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Soul Purpose

By Bonnie Fishman / San Francisco Bay Area

The author and her culinary works of art

Last weekend, I received disappointing news. Andrea Sachs, our fearless leader of The Insider, is shuttering the magazine. “Oh no!” was my first reaction. Actually, I said it out loud using more colorful language. I understand Andi’s position and I’m sad for all of us writing and all of you reading.


For those of you who follow my column, do not fear. I plan to begin a blog soon with my thoughts, stories, food knowledge, and additional recipes. Please send me your email address if you want to continue riding the wave with me: I look forward to hearing from you!


Here at the Fishman Family Compound, we already have two writers at The Insider. Add in our sister, Marcia, an accomplished writer herself. We are contemplating a collaborative blog of our musings about living your best life, including travel, food, adventures, hospitality, relationships and emotional challenges (written so eloquently by my sister, Nancy Fishman, Ph.D.) We will invite other writers to contribute their stories too, just to mix things up and offer plenty of “food for thought.” We’ll ask our readers what piques their interest. You get the idea.


What I have discovered over the past two-plus years writing for The Insider is that it has given me so much more than I have given the magazine. I have begun to look at the world differently. My curiosity level is through the roof, especially when it comes to food ingredients and what you can do with them.  It’s cucumber season–there’s a story there. I see a field of sunflowers. Hmmm, what can I make with them and write about?? I have yet to visit the mushroom farm nearby and create a delicious recipe and column about that.


I can’t turn my brain off! I never wrote before The Insider. Andi “discovered” me and I’m forever grateful. I have learned so much from her about writing, editing, idea creation, and how wonderful it is to have an editor in your corner cheering you on. Thank you, Andi!


I have also learned that having purpose and direction is a wonderful thing, especially as we age. For those of us who are retired, you get what I mean. For those of you who are in the trenches working and raising a family, you probably have more purpose than you need! My son, Ben, who is a screenwriter, and his wife, Rachel, who is a writing instructor at UCLA, both juggle raising two young boys, maintain a house, careers, and still manage to write for themselves. It is a yearning and burning inside that just needs to come out.


My “soul purpose” for my life is to live in peace, experience joy, enjoy a simple life, be a good person, maintain good health, have meaningful relationships, and challenge my brain by learning every day. Writing has helped fill my soul. Knowing that many people have gotten value out of reading my articles is beyond what I could ever have hoped for.


I love the feedback, the photos of your cooking, and your shared memories of our lives, whether I know you personally or not. If we grew up in the same era, we know each other!


For the past two-plus years, I have thoroughly enjoyed digging up interesting foods to write about. I educate me, I educate you. Win-win. It has given me a greater appreciation for how things grow and where my food comes from.


I have also enjoyed weaving my cultural anthropology background into some of my articles. I can’t help it. As a self-proclaimed “busybody,” I want to know about different peoples and their cultures. Do they value what we value? Do they gather to eat at each meal, where here in America we seem to be eating on the run more and more as the years pass? Is our hectic First World pace the best way to live? Really?


By providing my readers with straight-forward step-by-step recipes using raw materials, I hope that I have encouraged home cooks to take cooking more seriously and to do it more often. Making cooking a hobby has great benefits!

My barn house (in the back) behind the fruit orchard

I have also peppered my columns with tales of the Fishman Family Compound entertaining. We take it to the nth degree–it’s just our nature. I have demonstrated tablescapes, shown theme dinners, discussed appropriate appetizers and desserts. We even have perfected the art of porch sitting.


I want my readers to know that I plan to carry on living my best life and hope you will come along for the journey. I’ve got some exciting columns on deck and a few trips before the year is out. You won’t want to miss them. Reminder: send me your name and email to: You’ll be the first to know when our new blog is released!


Thank you for your readership, loyalty and feedback. I look forward to more in the future.



Bonnie Fishman attended the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London. Later, she owned and operated Bonnie’s Patisserie in Southfield, Mich. and Bonnie’s Kitchen and Catering in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She has taught cooking for over 35 years and created hundreds of recipes. She is now living in Northern California.



Jul 28, 2023


Thank you for your wonderful recipes, for sharing your stories and family. I have forwarded your column on to friends and family for their enjoyment. We're looking forward to your next venture.

Donna Dicker


Jul 27, 2023

Amen Bonnie. You are living your best life and inspire me to do the same. Onward and upward!

Suzi Eisman


Jul 27, 2023

I love your column as you well know and will continue following you! Being able to experience the Fishman Family compound (and porch sitting) first hand I look for to repeat visits! Continue educating yourself (and us)!

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