i have an old friend (well, not old, just have known her a long time)...she is amazing. i knew her when she was a newlywed in my parents palos verdes ward and i was a youth, years later she miraculously found me in murrieta where we were in the same ward together. she lives in heber, utah now, in a butter yellow house perched on top of it's own little hill. when we were contemplating a move there a year or so ago, she put us in touch with a great realtor and encouraged us to make the jump. we even found a beautiful, expansive home on acreage and fell in love with the small town feel of heber. love the fact that the high school mascot is the wasp. anyway, this home was perfect...had a well, and a barn and a greenhouse-even a bomb shelter. i could have been almost self-sufficient there-a dream of mine which hopefully i can make happen one day. i even was thinking i would be ok with the cold, and the resident hunters who come home with deer carcasses slung into their pick ups...this one had me worried, i will admit.
well, we chickened out and are now seasoned residents of orange county and all of the constant chaos that surrounds it. what i was really after was a simpler life full of quiet and peace. maybe i will get it one day.
one time while visiting heber, we were invited to christine's beautiful home for dinner. her cooking is equivalent if not better than the barefoot contessa on a good day. she even coordinated homemade rolls rising while at church, accompanied with baked salmon and fresh asparagus, all the while serving as young womens president no less. christine is my hero. a woman who is soft and kind, generous and ever so talented.
we were visiting after dinner, ready to catch a plane back to california, when aenon emerged from the powder room white as a ghost, color all gone, with a mist of sweat across her brow. i know now what she will look like if she ever dies in front of me. immediately we sat her down where she managed to barely stay conscious. off to the emergency room we went, promptly missing our flight. turns out aenon's issue was possibly a burst ovarian cyst (i know, sounds gross), and she was all better after her bout of almost dying on christine's mahogany, hand distressed, antique wood floors. christine and her sweet husband kris and cute son will even met us at the emergency room and helped us pass the time while we waited for test results and the physician to make a final diagnosis. however, we were left with missing our flight and in desperate need of a place to spend the night, since it was now about 9pm. we were tired, emotionally exhausted and in need of a bed. of course, christine was all over it. put us up in her charming lower level, complete with two cubby holes for beds. in this gorgeous expansive room there were two large, square, cut outs in the wall, complete with queen size mattress' and luxurious down bedding. completing the scene was an eclectic little light fixture mounted on the wall, nestled amongst the pillows, all as if on the pages of an anthropologie catalog. this was by far, the most perfect reading hide away i had ever encountered. all was needed now was fresh fallen snow outside this magnificent hilltop retreat and a cup of herbal tea in a vintage cup and saucer.
all was well the next morning, and amazingly aenon survived the night without fainting. the whole sleep experience in those cubby holes was exceptional.
christine continues to this day, to have aenon up to her home for sunday dinners and has taken her under her glorious wing. i am so grateful for the home away from home she provides so lovingly for aenon.
christine has 2 daughters (and 2 darling sons). her oldest daughter eva is especially artistic, and has started a new business venture. sycamore street press. hand made cards and invites all made on a vintage press.
check it out, and thank you to my dear old friend christine, for all of your generous hospitality. maybe one day i will be able to make cheesecake like you. aenon recently said it was the best she has ever had.
ok, hand over the recipe, and no one gets hurt.