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Priceless Pound Cake in Tea Towel Wrapping

by | Feb 17, 2014


My friendship with Lisa Ziegler began in the year 2000. I was standing in the Warwick River School parking lot, trying to be principal while my heart was aching. My father was in ICU at Riverside and I didn’t know how I could bear what this meant to me.

Suddenly Lisa was at my elbow, offering me a heavy package bundled in a dark red kitchen towel. With the solace of that rich yellow pound cake, I carried on. That was only the beginning of the friendship we enjoy today. Little did I know that in addition to a shared passion for gardening, writing, and native wild life, there would continue to be both pound cake and new tea towels all along the way. This week, Valentine’s Day 2014, yet another cake showed up on my kitchen table, wrapped in yet another red and white tea towel, fresh for my loving use.

Lisa and I both operate under the principle that you can never have too many tea towels—or too much pound cake. All the pound cake in my life has originated in Lisa’s kitchen. My tea towel collection is more far-ranging, but she has been the main supplier of new ones over the years.

I wish I could show you the one I received 14 years ago, but that is impossible. I wore that tea towel to shreds and it served in the end for car-polishing, an activity of high esteem in this family. But I think I still have a good assortment of at least a dozen that have come my way. I keep looking for new places to put them! I delight in using them about my kitchen on a daily basis, making my choices the way a good wine connoisseur matches vintage to entrée.


A red towel that arrived around a later pound cake is now my favorite to use when bread is rising.  It is also dark and worn enough to use when wiping pots and pans, with no worries as to leaving a smudge.


These brown and orange kitchen towels are the first I hang on my oven door for grandchildren to wipe their hands on. They were a sturdy and practical gift from Lisa.


When touching this plate full of memories from the family Perez and Spain’s stormy coast, only this pure white towel will do. Somehow the TGW fork and trowel balance out the bagpipes and drums that are improbably featured on the Galician porcelain.


What better use of the family Wedgewood china than enjoying a wedge of Lisa’s cake? The towel tucked under is one of hers as well, perhaps from the Herbal Society in New York? I love the thin white flour sacking with dragonflies and herbs and wildflowers she has given me so generously over the years.

And now, if you will forgive me, it’s time to brew the coffee…Thank you, Lisa, for the cakes, the towels, and most of all a generous friendship based on growing and creating and enjoying this world we live in.