About a year ago Mr. D and I were out to dinner with our friends Andy and Lorraine Ball at Oakley’s Bistro. I happened to meet Steve, the owner of Oakley’s Bistro who was there that evening. I told him a little about Send A Friend Lasagna and he asked how I got involved in the food industry. I explained I grew up in the restaurant industry, you see, my grandparents owned Dunham’s Prime Time in Carmel, Indiana back in the 1970’s early 80’s. It was a prime rib restaurant, it was also one of the first restaurants in the city that had a full size (I mean full, 50 items) salad bar. Marinated italian vegetables, bacon crumbles, hard boiled eggs, you name it, all made fresh by my grandmother, uncles, aunts, the restaurant truly was a family affair.

Even though I’ve been friends with Andy and Lorraine for years they didn’t know much about the restaurant. When they asked where it was located in Carmel, I had to look it up. When I did, I saw a matchbook from the restaurant on Etsy. I gasped out loud. When you’re a kid you don’t think about grabbing a matchbook so when you’re older you can reminisce about the restaurant you grew up in. The restaurant was everything, and then it was gone.

I immediately went onto Etsy to buy the matches and found out they had already sold. I messaged the seller and asked if they would be willing to give me the email address of the buyer because it was my family’s restaurant and I wanted to offer to buy them. The owner of the shop said no. I mean, yeah, I understand for privacy reasons, but they’re matches.

Anyway, I told my best friend Brandy the whole story. We’ve been friends since we were 7 years old, she is a one-in-a-million person. She knows how sentimental I am, especially after losing my Dad.

Fast forward to last night 2.9.24, I got a message from her with a picture of the matches, and “I got you” under the picture. She had been periodically looking on Ebay for them. CAN YOU ACTUALLY BELIEVE THIS WOMAN? Unbelievable, one might say serendipitous.

So the unstruck matches and all of my little childhood restaurant memories will be back in the kitchen at my home because I have the best friend in the world.


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