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May 7, 2008 4:35 PM

Dutch Babies -- and my pal CeCe Sullivan

Posted by Nancy Leson

Today in the Seattle Times, you'll find CeCe Sullivan's last "Cooking School" -- a story and video presentation:

It's great fun to watch that video, and see CeCe in her element -- the Seattle Times test kitchen -- explaining how to make glorious, colorful Dutch Baby pancakes. Or at least it would be if I wasn't going to miss her so much.

CeCe's work has appeared in the pages of the Seattle Times for 23 years. As our Home Economist, she spent much of her time working in a kitchen poised in the middle of our newsroom features department, and around 11 a.m. nearly every day, she gave her own quiet version of "Come and get it!" Folks from all over the newsroom hurried over to see -- and taste -- what she was cooking. We were her guinea pigs, and helped determine which recipes, among the many she tested, deserved a place in our weekly food pages. But ultimately it was up to CeCe, whose artistic talents ran far beyond her ability to concoct or tweak great recipes for the home cook.

When she wasn't in the kitchen, she was usually seated at her desk, working diligently, surrounded by a mountain of cookbooks and food reference:

What you may not know about CeCe is that she's a talented artist, whose multimedia work is so gorgeous, her friends (present company included) feel strongly that she should be showing in galleries all over town. At the Times, she lent her artistic eye as a food-stylist to many of the photographs that graced our food section, and we're excited to know that she's working toward a degree in interior design -- something that's long held her interest.

CeCe joins many of my colleagues who have left the paper this week after a combination of layoffs and buyouts hit our newsroom. While we at the Seattle Times often cover such downsizing elsewhere, it's been pretty hard to see it happening right here where we work. I will especially miss CeCe, whose knowledge of food ran deep. And I know I'm not alone.

Today I received a note from a woman who asked, "I am hoping you can forward this email to CeCe Sullivan for me. I was so disheartened to read, in today's paper, that today was her last `Cooking School.' I am unable to find a link to email her myself." I'd like to share the woman's e-mail, because she speaks so eloquently: for me, for my colleagues, and -- I'm quite certain -- for so many of you:

Dear Ms. Sullivan,

I just wanted to take a quick moment to tell you how much I have enjoyed your columns and
articles over the years. I have always looked forward to my Wednesday paper, and one of
the main reasons was knowing I would have the pleasure of discovering what your "topic"
was for that week.

By the way, I loved today's Dutch Baby column. We have been doing Dutch Babies at home
for years, and have wowed many a breakfast guest with them. They are always my daughter's
choice for her birthday breakfast (she is currently 11), and the only thing I don't like about them
is I can never seem to make one big enough to satisfy everyone in the house! I always make
the "6-egg" recipe, and I even have a paella pan that I bought specifically for Dutch Babies.
My oven door barely closes!

I will miss reading your columns, and seeing your name in the paper every week.

Thank you for your influence on me, and my kitchen. My family thanks you, too!

Best of luck to you in your future endeavors,

Carrie Wilson

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