Paul had requested that we have a get-together after he was gone, to remember him, and to make it an up-beat event, not a sad one. With everyone's help, we managed to put it all together in a great space donated by Bard College for the occasion. There was food, and music, and a slide show, and more food, and great guests, and, oh... MORE FOOD.
The famous rice salad was a crazy coincidence of the evening. My mother used to make a cold salad with rice and peas years ago. I actually never ate much of it, due to my dislike of peas (ick!) but everyone else seemed to love it. The only ingredients I could remember were rice, peas, and mayonnaise. Alice had mentioned that we should have it because it was something Paul liked to make for parties, but didn't know the recipe. I explained to her that it was something that my mother made when we were kids, and Paul must have continued the tradition. Marti then informed me that she had been looking for a rice salad recipe without even knowing any of the tradition! Neither Stephanie, nor my mother knew the recipe, and at mom's suggestion I called around the family and found that no one else had it either. So much for that one. We decided that we could try to re-create it from research, until the Thursday before the get-together when I got an email form Paul's friend Sue. Sue listed several things that she was bringing including Paul's Famous Rice Salad. Somebody wanted us to have that salad!