This column is a tribute to my former editor at the Washtenaw County Legal News, Frank Weir, who has retired after several years. He brought me onto the Legal News, encouraged me, and often provided feedback on my articles. He has given my law firm embarrassingly extensive coverage. More importantly, he is one of the friendliest and most enthusiastic people I have ever met.
Because he is such a friend, I am allowing him the rare privilege of a guest recipe submission. Before we get to his recipe, I want Frank to know how valuable he has been to our local legal community.
Current Washtenaw County Bar Association (WCBA) President and attorney Peter Falkenstein remembers, Frank gave 100 percent to promoting the Bar and our activities. He put my picture in the paper far more than I deserved.
Washtenaw County Trial Court Judge David S. Swartz notes, Ive always been incredibly impressed and surprised how he manages to be at every Bar related function, smiling and taking pictures. Hes such a pleasant guy to be around.
Career consultant Elizabeth Jolliffe, Your Benchmark Coach, says that Frank is the not-so-secret ingredient of Washtenaws legal community. His boundless enthusiasm, energy and talents have tied us together, and his friendship and laugh are irreplaceable. Joking, she adds, Personally, I dont know what I will do without all of the free press coverage. Im going to go out of business!
Former President of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (Washtenaw Region Chapter) and current Washtenaw County Trial Court Judicial Attorney Teresa Killeen recalls fondly:
Frank Weir has been a wonderful friend to WLAM. His support of our mission is genuine, and he made it a priority to attend functions and publicize events. When we revived the Lawyers v Judges game, and had only two spectators, Frank was there taking pictures and taking notes! When our members are being honored, Frank attends the ceremony and features the member in the Legal News.
With no disrespect to our members and leadership, the most significant reason WLAM continues to thrive in Washtenaw County is because Frank Weir made us so visible. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to him, and I hope he will continue to be involved in our activities. It isnt a WLAM event if Frank isnt there!
Finally, Frank has always been fond of a good joke, and he has always graciously consented to participate in the annual WCBA Bar Revue, which raises donations for Legal Services. Co-producer and local prosecutor John Reiser says, Frank would come to our organizational meetings, promote the event in the Legal News, and inevitably would get roped in as a performer. Although reluctant to fill that role, his on-screen performances were often the highlight of that years Bar Revue.
Franks guest submission is below. He reminds us how our favorite recipes are often intertwined with the memories that go with them. Take it away, Frank!
My Favorite Recipe Cream Cheese Party Dip
By Frank Weir
My favorite recipe has to be something that may sound pedestrian and ordinary but its a winner.
Its a favorite from childhood and is a cream cheese based dip.
My mother made it all the time for parties and special occasions and of course I got to lick up the beaters after preparation.
I think I preferred it to the cake frosting beaters.
My brothers and I always anticipated left over dip after my parents parties; I even remember the dip bowl she served it in.
Part of the beauty of this recipe is that it truly works as well with fresh veggies as it does with chips and I always use the lower fat Neufchatel cream cheese.
My mom never remembered where she found the recipe admitting it was not her own invention. But she lives on with this recipe since many of my adult friends with whom we have shared it love it along with my wife and children.
1 package Neufchatel cream cheese.
1 Tablespoon beef bouillon granules.
1 dash Worcestershire Sauce.
Allow cream cheese to soften and place in bowl. Stir with wooden spoon or spatula and then make an indentation in the center.
Place beef bouillon granules in the indentation and add one or two tablespoons of very hot water so as to liquefy the bouillon.
Add a dash of Worcestershire and then use an electric beater to mix thoroughly.
Allow mixture to cool and then move to your serving bowl.
Serve with chips and cut up finger-sized portions of cauliflower, green and red peppers, cucumbers, even asparagus or one of my favorites: broccoli.
Yes, even broccoli works very well with this.
You can vary the bouillon and Worcestershire to suit your taste but be careful with both. They can quickly make the mixture too salty.
Readers, I am writing this article a day after losing a trial. I went out of my comfort zone and tried an injury case, where my client had his ankle broken in a bar by a bouncer. The jury was entitled to think that negligence was not involved. I, on the other hand, have been doing a lot of post-trial second-guessing, soul searching, and of course, drinking.
But the next day, I still have to get up and go to the office. In a similar fashion, while I will greatly miss Frank, I am excited to continue working with my new editor Jo Mathis, another long time friend.
Life doesnt stop, it just changes. Have some cream cheese party dip, and keep on movin.
Happy retirement and thanks, Frank!
Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard, and Walker PC, a litigation firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for Current magazine in Ann Arbor.