Summer Love

June 25th, 2013

I had a crush on him before I met him. Not a heart thumping, weak at the knees kind of crush…because I didn’t even know what he looked like. It was more a crush of intellect and intrigue.

I first heard of Ivan Day from a friend of mine, a Cambridge historian, who raved about his cooking classes in England’s Lake District. He was one of her mentors, a true scholar, a man of quirky, obscure knowledge. I knew from her description of him that we were destined to meet.

My opportunity arose with the French airline workers’ strike. Semi-stranded, bidding my time in Paris, eating too many buttery croissants and sipping café au lait, I moved on to greener, and I mean much greener pastures. I hopped the Chunnel in anticipation of meeting my crush and indulging in a weekend of Victorian Cookery.



16th century kitchen

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Heathcliff and the Villagers

June 20th, 2013

I called out to Heathcliff, but he wasn’t there. Alone, walking through a pasture, dodging sheep pellets, in northern England, I thought of the famed character who once roamed this part of the world. You see, I was pretending to be Cathy, Heathcliff’s love and obsession, before her tragic demise. I was the beautiful, young Catherine, frolicking in the fields, surrounded by nature…and sheep, lots of sheep. I must admit they were handsome creatures, as in just shampooed and set, fluffy and seemingly clean.

If you remember in last week’s blog, I arrived to the Penrith train station and was whisked away by an eccentric stranger named Ivan, a scholar of culinary history and an advocate of Agnes B.’s patented ice cream machine. He drove me through the rolling, green hills of Cumbria, dazzling me with details of his jelly mold collection and then dropped me off at a desolate house on a large sheep farm. This is the part of the story I didn’t tell you before.


Crake Trees Manor

Crake Trees Manor

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