Rebecca & Lauren Visit John TuytleWednesday, July 16, 2008
(Del mallorquín ensaïmada, der. de saïm, saín).
1. f. Bollo formado por una tira de pasta hojaldrada dispuesta en espiral.
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Last Friday afternoon Rosemary, our granddaughters and I visited John Tuytle and his wife at their sheep farm and garden in Langley. We arrived at the farm with its exquisite wood work, from the front gate to the barn and house, all built from scratch by John in 1968 which was the year I married Rosemary in Mexico. John and relatives cleared the land but left very large trees right next to the house and there is even a stream going underneath. The sound of water perhaps reminds John of his remote native land, Holland.
We were shown around by John. We never saw his wife who is convalescing from a terrible bout of cancer. John almost died last year and had extensive heart surgery. But he looked very fit. We tried to approach his sheep and he explained how sheep will always need about 20 ft of grace and a way behind them to escape. The idea of petting a sheep is totally alien. John explained to Rebecca how sheep and deer and others of their ilk have glands between their hooves with which they lay a scent on paths. The sheep go to pasture by one and come back by another.
Rosemary marveled at John's eryingiums and some very rarar plants while Rebecca and I tried to ID many of the roses. After we took some pictures Rebecca asked me me if we could eat the ensaimadas (see above definition!) that I had purchased from Goldilocks as well as the polvorones (Spanish short bread). I told Rebecca that unless John offered us we could not ask. She insisted that perhaps Lauren could ask. I told her it was very rude. We left and in the car Rebecca complained that we had to eat something. This we did (at home). The next day John called to tell us how he and his wife had enjoyed our treats. When I told Rebecca she smiled and understood the value of manners. She also understands and appreciates how generous John has been as many of her roses (the latest being Rosa glauca)have been given to her by the Dutchman.