WANTED: Whoppee! Fingerlakes to the Shore...It's Here!

triciaeOctober 25, 2006

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!


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Tricia - your description must be almost as good as the actual package. I feel like I can see it without photos!

The lavender sounds heavenly and the apron sounds very pretty. And I'll be looking for your sauce posts!

Great job Diane!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 10:27AM
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As I read your marvelous description, when I came to part about the lavender, I just sighed. What an awesome gift! My lavender was just becoming established in my garden when we moved. Now I have to start all over. :~(

That is such a superb idea, Diane.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:19AM
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Tricia, your descriptions are terrific...almost as good as seeing pics. What a very special package.
Diane, Everything is really wonderful.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Wonderful reading, felt I was opening the box with you. But I want to SEE the lavendar and the apron. Sounds wonderful.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:48AM
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Diane always buts so much thought in to the wonderful gifts she sends her swap partners. So I'm not surprised that this one is so special. Tricia, that recipe you mention for the
"Blue Cheese, Pecan & Cognac Grilling Sauce" sounds so decadent and delicious that I hope you will post it on the thread that Terri started.

And I hope when your DH takes pictures that there will be one of you in your new apron.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:55AM
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Wow, Tricia, clearly you are overjoyed at the wonderful box of goodies Diane sent! And rightly so!
I can't wait to see that lavender bouquet, it sounds lovely. As does the hand made apron!
Please share some sauce recipes when you come down from this "high"! LOL


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 12:55PM
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Wow, we almost don't need pictures!

What wonderful goodies you've got!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 1:24PM
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Tricia, I am actually happy that you do not have access to a camera right now. I may be wrong but i guess that if you had a camera you might not have taken such care with your description. Your description was worth more then a thousand words! It is clear you will enjoy this box and who wouldn't? I am looking forward to the pictures but I can already tell what a wonderful job Diane did.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 1:29PM
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I'm in the camp of glad you don't have a camera right now! Beautiful descriptions. Diane always has a special touch to her swap boxes.

Diane, Great job!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 2:22PM
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Mmmm, I can almost smell that lavender now and aprons are always a good thing. The book sounds perfect, I'd far rather taste and graze than eat a whole big meal.

Diane did a wonderful job. Enjoy it all, Tricia.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 3:03PM
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What a wonderful box of goodies, and such a sweet smelling one. The cookbook will be fun for you to use on the boat:)


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:02PM
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You have a wonderful way of showing your gratitude at the gifts Diane sent you:)And they sound perfect!I am sure she put the same thought as in all the meals she takes the time to prepare and photograph :)

It was fun to read and I was anxious to see what the scent was;)
Lavender..One of my top 3...
I am looking forward to photos and I too covet the recipe Ann wants.Sounds amazing!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:26PM
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Oh, that lavendar sounds devine. The apron sounds beautiful and perfect for a baker like you, Tricia.

Super swap box, Diane.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:29PM
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Oops Tricia-- You'll have to take your own pictures-- I think this is the first swap I haven't photographed before sending out but last Friday when Hubby mentioned he had to go to the local hardware I just quickly wrapped things up , penned a quick note & sent it with him to post UPS-- was saving myself a little agony going up the stairs at the UPS station ( local hardware )-- I'm still off my RA meds & stairs are agony.

Hope you get lots of use from that cookbook-- I enjoyed putting this together for you .

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:48PM
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That must've been some fine-smelling package! And those recipes from that book sound delish! And that apron sounds wonderful! Bravo Diane.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:53PM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

Another fantastic swap box! Can't wait to see the recipe on that thread, sounds great! Looking forward to the pictures! Nice going, Diane! Enjoy, Tricia!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 8:59PM
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Everybody is right...your description is so vivid that we don't NEED to see the pix (but I hope we can anyway). Diane, you did a very, very nice job. Enjoy your goodies, tricia.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 9:09PM
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Great description Tricia, I can smell the lavender from here, and oh so calming too!

Sounds like you got a great swap package, can't wait to see some photos and your recipe pick.

Excellent swap Diane!


