Bye Bye Byrdie

 This month marks the last issue that longtime member of our magazine family, Judie Byrd, will contribute her cooking column. I have never met anyone who loves to teach people to cook as much as Judie. As the co-founder of The Culinary School of Fort Worth, author of several cookbooks and host of Judie Byrd’s Kitchen found on Family Net Cable TV, Judie has made a life and career out of sharing her love through food.
    With so many irons in the fire, Judie made a difficult decision to retire after more than a decade with us. What I appreciated most about her dishes was that they were classic, elegant and not overly complicated. We wish her the best of luck. To see Judie’s final column containing her favorite picnic recipes for the perfect al fresco feast with friends, turn to page 40.
    If you want to pair what’s in Judie’s basket with a nice local craft beer or maybe something a little stronger, read Love at First Sip (page 44) about local breweries, distilleries and wineries.
    Spirited and thirsty locals have become fiercely loyal to a growing list of favorites, including the new-on-the-scene vodka distillery, TreyMark Vodka, that is making artisan vodka from something unusual. A few years ago, a disheartened farmer from Muleshoe surveyed his drought-stricken crop and found a way to turn lemons (black-eyed peas) into lemonade (vodka).
    There are several youngsters in our community who also have glass-half-full attitudes. In Early Raisers (page 52), writer Jocelyn Tatum spent time with remarkable children who in many ways are just average kids. They play in the school band, ride their bikes or create colorful stories, but they are exceptional in the fact that they have experienced unfathomable hardships leading them to create sophisticated fundraisers and awareness campaigns to help other children in need. Their stories are enough to motivate even the most altruistic adult.

Jennifer Casseday-Blair
    Executive Editor