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Saltscapes Blog

With the passage of time nothing stays quite the same

WE WERE OBLIGED, in late March, to eulogize our Food Editor Emeritus, and dear friend, Marie Nightingale. It was a thoroughly painful assignment. Marie (reluctantly) retired when she was 80 and died at her home in Halifax, age 85.

Knowing that traditional wholesome cooking and baking would form an important element of our editorial content and, of course, knowing Marie’s work and reputation, she was the first writer we approached in our pre-launch planning for this publication. She was 72 years of age at the time and enthusiastically agreed.

The crowning accomplishment of Marie’s outstanding career—the publication of a best-selling book that has been in print for more than 40 years—requires some context. Today, celebrity chefs and cooks have become trendy television and print superstars. When Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens—Marie’s first and most successful cookbook—was published after four years of meticulous research, that was simply not the case. Marie broke down barriers and established herself on the leading edge of that phenomenon.

Her very successful books (there was also Out of Nova Scotia Gardens, and others) and hundreds of newspaper columns and magazine articles, said as much about the people, the traditions and the lifestyle of our region, in a very positive way, as they did about food.

Marie was feted from coast to coast over the years and was the recipient of nominations and awards that are national in scope. Her professional stature and the strength of her character reflected wonderfully well upon our region’s prestige.

It was always amusingly humbling for us to venture out to public events with her, and be shunted aside as she was overwhelmed with compliments and besieged for autographs and advice.

We may never see her like again.

Inside the Good Taste section of this issue you will find “Marie’s Menu,” page GT27, with some of Marie’s all-time favourite regional recipes.

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In other news, Katharine Mott, who has authored a popular column for us for the past 14 years—just because she thought it would be fun to try—is marking a rather significant milestone in her life, and relinquishing her regular writing gig. She explains in her final column inside—see “Movin’ On,” page 67. However: you will occasionally still see her in the pages of Saltscapes. 

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And, as we continue to move forward, we again asked you if we should make amendments to the content of the magazine, and if so, what. Initially you told us what you wanted to read and subsequently you have said, emphatically and almost unanimously: It ain’t broke so don’t fix it! So we won’t. A round-up of your specific comments is published in our letters section, page 6, this issue.