Nancy Harmon Jenkins

Florence, Italy

What I want to celebrate for Sid's 80th is—oddly, it may seem—his voice! His rich, rollicking baritone kept a large international contingent of foodies wrapt on a fast journey from Sevilla to Madrid back in 1992 when we were celebrating the Columbian exchange by exchanging among ourselves a lot of knowledge and folklore and occasionally spurious information about what happened between the New World and the Old as a result of that momentous event. We had a lot of wine on that train and at least one other red-diaper baby and the singing contest, between Sid and Paul Levy, then of London's Observer newspaper, began midway and lasted to Madrid. For all his wisdom, humor, affection and determination to keep us on a more or less scholarly course, it was that incredible outpouring of song that I will never forget.

I'm not sure you can use this in your compendium and I'm sorry I don't have a recipe to go along with it, but it was an unforgettable occasion. If I had a recipe for Spanish wine that would summon it all up, I'd send it but lacking that I send best wishes for Sid's 80th and high hopes for many more to come.