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RIP Marlena Spieler


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Word has come down that @marlena spieler, an early and prolific contributor to the forums, passed away earlier this month. I didn't know her personally, but remember reading her posts in my first years here. If you'd like to revisit her contributions, please visit her profile for an easy search.


Marlena was a talented food writer who went on to help others write their books, and judging from the Facebook posts about her she was immensely entertaining. Three posts written in her memory follow; they were accompanied with photos but I'm not going to try to include them.


From eG member @Carolyn Tillie:


June, 2009: Marlena and Sonia in my San Francisco apartment for a "slumber party." Chequers the Cat waited patiently for his serving of pâté and sweet wine. Fond memories, indeed, and much more bittersweet to read of the sudden passing today of Marlena. What a grand time we had and she will truly be missed. May she truly enjoy the gustatorial banquet of her Greater Feast. 😞


From Amy Sherman:


What can I say about my dear Marlena Spieler that hasn’t already been said? I admired her writing and bought her books and clipped her recipes out of the newspaper long before I met her. I so enjoyed attending food conferences together, going on foodie adventures, shopping trips and sharing meals with her. She was a good friend and colleague who would never hesitate to share advice or a quote with me if I needed it for my work. She was honest, forthcoming, kind and generous but sensitive if she was unfairly criticized or not given credit for the work she cared so much about. She was so much fun! I will miss her more than I can say.


I'll finish with this note from her daughter, Leah:


My beautiful, magnetic, courageous, loving, adventurous, creative, larger-than-life Mama, Marlena Spieler, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly today in her Hampshire, UK home with her dear Alan McLaughlan and Lambchop by her side.
I'm beyond heartbroken.
I appreciate stories and memories and words about this incredible human I was lucky enough to be born to.
In lieu of flowers or gifts please make a donation in her name to your favourite doggy rescue organization.


Rest in peace, Marlena. 



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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Posted (edited)



"The Jewish food writer Marlena Spieler has died aged 74. Spieler, who was based in the UK, wrote more than 70 cookbooks including volumes on macaroni cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches and classic Jewish food. 

Born in 1949 in Sacramento, California, Spieler started devising recipes whilst she was a student at an art school. Her books covered food from all over the world, from a range of cultures – she wrote about miso-pickles from Japan, corn pancakes from Indonesia and Camembert from France.

Her Jewish heritage was rooted in her writing, through her recipes for dishes such as baba ganoush, kugel, sweetmeats and tabbouleh."

Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

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I wrote this on FB: 



I wrote Judy Witts Francini this morning, "When I think of her, it's her sharing something delicious and giggling and laughing. I think her non-seriousness was off-putting to certain pedantic types. I think many people loved reading her columns, and the world has been better off with her in it."
She had a gig with the NY Times, and she made sure she included me in an article on purslane. It must have been my first reference in the Times. This photo is of her in 2004, doing a lesson at the ferry building and making sure people knew about Rancho Gordo. She was the best kind of fan girl to have on your side.
I'm remembering an amazing lunch at my house with Marlena, Paula Wolfert, Carrie Tillie and me. It was so much fun and boy did I ever have some nerve cooking for that trio. They were all gracious and my memory is that it was a lot of fun. I think Marlena took photos but I never saw them.
She was bright and smart but also casual and maybe a little sloppy, and this brought out the worst in some people, mostly the insecure. But for most of us, she was a hoot and a half.
Again, the world was better with her in it.
Big love to Marlena.




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