Remembering Elle

caprese ravioli salad

And so it is that another person who owned a space in my heart has passed away. She was part of the humor section, the daily chuckles, the space that created camaraderie through wit and wonder. As I was getting to know Elle (Lee Ann Ritchotte) of Elle’s New England Kitchen, her wise cracking sense of humor made me open up that reserved space to her. In one of our first conversations she made me snort coffee out though my nose -which, as most of us know, is the height of all comic aspiration. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So a few of us who loved knowing her are cooking up a tribute recipe from her blog and posting it this weekend in memory of her at #ElleAPalooza.

I chose to make her Insalata Caprese with Fried Buitoni Ravioli as an appetizer for the birthday lunch I held for my two sisters this afternoon. I chose to use a Dungeness Crab Ravioli instead of the Buitoni Chicken Marsala. It was wonderful, inspired dress up of a standard- Caprese-so good! I wish I had the chance to let her know. I wish I could let her know the impact she had on the world and what a wrench it is to lose her too soon.

insalata caprese with fried ravioli

This last year has been one riddled with loss. I know it happens and I know that it is part of living but it sucks, it really just SUCKS!!! The philosophical part of my brain tries to talk myself out of the depression created by these senseless and unexpected losses (and of course even the ones I saw coming and thought I had prepared for) but the heart of me cries foul and its howling, raging, blubbering, stinging, searing hurt will not be salved by logic or balance. The only thing that helps is to hold the good memories closer than the pain. Sharing with others in the same space helps too – so thanks to the other Friends of Elleย on Facebook. In the coming weeks there will be an auction for the benefit of Elle’s family, put together by Heather of He Cooks She Cooks. Thank you so much Heather!
Rick was kind and supportive enough to make two auction lots of a Hand Turned Flame Maple Rolling Pin and a hand made Flame Maple Spatula together in each lot for us to donate. Each piece is signed by him and branded with ELLE as well. He is teaching me to wood turn- but I am not the artist he is- so thanks to him for contributing many hours on this donation. Just makes me love him all the more. <3 Please support the auction if you are able. ๐Ÿ™‚ There is also a fund set up at PayPal for the benefit of the Ritchotte family- if you’d like to donate it is here.

I am sorry that most of my posts here in the past year or so have been about loss. That is not balanced and not what my overall life is about. Elle makes me think of so many good things: friendship, laughter, passion for life. She made beautiful jewelry- I am lucky enough to have one of her bracelets. She was obviously a wonderful wife and mother leaving behind a family who I am sure will never stop missing her. I know that I will not- there will be funny things and my reflex will be to think of her and wish I could share- wish I could still read her squeal about a pig on a leash and Patriot passion and Corgis and Kitties and Kids. Thank you Elle for the laughter and the inspiration- it was a gift to know you.

Other Blogs Participating in #ElleAPalooza



  1. ZeBot Zebra says:

    When your heart is broken wide open, it can feel so empty. But an open heart is a spacious heart, with endless room for love, compassion, laughter and understanding.

    I love the joy that comes through the tears in your post — and I’ll bet Elle does, too!

  2. Kristina says:

    if she did not know her impact before, I sure hope she knows now – and this is one of the wonderfully written tributes that will let her know.

    thank you.

  3. Heather says:

    I think the substitution of crab ravioli would have made that New England girl quite proud. Looks delicious! I really want that now!

    As we get older loss seems to become such a big part of our lives. Maybe we can handle it better in our age and wisdom ;-), maybe it is a reminder that we have been here on this planet for a while and we need to stop taking life for granted. Loss is a harsh word. We need to find the solace in it to take away its power.

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