Barbara Connolly (Barbara Terket Thomas), 77, of Fort Collins, Colorado, passed away February 11, 2018 blessed by the devoted presence of her husband. Beloved wife of John Connolly for 14 years, former wife of Theodore Thomas of Phoenix, Arizona for 40 years, dearest mother of Rachel Fiske (f.k.a. Barbara Lynn Thomas, GHS Class of 1979) of Chicago and Nick Thomas of Phoenix, Arizona, loving grandmother to Lily Fiske (21) of Chicago, Barbara was a graduate of East Chicago Washington High School (1958) and Indiana University Northwest, where she received a Master’s Degree in Education. Barbara married Theodore Thomas of Hammond in 1960 and they resided in Griffith, where she taught at Eldon Ready Elementary School through 1979. After moving west together, she taught at Tomahawk Elementary School in Phoenix in the 1980s and 90s, and eventually retired to Fort Collins, Colorado, after marrying John Connolly, also a 1958 graduate of East Chicago Washington High School, in 2004. Barbara’s love for cooking and her ability to manage any cooking crisis prompted her to answer the constant stream of calls she received every Thanksgiving with the cheerful greeting, “Turkey Hotline!” She enjoyed cooking for family and friends and has bequeathed her exceptional recipe for Barbara’s Pesto to her granddaughter, Lily, after making and mailing jars of pesto to Lily quarterly for the past 20 years. She clearly and passionately expressed her love and devotion through cooking. Barbara’s ashes will be scattered on the mountaintop in Estes Park, Colorado, where she and John Connolly were married. This is her fabulous pesto:
Grandma Bobbie’s Pesto
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup minced parsley
½ cup olive oil
4 Tbs freshly grated parmesan
2 Tbs pine nuts*
3-4 cloves garlic
½ tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp white pepper
Place all ingredients except olive oil in bowl of processor and process till well chopped, then drizzle in the olive oil. Process till fairly smooth. Pour in jar and cover with 1/4 inch oil to preserve. Refrigerate (or freeze).
*Toast pine nuts a bit. Don’t tell my mom I told you.
Pesto Butter: Blend 3 Tbs pesto with 1 stick softened butter. Use on garlic toast, steamed vegetables, or popcorn.
Pesto Salad Dressing: Blend 6 Tbs pesto with 1/3 cup wine vinegar, 2/3 cup olive oil, and an additional clove of crushed garlic. Shake well in covered jar to blend.