Because Life with Kids is Sticky...Very Sticky

Lucy Mercer

Lucy Mercer
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
December 31
I cook, I write, I carpool. You may also find my words at A Cook and Her Books. Email acookandherbooks@gmail.com. Thanks for visiting!


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APRIL 19, 2011 8:13AM

A bread and butter note for Francis Lam

Rate: 13 Flag
thank you
Dear Francis,
I'm sure by now you've vacated your corner cubicle at Salon, but I just wanted to send a note to let you know how much the Salon Kitchen Challenge has meant to me over the past 15 months.
I came to Salon looking for Ruth Reichl and her quiver of writers, following the shuttering of Gourmet in Fall 2009. When I read about the Kitchen Challenge, I knew that I should at least try to form sentences around these ideas I had about food. It took me two weeks to get up the courage to submit an article, but when I did, you wrote something nice about it on Salon. I submitted a story the next week, and heavens to Murgatroyd, my story about breakfast with my 4 year old won! From that moment on, I was hooked, and my 2010 routine was set: Monday night, get assignment; plan, shop, cook and photograph by Friday; write like a madwoman Saturday; post on Sunday.
As the year progressed, I made friends with the other SKC regulars - Linda Shiue, Grace Hwang Lynch, Paul Hinrichs, Mamie Chen (still miss her!), Felicia Lee, Lisa Kuebler, Fusun Atalay, Theresa Rice, Bellwether Vance, and many others. Some time in June, Linda and I realized that we both submitted stories each week and we both planned to finish out the year. One year, 50 contests, and by the end of December, we high-fived via Open Salon private messaging. Along the way, we wrote about peas, peaches, pumpkins, cookies, cocktails and candy, among others. Nearly each week, you wrote something nice about my stories, and I would walk on air for a day, before diving into the next story, because, as any daily newspaper reporter can tell you,  you're only as good as what you have for the next deadline.
More than a year later, I have a blog-full of timely and seasonal stories, and a group of friends who share the same goal - writing about food and the ways it touches our lives, fills our bellies and expands our souls.We're branching out beyond the borders of Open Salon, finding new avenues for our work.
All this is a roundabout way of saying "thank you," Francis, for reading my stories and being so encouraging throughout the Salon Kitchen Challenge. I also enjoyed your stories, tutorials and Sacrificial Lam posts. I learned so much about cooking and writing just by reading your stories. Even though you're moving on, I want to join the chorus saying please keep writing your sweet and snarky stories. 
A popular complimentary close these days is "best," and I truly wish you the best in your new venture,

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Lucy, thanks for posting this and I feel that Francis' time at Salon really made a cohesive and fun approach to the Foodie part of both OS and Big Salon. It would be wonderful if someone with the same skill, talent, friendly nature, and knowledge could be hired to continue what was a very attractive part of both sites.

It's been great to read the many great recipes and stories that were posted in the SKC and to hear how friendships evolved around the weekly challenge. During the beta period of OS in the spring and early summer of '08 we had a number of foodie posts, but once Kerry designated Tuesday as "Foodie Tuesday" we started getting a constant flow every week of interesting and delicious foodie posts. I would imagine that going forward from this point many will continue to focus on Foodie Tuesday for presenting their favorite recipes and stories. In my case, I have a few posts in the pipeline to present some old recipes and anecdotes.
Lucy, you are a true Southern gentlewoman! A bread and butter note - just lovely. Hope you and others will keep up Foodie Tuesday entries for us here on Little Salon. I've posted many in my left hand column for my own reference and as recommendations to anyone interested. Your experience reminds me of Julie and Julia, of course, without the book deal :( !
That's very sweet of you, Lucy. I concur with Designanator that foodie posts - with their back stories - make a valuable addition to this site, and I have a feeling that they will continue. Meanwhile, thank you for doing this, and wish all the best. I've made some nice friends through the common interest as well.

What a lovely and kind tribute--I hope Francis gets to read this, wherever he is. I, too, will miss Francis' writing (which I devoured with fascination and envy since back when he was at Gourmet). I'll also miss the Kitchen Challenge and the sense of camaraderie it helped develop among all the food writers here. I've really learned a lot from all the interesting recipes and stories everyone has shared. I hope we find a way to keep the culinary flame going here!
Hi Lucy, thank you for verbalizing the thoughts and feelings many of us have had about the Salon Kitchen Challenge.The posts and the people have been equally fascinating, Francis included. Perhaps OS will take up the idea several have mentioned--and institute separate "sections" for different topics, like on Salon. BTW, I do hope Salon's Food page will soon have something on it besides coffee foam art!) :) Rated
Lovely, Lucy! Thank you for writing this. Now, back to my books.
Well done, Lucy. Cheers.
*sniff* This is such a lovely letter to Francis, and a wonderful tribute to all the great food writers on OS. The sentiments are echoes by many of us, I'm sure.
*sniff* This is such a lovely letter to Francis, and a wonderful tribute to all the great food writers on OS. The sentiments are echoes by many of us, I'm sure.
This is nice. I have high hopes for G.F. and look forward to seeing what comes.
Francis certainly made the Food section a must-read -- and the Kitchen Challenge was such fun. Like you, I'm sure Francis will find success wherever he lands.
I think Francis is the one who should have written a note of thanks to OS.
What a nice letter, Lucy, to sum up what so many of us feel. SKC was a fun ride...I really enjoyed having the story starter every week and seeing what direction everyone took with us. Francis has a gift for food writing, but you, do, too. I hope you'll be able to pursue it further. I really enjoy reading your work.
Thanks for the Thankfull Post. I too enjoyed this greatly.
Food food food how glorious and the Thank you note rules...
I miss Francis Lam! We ain't got squat right now but your column was inspring. Thank you!!