For nearly 15 years, I've had the privilege of working for the best boss I could have imagined. Kevin has been supportive, patient, and good-humored. He's smart enough to know that he doesn't know everything, confident enough not to be arrogant, and intuitive enough to have guided an eclectic group to make a great magazine. I think that he was party to one of my favorite post-marathon cheers, too. (When I was back to work the day after I ran my first Boston Marathon, sitting in my chair was our office's super-size Bob the Builder plush toy wearing a Laurel wreath -- a headband decorated with photos of Stan Laurel.)
His largesse is not limited to the office. Kevin helps colleagues with their home-building projects. (He helped me put a screen door on my house -- and by help, I mean that I chatted while he did most of the work.) Kevin even once sat through a skate show to see Claire perform. Really, you need to have had only one bad supervisor (give or take) to revel in having a good one. A boss who is more likely to laugh than to yell is truly a great thing.
After 23 years at the magazine, Kevin has decided it's time to step back and channel his creative energies in pursuits of his own design. While I know we are left in more than capable hands, I will certainly miss seeing Kevin in the office. I will miss hearing his nontraditional shout of "Shut up!" after someone sneezes. I'll miss sharing new-music finds (including, over the years, Justin Townes Earle and Teddy Thompson) and discussions of longtime favorites (Dwight Yoakam and Rosanne Cash). Perhaps more than anything, I'll miss the annual birthday challenge of finding a new concoction (cake, cupcake, pie, ice cream) involving chocolate and peanut butter.
To commemorate his last day in the office, I've gone back to revisit a couple of chocolate/peanut-butter favorites.
First, there's the Chocolate Festival Cake, a Maida Heatter recipe. The cake has peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas, and the frosting is peanut butter and chocolate. For some reason, this time I ended up with what seemed like an overage of frosting, so I used some to garnish the chocolate-peanut butter pie (photo below), then used the rest to make some decorative squiggles on the cake. (In hindsight, I probably should have forgone the squiggles; they look a little amateurish.)
This chocolate-peanut butter pie is from Quick Chocolate Fixes, a tiny book full of great recipes.
Finally, I tried one new recipe, a chocolate-peanut butter tart, an Abigail Johnson Dodge recipe that appeared in Fine Cooking in December 2005. I think this one turned out pretty well, although I fumbled a little with the graham-cracker crust.
Thanks, Kevin. Whenever you need a chocolate-peanut butter concoction, let me know.