We will miss Mike Fondi, a colorful character, good cook | NevadaAppeal.com

We will miss Mike Fondi, a colorful character, good cook

Linda Marrone
Laura Vance’s Best Sugar Cookies recipe makes an excellent go-to cookie recipe.

I’ve been thinking a lot about life, death and love this past week. My good friend, Mike Fondi, passed away, and while I know he will be missed, he lived a good life. I was happy to be a small part of it.

His mom and Ralph’s mom were best of friends, and the Fondis sat at our table for Mother’s Day many times over the years. They were good customers at Marrone’s and supporters of a lot of our fundraisers.

Mike did well coming from Ely and graduating from Stanford. He had the best of both worlds sharing Basque and an Italian heritage. He was a colorful character, a good cook and a weekly shopper at the 3rd & Curry St. Farmers Market.

I had been making chicken soup to send over to Mike for a while. For me and probably many of us, taking food over to someone when you want to help but don’t know what to do is probably just as therapeutic for us as it’s comforting to them.

Food plays an important part of our daily lives, but it takes on an elevated meaning when it comes to celebrations. Whether we’re celebrating a birthday, wedding, baby shower or celebration of life, it has the common ground to bring us together. In happy times and sad, it’s good to eat and share what’s on our minds and in our hearts. To me, it reminds us life does go on and dying is a part of living.

Mike was a “judge” at my annual cookie party for quite a few years, and it was a serious competition. I made cookies for Mike’s service and also for my friend’s baby shower. The cookie cutters you see in the picture were Clara Fondi’s she lovingly gave to me.

I’m going to leave with a quote, “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us.” — Helen Keller

This recipe I’m going to share today comes from my friend Laura Vance. We have been making these cookies for more than 44 years now. They’re a great sugar cookie. Try them and I guarantee you’ll be hooked and make this your go-to sugar cookie recipe.

Best Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, room temp.

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, vanilla extract and almond extract. Beat in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Chill dough one hour. I shape into two round disks for easier handling.

Roll out and cut into desired shapes. Be sure and re-roll your extra dough. Bake in preheated oven, 350 degrees, for 8-10 minutes. Yield 60 cookies.

Linda Marrone, a longtime Carson resident, manages the 3rd & Curry Street Farmers Market and is the director of Nevada Certified Farmers Market Association.