My friend Gretchen is the best. She is gorgeous and sweet and kind, creative and smart and funny. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe her. She is also a fabulous cook. Simply phenomenal in the kitchen. Visiting her is like taking a trip to heaven.
A few days ago we were talking, making plans for our next get-together, and we got to reminiscing about some of our most memorable trips. One year we celebrated Thanksgiving in Turkey, Christmas in Germany and New Year’s in Austria. We’ve ridden camels in Tunisia, road-tripped across Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and train-hopped to Switzerland and France. Our trips are a little less adventurous these days but no less fun. This year we passed a quiet New Year’s at her home in Charlottesville.
Our lives seem to run a parallel course. We both lived in Germany (where we met), then Hawaii (our time did not overlap), and now Virginia (at opposite ends of the state). Her husband was tagged for a deployment to Afghanistan. My husband was tagged too. Déjà vu.
This time last year my husband was nearing the end of his deployment. Enter me, suitcase in hand, into Gretchen’s home and kitchen for a nice, long visit.
It was then, during that very trip, that Gretchen launched her food blog. Kumquat. It’s full of delicious recipes, beautiful photography and brilliant health tips. If you like to eat you must check it out. It is lovely.
Oh what a trip that was. We passed the time largely in the kitchen, a room for both of us synonymous with laughter and love. She cooked while I chilled, salivating and waiting for my chance to lick the spoon. We discussed blogs and food and photography at great length and photographed her creations to no end. And then we ate like kings.
Here’s what I came away with from the visit: 10 extra pounds and the revelation that photographing food bites. I mean, it is really, really tough. It’s surprising because you’d think food would be putty in your hands. After all you can mold it, touch it, turn it, taste it. But it’s fresh and fragile and sours easily. Full of self-preservatives, you have to sweet-talk it before it will whisper eat me.
Gretchen though, makes it look so easy. She is artistic and talented and, the icing on the cake, inspirational. She’s one of the reasons I revamped my photography website as a blog.
Though I’m happy to leave food photography to foodies like Gretchen, in honor of Kumquat’s one-year birthday I thought I would post a few of my photos from that memorable visit. Here’s to you my dear friend Gretchie!
And happy birthday Kumquat blog!