Sunday, April 18, 2010


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.


Kim Shook said...

Well, my friend, you Brighted me twice in one weekend! I cannot tell you what this message means to me. I remember so much of that weekend and the wonderful welcome that we received - from 'Santa' rescuing us from our motel to the hold-nothing-back hug from you on our arrival. Talking and sharing and cooking together and the honor your did us by sharing your wonderful family with us. Including that lucious little babygirl. If anyone EVER has the opportunity to meet Rachel (are you listening Maggie?), you will discover that she has a wonderful gift of being EXACTLY what she seems - warm, welcoming, joyful and very, very dear.

Jeanne said...

Dear Rachel, this is a lovely story about how much we love our blogging friends. I am absolutely sure you are a lovely hostess and made Kim's visit very special. How sweet of her husband to give a gift of friendship. Smile. Not always, but sometimes there is a connection between bloggers and you become dear friends through the net. I can feel that friendship between you and Kim. How wonderful that you have been able to meet and know each other in a special way.

Thank you so much for your kind comment about my home. Decorating is my passion and I admit being very happy when people see my home and like the way I decorate. The wall you mentioned is decorated with vintage tapestries. The four small ones are a gift from my mother when she traveled to France. The large one I found and had it framed. Sadly they are fading but I still love them. They are much more attractive in

Have a wonderful day.
Hugs, Jeanne

Jeanne said...

Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I love anything lemon.
Thank you to Kim for sharing it as well.
Jeanne, again!

claudie said...

Oh your story compares to mine Racheld. See that pretty lady up there? Jeanne, she was one of the lovely ladies I was fortunate enough to meet. She made Julie and I sooooo welcomed. We spent 2 lovely days in her mountain cabin. We met her again in St. Augustine where another blogging friend we met for the first time was hosting my 54th birthday party. Can you imagine that? I'm a Canadian girl, from Ontario, and Julie (who's from Vancouver) well we drove 3000 miles to meet with all the girls.
I know exactly how you felt last year when you and Kim met for the first time. That hug and the laughter and giggling and talking : )
BTW Julie from This how I see the World, (you commented on one of her posts) is my long time BFF. Now Jeanne, her and I are like sisters.
I'm rambling, just had to come and say hello
Love Claudie

racheld said...

I'm so delighted to hear from Y'all!!

Kim and Jeanne, you are both already good friends, and I'm always glad to hear from you both. And Jeanne---again, I thank you for the link last week---I had some lovely new visitors from it, and appreciate it a lot.

And Welcome, Claudie!!! I had thoroughly enjoyed your Birthday Parties---at Jeanne's, and then at QM---what a fun time!!! And you looked so gorgeous in all your pink finery! If I could have your haircut (I haven't seen the inside of a salon in thirty years)---I'd just love it!!

I hope you'll come back often---we're not as lively and colorful around here as your blog, but we have a good time together.

And I DID enjoy Julie's blog, as well! I'm looking forward to getting to know you both. One of my best online friends, Bev, is from the Vancouver area, as well.

I'm just so glad to see all of you!!