Tuesday, 22 February 2022

a post about my friend, catherine


My friend Catherine passed away two weeks ago. Maybe she was your friend, too. She was friends with so many people. Today was her funeral. I wasn't able to attend in person, but there was a live stream and so there I was, sobbing from 3000 kilometres away. 

I met Catherine somewhere between 11 and 13 years ago, in the summer. I was going to the cricket with her brother and, despite having never met me, she made sure I was fully catered for. All I remember was these amazing vegan jellies, and her late arrival because of complications. Veganism 12 years ago was still not mainstream, and I hadn't had jelly lollies in forever and I was so, so blown away by her generosity and thoughtfulness. Savouries, sure. Some fruit? Definitely. But bloody vegan jelly lollies? 

Two other things I have definitely eaten that Catherine made for me were: 

The vegan cheeseburger cupcakes that I screamed about to her face - W I L D, so much effort for so little payback! Of course I ate several of them, but I remember telling her that I would have been happy with something so much less intricate and involved. 

Cupcakes at this wedding 

The last thing she made for me were lemon and passionfruit cupcakes, on the Saturday before she died. I was sitting on the train, tired, and I was a bit reluctant to travel all the way to Coburg; but it was lunar new year, and she'd made me a crochet dragon and i DEFINITELY wanted it, and it's always nice to see Catherine. So she decided to make cupcakes. They were still warm when I arrived; they were so fresh out of the oven that they fell apart when she decided to move them by grabbing the tops of them. I took half a dozen away; I didn't want to take that many, but she'd made a flavour that her husband Andrew didn't even like! So I ate two even just waiting for the bus (the bus! the things I have done for you, Catherine). 

I have played with many of Catherine's recipes over the years; she was one of the first omnivorous melbunnies I knew who would so enthusiastically cater to peoples' different dietary needs. 

Reflecting on my life, and having had her in it, as one is wont to do after a funeral, I think I'm going to be cooking some of Catherine's recipes in the near future. I will modify them all, as she would have wanted, and maybe I will tell you about them. Probably I would cook them for you. In fact, today I'm cooking two cheesecakes, recipe testing for a friend - I definitely would have told Catherine about them, I think she would have been interested in them. 

Here are some other words about Catherine: in memoriam by someone who has known her half her life; in loving memory from the smart bitches.

On this day, and every day, may we be generous with our spirits, and our skills, and leave the world a more full, happy place when we waddle off. 

My love to you all