Ella Pillsbury - June 1995 - November 24, 2010
My blog is barely a week old and there's already been a death. Life is not going to be the same without old Ella. When I met her and Matthew over six years ago, she was still a rambunctious soul that wrestled with me each morning in the living room and, like all labs, was on constant patrol for food regardless of whether she'd just eaten or not. As time pushed on, she gradually went from this unstoppable wad of fur and slobber that bounded down hiking trails while carrying tree-sized branches to a sleepy, stinky and decrepit portrait of old dogdom that snored, shuffled her paws and even uncharacteristically snarled at us from time to time. Towards the end, we thought she closely resembled a dancing ghoul from the Thriller video or the button-snatching old woman from Drag Me To Hell, but we loved her to pieces regardless of the fact that she looked like casu marzu.
I'm going to miss her companionship to no end and have countless memories from day-to-day life that intertwine closely with her. One of my favorite memories of Ella is forever etched into my old cooking videos - she stars in ALL of them. (She was also endlessly photographed from puppyhood to her final moments - check out a few highlights HERE.) The kitchen will never be the same without Ella in it, and it's been incredibly strange these past few days to be cooking and not having her hovering below, eagerly waiting for scraps and crumbs to fall.
Take a moment to check out Ella in a few of her (decidedly retro & low-res) cooking videos. It's going to be a weird world to wade through without my fuzzy sous chef cheering me on. I'll miss you dearly, Miss Ella.
* Please note: The videos aren't embedding well (they're cutting off at the corner of the screen when played within my blog), but if you double-click on each one it will open up the full video on YouTube. *
PIZZA: This video was shot in Bonnieux, France. I had just broken my ankle in London and spent several weeks recovering in Paris and Provence. Poor me, I know. ;-) Ella loved spending time in both Paris and Bonnieux.
CORNBREAD: I shot this back in NYC during a phase where I was making tons of southern food, and was a bit soft around the edges because of it.
ANGEL FOOD CAKE: I made this video in Beaver Bay, which is a tiny town on the North Shore of Lake Superior. It was one of Ella's all-time favorite places to visit each spring and summer.
STRAWBERRY JAM: There is a British punk band called Strawberry Jam, and when they found this video in a google search, they took the time to remake it shot for shot. Check out theirs (parts one and two) HERE and HERE - their stand-in for Ella is hilarious.