WANTED: Whoppee! Fingerlakes to the Shore...It's Here!
Oh Wow, I went out this morning to grab the paper and there was a box on the porch! It must have been delivered late in the day yesterday after I'd closed up for the evening. I quickly glanced to see the return address and it was from my SWAP partner...craftyrn (Diane)! Whoppee!!
Unfortunately, I can't take pictures until this weekend when DH arrives. So, Diane...if you took pixs, please post so we don't have to wait so long. Otherwise, I'll have DH take the pictures on Sat. morning & post right away.
As I bent over to pick up the box, the most heavenly aroma drifted up to my nose! All the way to the kitchen for the box cutter I keep sniffing, sniffing, and sniffing.
When I opened the box, the first thing was a wonderful, hand-written letter from Diane on beautiful floral stationary (I'm sooo bad...I type everything). So, where was that wonderful aroma coming from? It wasn't from Diane's letter...I sniffed to see if she'd spritzed it with something. Nope, that wasn't the source...so I started digging.
The first package I came across was obviously a cookbook. I sat it aside...had to find the source of that smell. Next in the box, was a soft plastic "bundle" that I couldn't figure out at first. So, I sniffed it...nope, that wasn't it either. Sat it aside to enjoy later.
Back to the box...then, there it WAS! Diane, for the handmade portion of the swap, had sent me a HUGE bouquet of her homegrown lavender mixed with dried lemon grass tied together with a wonderful bar of handmade lavender soap. Diane's letter says that, at the craft fairs she sells at, this bouquet is called "Gleamings". I can't tell you how beautiful it is! The lavender stems must be 20" long. How could she possibly have known that I'd torn the cartledge in my right knee this season and have been unable to get in my garden all season...my own lavender was never cut and is now laying face down in the mud on much shorter stems. Maybe, she noticed the lack of my presence over on the Perennials Forum this season? In any event, I am no longer lavenderless! It's georgous, Diane, thank you...it means so much more coming from your garden. That sharing is the ultimate gift from one gardener to another.
NEXT, after putting the lavender in a vase...I reached for the mysterious "plastic" bundle. I pushed at it. I shook it. I squooshed it up in my hands. No clue. So, I started working my way into the package. Tucked inside was a handmade apron made by a woman "local" to Diane's area. The workmanship is exquisite...like someone our grandmother's might have done. I don't sew so I greatly admire those who do. The apron itself is a crisp white trimmed with a beautiful fall, seasonal print. But, the very best part is that the apron has invisible, pockets tucked in all along the front edge...the perfect place for my ever present timer, tissue, and a towel. I'm going to wear it today making soup...maybe, just maybe...I can keep the crushed tomatoes off my clothes!
That still left my cookbook to open. Diane mentioned in her letter she tought it would be useful on the boat where I'm having trouble being creative in the kitchen. She was so right on. The book is "Sauces..dips, and salsass" by Confident Cooking. The entire book is color glossies with step-by-step tutorials and pictures. If I grill chicken on the boat, one of these wonderful sauces will perk up the meal without endangering the entire crew! The first one I'm going to try is "Blue Cheese, Pecan & Cognac Grilling Sauce". The book shows it served on half a pear that has been grilled until the sauce is hot & bubbly. Oh yummy! We have a lot of get-togethers at the marina where everybody brings a munchie & we sit around a fire & tell "fish" stories and "sea tales". I'm always wanting something new & different to bring. There's so many to choose from in this book..."Asparagus, Apple, & Avocado Dip" sounds especially good to me. The book suggests using asparagus tips for dipping...I never would have thought of that. Great choice, Diane!
I am so pleased. Diane obviously put not only a lot of thought into her gifts but she also put some of herself. I've kept a scrapbook for decades...a couple sprigs of Diane's lavender is going to be pressed & put in my scrapbook along with her letter...Thank You So Much!