Photo from A TASTE OF HOME
This time last year, we were in eager anticipation of a visit from the first-and-only online friend I've ever met Eye-Arrr-Elll, as they say in textspeak. Kim and I had met on a recipe and cooking site, and we commented back and forth on each others' cooking and parties and kitchens, etc.
Then we started to e-mail, and found so many things and ideas and principles in common, we just hit it off like sisters. After a couple of years of sorta/kinda planning to meet SOMEDAY, I got a hushhush e-mail from an address I did not recognize, with the header: "SHHHH! It's Kim's husband."
He said that he'd thought of something for Kim for Christmas, and he thought she'd really like it. She had spoken so often of wanting to arrange a visit, he decided to give her a trip here to meet us---reservations at a pretty little B&B for a long weekend, and time to just sit and talk and visit. They'd lived fairly near here years ago, so there was no real need for sightseeing, he said---just getting some time to sit and talk.
He said he hoped it was not too presumptuous of him to just invite themselves, so to speak, but he'd really like to give her the trip, if we didn't mind.
And who would MIND being so nicely thought of and so flattered at the idea? Certainly not I.
So we planned it, dashing off secret e-mails back and forth during November, our picking a lovely B&B for them to stay in, and the happy preparations for a pleasant happening. We picked a weekend in April, when the green would be out, and the weather pleasant for just sitting in the arbor or on the patio, and for the lawn to be getting into its Spring dress and hat.
He gave her the brochure for the B&B, the plane tickets, and a note from me in her Christmas package.
And so, this time last year, I was putting the finishing touches on the house, getting the lawn people here for the final mow-and-trim, getting the silver polished and the dishes all chosen for each meal, along with the tablecloths and napkins and other little things which accompany the arrival of long-anticipated guests. COMPANY'S COMING!.
And this coming Friday, the twenty-third of April, is the day we met. When they drove up, we laughed and smiled and sort of went running toward each other, practically with those strains of running-in-the-meadow music. We talked for a while and then set out brunch on the patio; we ate and talked some more, the guys drove over and checked them into the B&B, and we two ladies simply TALKED.
We brought in the dishes, we talked and got to know each other, we sat in the arbor and chatted, we came in for something cool to drink; the guys went and did guy stuff around town, and we just sat, looking at family pictures and just being together.
We DID go out to dinner twice, and had a big family brunch here on Sunday before their departure, and it was one of the most memorable weekends I've ever spent. And so, my friend Kim and I feel as if we've known each other since childhood, I think. She's a marvelous cook and wonderful hostess, and she has just started her own blog, about their home and cooking and travels.
In the Lemon Chess Pie post last week, she mentioned her Grandmother's pie, and I asked for the recipe, so here it is:
Here you go, Rachel:
My Lemon Chess Pie
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
3 eggs, well beaten
1/4 c. lemon juice
grated zest of 2 lemons
pinch of salt
1 pie shell or 16 tart shells - baked blind; about 3 minutes
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, salt, lemon juice and zest. Pour into shell(s). Bake 10 minutes at 300 degrees. Raise the temperature to 350 and bake about 30 - 35 minutes longer.
This is based on my grandmother's chess pie - I just added lemon juice and zest. I can't explain the lack of cornmeal - every other recipe I've ever seen has cornmeal, like yours does. But she makes the most toothsome, moist chess pie I've ever tasted.
I'm gonna get the oven going in a little bit; I can't think of anything nicer on a cool Spring day, than to waft the scent of a lemony pie baking all throughout the house.