Dear Gilbert Blythe,
I first met you when I was 13. I thought you were the handsomest young man I had ever seen. You had such lovely dark hair and the way you looked with those expressive, brown eyes made my heart skip a beat. Anne was very fortunate you waited for her to come to her senses.
I dreamed that one day, I too would find my kindred spirit the way Anne found you. Some one who would love me and all my weirdness and wonderfulness. Some one who would understand that writing is of great importance to me. Some one who would never give up on me.
Dear Gilbert, I have found that man and in less than 6 months I will marry him. I hope you’ll be happy for me. But don’t worry, I won’t forget you.
I recently took a trip down memory lane and visited Avonlea. I saw Diana, Marilla and Rachel. I had a cup of tea with Mrs Harris and Pauline. I saw all the beautiful colours of spring and the vast fields around Green Gables. And then I had an idea. I thought, why not have a picnic? Why not sit outside and drink up the sweet smelling blossoms around me? Why not throw some blankets on the green grass under a cherry blossom tree and sit with good friends? We could talk about the good old times. How I cried when Matthew died. Or laughed when Anne got Diana drunk.
I visited a lot of places when I was a young girl and met a lot of people. But Avonlea, Anne and you will always be special to me. I will come and visit now and again and I hope you will allow me to bring my daughter and son along when they are a bit older. I think there will come a time when my children will need to visit your pretty corner of Prince Edward Island and learn about kindred spirits, friendship and love.
Dear Gilbert, lets go and have that picnic now. I brought strawberry cream cheese pie. You’ll love it. I’m sure of that.
(I read the Anne of Green Gables books when I was a young teenage girl. I fell in love with the TV version by Kevin Sullivan even though it was different from the book in many parts. When I heard that the actor Jonathan Crombie died on 15.04.2015 I watched the whole series again. As before, the people and the places took my breath away. Few things I read as a teenager still have an affect on me. Anne of Green Gables is an exception.)
Strawberry cream cheese pie
1 tbsp baking powder
180g browned butter (see Joy the Baker’s tutorial on how to make this)
175g full fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla sugar
200g fresh, sweet and juicy strawberries
1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees C.
2. Make the crust by mixing the flour, 90g of sugar, baking powder and browned butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon.
3. Use your hands (careful, the pastry might still be warm because of the butter) to press the pastry in a lined square cake tin (26x20cm). Make sure it goes up the sides by about 2cm. Put aside.
4. In a second bowl, use a whisk to mix the cream cheese, egg, remaining sugars and 3 squashed strawberries (just use your hands).
5. Pour the mixture in the pastry.
6. Cut the remaining strawberries in halves or quarters and randomly place them on top of the mixture.
7. Bake for 30min. Once baked, let the pie cool completely before attempting to cut it. If you want to take it out of the tin completely, make sure you used baking paper to line the tin. You will be able to carefully lift the pie out that way.