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 10:04PM
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That sounds (and sounds like it smells) wonderful! I can't wait to see photos of your package. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the recipes on the thread on the other side!

Nice job Diane--your soap sounds divine! I hope you enjoy everything Tricia.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 11:46PM
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Awwww. I thought for sure there would be canned goodies from Diane - nice surprise with the apron. Enjoy that lavender, and Tricia, enjoy that cookbook (keeping mouth shut about cooking on the boat with DGS)!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 7:38AM
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Thank You, Jessy! :))


    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:03AM
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What a thoughtful package! Everything sounds wonderful. I definately want to check out the recipe for the blue cheese etc. grilling sauce. I agree with everyone else, Tricia, your descriptions were so good we almost don't need the pictures, but I'm looking forward to seeing them anyway.

Great job, Diane!


    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 9:20AM
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Lavender accented with lemon sounds wonderful - wish I could smell it, and I'm in awe that you could pack and ship flowers that are so long. I too am hoping we'll see a picture of you in the apron Tricia, and I'm looking forward to seeing your shared recipes.

Diane, you made perfect choices for Tricia to enjoy for a long time.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 10:19AM
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Love, love, love lavender and lemon grass! What a thoughtful package, Diane. Would really like to see pictures but Tricia, you did a great job in describing the contents of your wonderful box. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 10:37AM
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Dang Tricia! I could smell it too just by reading what you wrote!!!

What a lovely swap box........I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 1:07PM
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Ooohhhhhhhhhh. I can just smell it!
I would have hunted down the smell too.
Your description made "pictures" in my mind.

Good job Diane.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 1:22PM
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tricia, what a beautiful description of a beautiful package--i love the lavendar and the apron sounds great! Look forward to seeing some recipes from that cookbook, too. Now i really would love to see some pics! :-)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 5:38PM
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I agree no pics needed but like Ann I want one of you in that apron. Diane, another fine package you have put togehter! I can't wait for you to share one of those sauce recipes Tricia!


    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 11:01PM
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mmmmmmmmm, the scent of lavender, the hint of lemon... I can smell it now, I really can! Diane, what a great package, and Tricia, what a wonderful description. I was transported!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 1:17PM
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Nice job, Diane! It certainly sounds like Tricia will truly enjoy everything.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 4:37PM
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I think I'm smelling lavendar and lemon grass right now and it's heavenly. The cookbook and apron sound wonderful, too. What a great package - enjoy!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 8:08PM
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Good description of the apron - it sounds lovely, and I also hope to see a picture of it! I'm anxious to hear more about the salsass as well. Someone else was looking for a saucy cookbook, but I can't remember who. That one sounds perfect.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 8:51PM
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Yes, I'm dying to get all look at all your goodies! How wonderful they sound! Great job describing them! I, too, will be looking forward to that grilling sauce recipe! Sounds yummy. The apron sure sounds pretty. I love lavendar. Can't wait to see that! Looking forward to pictures! Enjoy!

Great job Diane!!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 5:36AM
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Tricia, Your description was wonderful. Sounds like Diane put together the perfect package for you. Enjoy!


    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 7:13AM
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The soap sounds amazing, as does the apron and cookbook!

Tricia, good descriptions, I just wish I had a little sniff of the lavender and lemongrass!

Diane, as usual, such a thoughtful package!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 9:35AM
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Tricia, your description was superb! Ahhhh... I smell the lavendar and lemon! When baking bread, an apron is a good thing to wear - handmade is very special! I would like a pic of the apron and a recipe please from your new cookbook! Diane, great gifts - 'specially homemade!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2006 at 4:10PM
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It sounds like a package for all the senses! The soap and lavender sound especially nice -- and I'm sure the cookbook will come in very handy!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 12:44PM
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A lovely package. I keep forgetting to add lavender to my herb garden. Your description was so vivid I'm sure I'll remember next spring.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 9:38PM
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oh Tricia - what a fabulous description - I can tell how appreciative you were of your package!

The lavender bouquet sounds beautiful and I sooo wish I could see the apron...great package, Diane. Hope you're feeling better.


    Bookmark   October 31, 2006 at 10:05AM
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