Today's column is my last for the Tri-City Herald.
Writing it was a bittersweet process. I've enjoyed my time at the Herald and the opportunities I've been given to write, especially for the Food section.
I began my career at the newspaper shortly after graduating from River View High School in 1971. I worked for the Herald for a little over two and a half years and left for another job. I returned in 1978.
The newsroom then was a cramped, noisy room with the staccato noise of multiple Associated Press machines spitting out endless rolls of copy all day long. Reporters worked on manual typewriters, churning out their stories one page at a time, double spaced, with a carbon copy of each sheet.
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Those were the days when smoking was allowed and a permanent blue haze hung hovered overhead.
A few years later, we all graduated to clunky, brainless computers (none had their own hard drive -- those were consolidated in the basement of the former cannery building, which is now a parking lot for delivery trucks).
The day we were given real computers -- Macs -- to work on, there was dancing in the aisles.
I began my writing career typing up short news items, weddings, engagements and anniversaries, and after a few years, began writing the Cook of the Week features, which gave me the opportunity to meet and write about many Herald readers.
When the Herald's food writer left in the 1980s, I began writing the Food section's cover stories, often stepping in as food stylist for the photos.
About 10 years ago, I began writing these Food for Thought columns, which I've done these past four years as I transitioned into writing more business and news stories.
Looking back during the past decades, I realize I've been able to cut up in the kitchen with too many chefs and cooks to count.
I learned that asparagus actually is edible if it's stir-fried and doesn't have to be the green slime that comes out of a can.
I discovered a favorite beef salad recipe while judging at the Washington State Beef Cook-off. It's one my husband, Blaine, and I have pulled out of the recipe box each summer for decades.
One caterer shared her trick for keeping fruit salads from browning -- a good glug or two of white wine. A chef told me the secret ingredient in his gazpacho was beef broth.
I've resigned my position at the Herald but won't be leaving town. I've accepted a reporting position at another Tri-City publication, so I'll be seeing many of the friends I've made during the decades I've worked for the Herald.
Most likely, we'll run into each other at the grocery store. See you in the produce section.