Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cyber Friends

The weekend loss of our dear blogging friend Tina made me think Tina Downeyabout cyber friendships. The outpouring of love and affection for Tina is quite incredible and yet most of us never knew her in person but we loved her anyway. This made me think of all the other close friends I have made through the internet, starting with a group called Recitopia UK which began through our connection to a recipe ezine which we all used to read. The Yahoo group of Recitopia UK is more or less disbanded nowadays and yet we are all still very close friends. I was lucky enough to meet some of them face to face when I went to England a few years ago and it was just like meeting up with people I had known for years. We also had members from Australia, Portugal, South Africa, Canada, Cyprus and the States and I have been lucky enough to meet some of them, the Canadians being local we see each other quite a lot. When we went to Portugal a few years ago, we stayed a couple of nights with the member from there. The member from South Africa visited this continent so we met at that time.

Then there is blogging. Once again, I feel very close to a number of blogging friends from all over the world. I have managed to meet a couple from North Carolina, and once again, it was like being with long term friends. Some bloggers are closer than others of course and we have email connections as well as blogging ones. Tina Downey was one of these and she and I became very good friends. I will be among the many who miss her very much. I wish I could meet many more of my blogging friends, it would be so much fun.

This recipe from Food and Wine landed in my inbox on Monday. To me it’s a big pity that I didn’t get it during asparagus season. Asparagus is still available of course, but it just isn’t as good or as flavourful. However, I thought it sounded good, not sure if I will try it now or wait til next season.

Raw Asparagus Salad with Tomatoes and Hard-Boiled Eggs

Contributed by Molly Chester
The key to this simple salad is slicing the raw asparagus thinly, so it takes on the flavour of the lemony marinade. Asparagus Salad

  1. 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  2. 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  3. One 2-ounce can anchovy fillets, drained
  4. 2 small garlic cloves
  5. 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  6. Kosher salt
  7. Pepper
  8. 1 pound asparagus, woody ends discarded and stalks thinly sliced diagonally
  9. 4 large eggs
  10. 2 cups mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice with the scallions, anchovies and garlic and puree until nearly smooth. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil until emulsified. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer one third of the dressing to a serving bowl and toss with the asparagus. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the eggs with water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain and cool the eggs under cold running water. Peel the eggs and pat dry, then quarter lengthwise and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fold the tomatoes into the asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the eggs on top and serve, passing the remaining dressing at the table.
Make Ahead The dressing can be refrigerated overnight.

Have a great day


  1. Hi Jo - it is interesting how we make across the 'net .. and I'm sure many of us would remain friends once met ... your interest in food mirrors Tina's .. she was always looking at cookery shows!

    This asparagus, egg and tomato salad sounds very good .. I love these mixes - next year will be fine a treat to look forward to ... cheers Hilary

    1. I know, it's amazing isn't it. One can become so close. You have met some of your internet buddies so you know what it's like to do so.

      I am undecided whether to wait to try this or not.

  2. Tina connected so well through emails and online interaction - can you imagine how well she connected in person?

  3. I've been Facebook and blogging cyber friends with people for so long that I often forget that we've never met in person, although I have met a handful over time. I cannot imagine the tailspin this has put her family in.

    1. I know what you mean JoJo. Yes, the family must be having a terrible time.

  4. Like so many others, I was really shocked to read the news about Tina yesterday. I never talked to her 'in person', but through following her thoughts on her life on her blog and reading her comments, I did get to know her enough to care. She was still so young. Sad.

    1. She was certainly young Vanessa, a bright and shining like despite all the troubles she went through with her health during the years.

  5. The outpouring of love and the number of tributes to Tina speaks so highly of her beauty. She encompassed all the best of humanity and will be sorely missed, but the example she set will never be forgotten!

    Your opportunities to meet online friends is the world over is amazing!

    1. You are so right Yolanda, she certainly won't be forgotten by any of us.

      It is great to meet such friends.

  6. I always say I have some of the best friends I have never met over the web.

    1. Good way of saying it Elizabeth. Although of course some of them I have met but first it was on the web.

  7. I'm sorry you lost such a close friend in Tina, Jo. It seems her heart was so open she became a sister-like friend readily. I regret that I hadn't made the effort. In a recent message to me she wrote "Here's to getting to know each other better."

    It's magical how close bonds are made when we put pieces of ourselves into words.

    Take care.

    1. I'm sorry you didn't know her better Robyn she was a wonderful person. You're right, it is magical.

      Take care yourself Robyn. I know you have health problems too.