Saying goodbye is never easy.

Its even more difficult when the task means leaving behind readers who have been loyal, enthusiastic and oh-so-kind.

But say goodbye I must. Friday will be my last day as Dispatch food editor.

Ive been in this job only 3 1/2 years, but, in that time, I feel as if weve become family.

As readers, you have been nice enough to have coffee with me each Wednesday morning and always have been willing to let me into your kitchens via the stories and recipes I featured.
Together we have made so many dishes from the new and trendy quinoa and jackfruit to classics such as baked Alaska and vanilla custard.

I have tried to include a wide variety of voices in this section from 87-year-old Maria Susi, founder of the Berwick Manor Restaurant and Party House, to rising star chef Bill Glover of the Gallerie Bar & Bistro in the Hilton Columbus (Ohio) Downtown.

Susi has been making handmade pasta in Columbus for more than 60 years; Glover had a turn as a guest chef at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City.

Home cooks, too, have enlivened the food pages, including Rabbi Elka Abrahamson of Bexley, Ohio, who taught us how to make hamantaschen cookies for Purim; Chris and Tom Atzberger of Clintonville, Ohio, who celebrate the annual feast of St. Lucy with a flavorful stew; and Ohio State University history professor Scott Levi, who shared the rich cuisine of central Asia, his area of study.

You, in turn, shared your recipes through Cooks Corner and, each year, overwhelmed me with your recipes for our special holiday-cookie section. (Our annual call for cookies will kick off next week, so get those recipes ready.)

Together, we crowned Schmidts Bahama Mama sausage as the official food of Columbus, and you all were kind enough to indulge me when I questioned how this city ever came up with such a wacky way to cut pizza. (Sorry, Im still not a convert to the tavern cut; I will always favor the pie cut.)

In between, we talked about our crazy eating habits and our biggest kitchen disasters, and tackled numerous food and cooking conundrums.

I hope you found interesting stories, helpful instruction, lots of good eating and more than a little fun.

I am leaving to take a position at Kent State University, where I will continue to write just not about food.

Someday (soon, I hope), someone new will take over this job, and I know that you will welcome the next food editor with the same warmth and kindness you showed me.
I have loved breaking bread with you each week.
Lisa Abraham writes about food for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. Email her at labraham@dispatch.com or follow her on Twitter at @DispatchKitchen.