Dear Sweet Friend Vacationing in Hawaii,
I've been imagining you all week, laying on sunny beaches and sipping cold drinks, watching the sea turtles and snorkeling the coral reefs. Leaving your yard with all your lovingly tended plants was a brave act, really. I have told you before that I'm the grim reaper of gardening, but I guess you must have some confidence in my abilities.
We have been busy, my dear. I can't imagine how on Earth you manage to keep up with the veggies, berries, the flowers, trees, and endless pots you have all over your yard. You warned me that it's work, and yes, it's been a bit of work but the funny thing? Tending to your garden has had some really great bonuses.
For instance, Jake figured out your BBQ and cooked me a steak with a great glaze he whipped up from scratch with beer, brown sugar, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, and jalapeno.
Yes, it was as delicious as it looks. We also made veggie packets stuffed with fresh beets, carrots, and beans from your garden. I never realized that yellow beets were SO yummy!
I admit we also can't help but taste the blueberries when we walk by. How do you NOT just snarf those babies down the second they are ripe? I had to chase the birds away-those suckers know to just hop down on the ground and get right in the bush from underneath to steal them. Bad, bad, birds. So far, no bears yet!
We also browsed (and drooled through) your cookbook collection. Jake especially enjoyed looking at David Rocco's Dolce Vita and kept commenting on what he'd already seen on Food Network. Would you believe the boy has watched Food Network all summer and so far knows more about Italian food than I do? Must be where he got the grilling tips, too.
I hope you don't mind but I borrowed your latest issue of Bon Appetit, because the blackberry sundae on the front was calling to me. I need to buy my own issue once I return yours because I practically salivated all over the pages.
Remember you told me to bake in your kitchen? I took you seriously. I made muffins that I know you would love, and I plan to make some for you when you return. These ginger carrot muffins turned out so amazing-and I used the muscavado sugar you gave me, which made them extra delicious. I just wish you were here to share them with over coffee.
Did I tell you I miss you yet?
I miss gelato, sitting in the sun by the ocean, cold Starbucks drinks, laughing until our eyes water, just talking and enjoying. Oh, I'm so glad you are in Hawaii on a well deserved holiday but if I could be selfish for a moment, I'd want you right back here baking with me in your kitchen.
One of the best rewards has been time with Jake-he waters, and we talk. He fell in love with your beans and runs out to the garden to grab one now and then to much on, all raw and crisp. The first time he commented on the tiny hairs covering the vegetable and stuck it on his shirt, running around and laughing that it didn't fall off. He's already planned our next meal on the BBQ and loves to nibble from the raspberry bush. More than once he's commented how beautiful, and peaceful, your back yard is. I agree but somehow, every time we go I can't help but think that something is missing.