Suzanne Siskel

Jakarta, Indonesia

Dear Sid,

It is with great sadness that I will miss yet another wonderful milestone of your life and career. The AAA tribute to you should be nothing short of a celebration of the immeasurably great contribution you have made to the intellectual life of the world. You have touched so many people in so many places through your teaching, writing and lectures. I cannot imagine my life without the inspiration, wisdom and knowledge that I gained as your student, teaching assistant, and friend over all these years.

There are too many reminiscences to recall here, and some that are better left unwritten. However there is one recent image that seems to have become indelible. I shall forever replay our visit to the tofu factory in Manila on Chinese New Year with our dear friend, Doreen. Wherever she is now—and no doubt it's a culinary heaven—I imagine that she, too, has visions of our little excursion amidst the firecrackers and lion dancers in the old town. You and Jackie gave your full, serious attention to the charming, if decrepit, remains of the once-thriving local industry, carefully following each step of the old-fashioned tofu-making process. I, too, was suitably awed by the persistence of the tradition as we waded through the murky puddles in the dark recesses of that dank old warehouse. Yet there was something else going on, though not everyone seemed to notice. Fortunately, you discreetly warned me to hold my tongue so that Jackie's appreciation of the quaint setting would not be marred by other observations. Remember, Sid? The walls were literally crawling with enormous cockroaches—so many that they seemed to be a part of the machinery that drove production.

I still eat tofu—in fact almost every day. And when I do, I invariably think of you and Doreen and the image all those creatures that Jackie was mercifully spared. Soybeans may be the key to the survival of the world's population in the 21st century, but we may have to study the inevitability of the cockroach at the same time and factor this into the diet of the future. (Maybe some sugar would help.)

With much love and great esteem to you and to Jackie,

Suzanne, and na zdrowij to you both from Peter

Mango Mousse

This is highly successful with nectarines or peaches as well. I've never tried other fruits, but you can surely experiment. It occurred to me after years of making this mousse in Indonesia and the Philippines that my mother used to make a similar delicacy for my sister and me when we were little. She called it "Prune Whip" and no doubt found it in Redbook or McCall's or whatever guided the culinary genius of the 50s housewife. It took me about 40 years to realize why she making this particular fruit so palatable for her unsuspecting daughters. There are no ulterior motives in my version, however.

The proportions are not exact, but I use about one large mango per two servings (or two peaches or nectarines per serving). To serve six:

3 large mangoes
Powdered sugar
to taste (usually no more than 1/8-1/4 cup, depending upon sweetness of the fruit)
1 packet (or about one tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup whipping cream

Peel mangoes and puree until smooth. Add powdered sugar to taste. Dissolve gelatin in water and add to mango puree. Whip cream separately and fold into mango mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve.