Comments posted on Food Network Barefoot Contessa online discussion board, May 1-2, 2004
“Mummy’s gone to Paris to buy hats, and Daddy’s pranged the Bentley,”… screamed Ina Garten, as a child, to the ice cream man who waited payment.
It was from this sad neglected moment, that barefoot contessa swore to avenge her neglect!
… the rest is history
This is better than the book on my bedside table
“Oh Edwina, it’s times like this you know who your true friends are,” sniffed Ina. She dabbed a handkerchief to her eyes and regarded the fireplace. Her dreams had once seemed like that – a fire that simply refused to start.
Edwina, anticipating her friend’s unspoken desire, sprang from her chair. “I’ll give it another poke,” she said. After a moment a cheery fire blazed in the hearth.
Ina beamed. “A cozy fire, a plate of sautéed cabbage. What could be better?”
“Friendship,” Edwina responded. “Good friendship.”
Ina held up the pair of hot pink gloves her friend had brought with her as a present. “And a good pair of gardening gloves!,” she said with a laugh.
It might have crossed the mind of a lesser soul than Edwina that if she was expected to plant the perennial she’d brought as a hostess gift, Ina might at least have offered her the use of the gloves. Edwina had taken care to change for dinner with her best client and special friend and it was irksome now to have dirt under her nails. But no such petty thought encumbered Edwina. She was known for her good nature, and consummate skill with even the most difficult Hamptons hothouse flowers.
“What was the name of that plant you got me again? I know it started with an ‘L.’”
“Lespedeza,” Edwina replied. Regarding her friend she added evenly, “Also known as bush clover.”
Ina blanched and set down her fork. “That was the last name of Daddy’s girlfriend, Myrtle Bush-Clover. She was in the Bentley that awful day when he pranged it and Mummy discovered he was having an affair and ran off to Paris. So many years ago now, yet I remember it as if it were just yesterday.”
Edwina knew this already. Oh, how she knew. Married, she was now known as Edwina Botanick. But unbeknownst to Ina she had been raised as Edwina Bush-Clover. Her mother Myrtle had raised the girl single-handedly in the countryside of a small mountainous European country where Ina’s daddy had ensconced them…”
“… and so the ice cream man never did get paid because no one seemed to have any cash,” Ina was saying.
to be continued...