Pink Food with Friends

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The photo library on my phone tells me it’s been a glorious pink summer. Pink sunsets. Pink Mornings. Pink covered plates previously covered in beet salad. Pink feta from sitting on pink beets. Raspberries. Watermelon juice. Radishes. Radish sprouts. Pink-bottomed peaches. Pink squid tentacles hot from the fry-pan. Pink vegetable stock packed with beet greens.  And, filed under ‘inspiration’, is someone else’s photo of  beet-dyed, pink-kissed eggs.

My friend Eshun also has the same image in her ‘inspiration’ file. It’s no wonder. Eshun and I have been conected ever since she floated by during a first year lecture at King’s College. She was wearing Calyx, a gentle citrus-scented perfume my father had bought for me a few years before, after flicking through my Seventeen magazine looking for birthday inspiration. In my mind, we were practically twins. After University, Eshun and I both studied Culinary Arts at George Brown College. We both work as food stylists. We’ve both written cookbooks. We both married a James.

This summer Eshun visited us at our cottage with her family, her dog, and her magic basket filled with presents and a never-ending supply of culinary treats. It was early August. Peaches and raspberries were just beginning to appear.

Before arriving Eshun had posted an epiphany on Facebook –

For the last 2 years I’ve vacationed at the cottage with alternately a big bag of art supplies, a digital SLR, a shiny new journal… all so that I can *explore* my creativity. And somehow, guiltily, I never get around to doing much with them. Mostly because I’m busy scouring cookbooks and playing with recipes and the bounty of the seasons in our over-stocked island kitchen. Last night was hot and steamy when I shaped sourdough and turned the remaining sour cherries into jam, and I suddenly realized that this IS my creativity. That despite it all, cooking is what I do for self-expression and even fun. And that knowledge made my morning toast taste even sweeter…

I could have told her all of this. We all could have. Eshun floats through the kitchen, cooking, baking and organizing with ease and grace; a glorious, practised art form. But that’s the thing about epiphanies – they are self realizations.

So, as a dear old friend, I took it upon myself to create an environment for her creativity to flow. I put flour and sugar in jars on the counter. I placed raspberries and peaches on the counter. I casually showed her where the parchment was kept. Then, I took a little nap, and woke up to a peach and raspberry galette. Eshun says the recipe is Martha inspired, with her added touch of lemon zest.

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That night we ate galette on the beach, sitting around a bonfire while the kids roasted marshmallows. Pink fruit dripped down our hands as the pink sky faded into darkness.

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