I was so excited. Here I was, finally sitting in a dear friend's Bed and Breakfast, waiting for Cooper Boone and his team to arrive. He was on his way to pay me a visit after I won his Christmas Tree Contest last December. We had mutually decided it was best to wait for a visit closer to Springtime. As it all worked out, Cooper came just as the leaves on the trees began to unfurl, clams were waking up from their Winter slumber and the gardens were beginning to come alive.
With a knock on the door, there was Cooper. It was so nice to see him again. It had been a few months since I had first met him at the Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Award ceremony. Somehow, I felt like I was meeting up with an old friend. Instantly, it was as if we had picked up where we left off. Yet, the visit was short, as it was late in the evening and we both needed our rest to begin filming the next day.
Saturday morning arrived and Cooper came over in his "jam jams"! I could not believe that he came bearing gifts for me including an awesome Cooper's Kitchen tote bag filled with his own Cowboy Coffee, two signed CDs, coffee mugs, a cup cake in a jar and a beautiful loaf of crusty bread. Then, he cooked me a delicious breakfast of corny french toast, Canadian Bacon, and eggs drizzled with Vermont Maple syrup.
Next, we went outside for a chat in my gardens. Over our cups of Cowboy Coffee, we talked a lot about cyber-bullying and our similar experiences taking care of the elderly in both our professions. It was so nice to know that I had a friend who understood what I was going through and also one who shared some wonderful advice that I have taken to heart.
Clamming was up on the agenda next. I changed into my clothes and we were off. Cooper had not clammed since he was 7 years old. I gave him a quick tour of the gear, we put on our boots and headed out into the low tide. I shared some simple tips of technique and within seconds Cooper dredged up two clams on one pass. He was a natural. Within no time, we had a full basket of clams and our bellies were grumbling. We were off to make a delicious lunch back at my house.
Once again we were in the kitchen, chatting and cooking together. From clams, chorizo, fennel, onion, garlic, chicken stock and white wine, magic happened, and we were soon dipping our crusty bread into a little bit of Cape Cod heaven.
After filming wrapped up for the day at my house, Cooper graciously agreed to a meet and greet at my house and then we were off to tour some amazing local establishments on the Cape. We had so much fun and I could not believe how fast the day flew. Before I knew it I was getting a huge Cooper hug and he was off. I will never forget this day and I know that Cooper will be in my life now for years to come. There is something about people like Cooper that is magical. His energy, enthusiasm and lust for life exudes from every inch of his being and you can see people's moods and attitudes transform right before your eyes when he enters a room.
This morning my son and I missed him already. We did the next best thing to substitute for Cooper's absence, we decided to eat his cupcake in a jar. It was delicious!
Cooper will be sharing all of his recipes that he cooked with me on his website, once this taped programming airs. Thank you so much to Cooper Boone and his team for coming to visit me! A very special thanks to 4JPhotography for filming and photographing the event. A huge thanks as well to Lewis and Weldon Custom Kitchens and KAM Appliances for all their help in making my dream kitchen a reality. Finally, a huge thanks to everyone who voted for us in the Christmas Tree contest. This never would have happened without you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.~Melissa
Photo Credits: 4JPhotography, Tilly's Nest