A classmate of mine at Medill – Northwestern University graduate school, class of ’82, has come up with a remarkable way to remember her younger sister, Lauren, who died of cancer in 2010 in Corona del Mar at age 49, and we were glad to participate this year:
“Leave it to my little sister Lauren to come up with a last request that has become an international event,” Karen wrote on Facebook. “Many of you know the story. When Lauren knew she was about to leave us after a 13-year battle with cancer, she wanted to make us smile. So she suggested we eat french fries on her birthday. It was our ‘go-to’ comfort food, and she figured it would make a sad day a bit sweeter. Since that day in 2010 — thanks to her friends and family, and the power of social media — people have been eating ‘French Fries for Lauren’ on February 20 in every one of the 50 states and in countries all around the world.
“All we ask is that you eat french fries on the 20th wherever you are and post the photo or video here, along with your city/state/country. My mom, sister Susan and I spend the day watching all of your wonderful photos come in from across the U.S. and around the globe. We view and respond to every single one, and it truly turns a sad day into a celebration for us.”
This year’s posts — 380 and counting —come from all over the world: cities in Asia (including Beijing and Tokyo); Europe and the UK (Brussels and London); the Caribbean (Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, and St. Lucia); and the United States (New York City, Disney World, Maui, and Nevada City, CA). There were photos and videos (including a culinary tour featuring the best french fries in New York). In-N-Out fries were also pictured.
We opted for homemade fries, writing: “To Karen: In remembrance of her beloved sister Lauren. Homemade fish and chips (AKA french fries) from Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and the Pellines at home in Nevada City CA. #FrenchFriesforLauren2017”
Karen wrote: “Jeff, thank you for eating #FrenchFriesForLauren2017 in CA. Extra points for making them from scratch! They look yummy.”