Love Letters

January10

D and I met when he was a 14 year old bus boy and I was a hostess/cocktail server (read: older).  But in the years in between our initial friendship and eventual courtship, D moved away a couple of times.  We became reacquainted between his first and second year of studies in Hospitality at Ryerson University in TO.  In those days long distance telephone calls were expensive and emailing, texting and skype did not exist at all and so snail mail became our significant link.  D and I still write each other letters to this day-we slip them under pillows and into carry on bags to surprize each other when we are apart.

I have always had a fondness for literature that adapted letter collections as their literary format.  I am especially enthralled by the inferences that fill in the gaps between the arrival of a letter from one correspondent to the reply by the other.  Last evening I finished a novel entitled The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel.  They had me at the dedication: “To our mothers and fathers, who taught us how to cook and how to love.” 

In the end I would say that there was less about cooking than I would have liked but the rules of their “club” (of two) was that they sent a recipe in each of their posted letters.  The recipes were traditional ones that were already in my repertoire so it meant that I could skip the recipe pages and complete the book in half the time.  But here is one the particularly struck me-not so much for the ingredients themselves but this explanation: “I’m giving up on hearing from you, but I can’t, I won’t let you go.  To send you more words feels meaningless and hollow.  So I’m sending you a recipe instead.  It’s something I know you’ll love.  It uses olives-an ancient symbol of faithfulness, patience, and peace.”

Forgiveness Tapenade

I c pitted olives, finely chopped

3 T olive oil

1 T capers

freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 garlic gloves, finely chopped

5 anchovy fillets

black pepper

Combine all of the tapenade ingredients in a blender and whir until smooth.

Kath’s quote: “The whole Mediterranean … the wine, the ideas … seems to ride in the sour pungent taste of those black olives … A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”-Lawrence Durrell

love so amazing


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2 Comments to

“Love Letters”

  1. Avatar January 10th, 2011 at 11:03 am Victoria Says:

    I remember bringing an olive tapenade to one of your winter cabin women’s weekends. Along with a home made chutney and one other topping to go with our crips (spread first with goat cheese). I had been assigned the first evening’s “snack”. However, I completely forgot that a cold appy was a bit less applealing when the cabin resembled a scene from Dr. Zhivago and it was cold to even hold on to them much less enjoy the flovours when they were like ice.


  2. Avatar January 11th, 2011 at 8:12 am kath Says:

    I remember the flavours distinctively. I had only tasted tapenade that was bought at a high end shop and was very impressed by your culinary skills. Yes it was Dr. Zhivago cold-didn’t that make for a bonding experience?


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