now. But she sent me the following excerpt from an earlier draft of her book, For You, Mom, Finally. Ruth said it “pretty much explains why I do what I do.”Read more