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#DeezNups and the Meal Kits That Feed Us

Ice Queen Interviews Natalie Sharp

Ice Queen: How've you been?

Natalie: I should say several things before I forget them: One, Halah says hi, and I love you. And I'm sorry I haven't been in touch, but it's not you. And I will reach out soon and we really do mean it about brunch we're just terrible!

Ice Queen: Hi Halah, I love you. Take your time. No rush!

Natalie: Yeah, but that's One, Two— I don't know. Life's on fire. I feel like it's fine. I have a job I like, hooray! And like... things are fine except that they're not, you know? It's one of those, "I'm terrified to go to the grocery store, but [Apocalypse-is-happening-and-life-is-absurd voice] I do make enough money to get groceries delivered!" kinds of things. Do you want to outsource the danger? I don't know. Options.

Ice Queen: [Nodding vigorously] Mhmm, mhmm! Yep, yep, yep. All normal.

Natalie: Yeah, I dunno. My grandma passed away a few weeks ago on my dad's side.

Ice Queen: Oh, I'm so sorry!

Natalie: And I had just started reconnecting with that side of my family. So that was tough. But there's a family reunion in [Location removed for privacy, but probably your town tbh], a place I've never thought about before, at the beginning of August. So I'm excited about that and to just see a bunch of people with my face, some of whom will have my last name also.

Ice Queen: Also, congratulations on your engagement! Those pictures were perfect!

Natalie: I got a photographer because I don't have the skills. And I was like, you know what? This is not a time to have an ego about whether or not I could get her angles. [Both laugh] She knows I can't.

Ice Queen: Good choice!

Natalie: Literally that same day, we were walking the trails around the bed and breakfast— they have 13 or 14 hectares of lavender? Incredible— and when we were walking around and I was like, oh, do you want some pictures? And I tried to take some pictures. She was like, I look so ugly in these! And I was just like, I tried so hard. Someone else is about to do it way better.

Ice Queen: So it was a total, total surprise then?

Natalie: Yeah.

Ice Queen: [Sighs romantically] Loveeee that!

Natalie: Worked out, worked out super well. If you go to Italy and you don't have a city planned, and you want to go stay at the property of some old Italian folks who just bought a house and then like slowly have built things on the property, let me know. I will send you the link because Holy Shit, 10 out of 10 would recommend.

Ice Queen: That sounds amazing. [Leans in] How was the food?

Natalie: Oh my God.

Ice Queen: You still dream of it?

Natalie: [Very suddenly and declaratively] Yo, we had a roast chicken.

[Brief pause]

[Both laugh]

Ice Queen: I can't wait to transcribe that.

Natalie: Initially what was supposed to happen is I had hired a private chef to come in and do dinner at the bed and breakfast that night. But then his wife got in a car accident. [Very quickly] She's fine! We met her, she was not injured! It's just, you know, the car is out of commission!

So he was like, I will send someone to pick you up and take you here. Cause it's an hour from where you are. I'll get that person to bring you back too. And oh my God, like OG countryside type of cooking. So, VERY filling. [Brief pause] Wet bread, but in a way that I was fine with. Which is rare.

Ice Queen: [Kind of confused but going with it, nodding] Okay.

Natalie: And it was going to be a five-course meal, right? But in the end, it was about six or seven? And they just kept bringing us fuckin homemade wine and a full roast chicken that we couldn't eat— and it had this incredible coloration because he... [Speaking to herself] not basted it. Marinated it? Covered it?

I don't know what the right cooking word is but basically coated it in this puree of tomato and carrot, like a seasoned puree. Ridiculous. I didn't even know it was a thing you can do. I don't know why I didn't think about it, but like, I don't know, it's just not a recipe base that comes to mind.

Ice Queen: Because you don't have the space and money to be playing around with something that, if it doesn't work, you just wasted money buying a whole ass chicken, right?

Natalie: It's true. Yeah. And it's like an OG recipe. He was telling us what used to happen is it would be these times of like hunger or just being poor. And so you would make do with what you had—which means that you don't have like the fancy oils and flavors and shit like that, that you can put on the food. So you would use the meat you had and you would use the vegetables you had. So, tomatoes and carrots grow very well here and they would use that.

And this is a recipe he got from his dad who was growing up in Italy in the twenties and shit like that, where it's like, damn this is wild but somehow also delicious. It's like all Southern cooking— it's High on the Hog, but Italy addition. It was incredible.

Dessert was ridiculous. I still dream about that dessert. That's the part for me. There was like a whipped cream ice cream thing. I don't even know how to describe it. Like if cream cheese and whipped cream and ice cream had a love child that was not so cold it made your mouth hurt, but also kept its structure, but then melted in your mouth. Like, man, I don't know. I can't even describe the shit and I have no idea what it was called.


Ice Queen: That's so [drool sound] I want it, everything that you just said, I want.

Natalie: I want you to have it because I'm like, this is the kind of shit you would lose your mind, like fucking worth it. And he brought out like fucking little sparklers and shit, and like these tiny little reusable ceramic solo cups of liquers.

And he's, [Ticking fingers] We got the Lemoncello. We got Amaretto. We got— yeah, we just got back to the bed and breakfast drunk and happy. It was great. I think he thought I hadn't proposed to her earlier, like before we had dinner. She went to the bathroom and he was like, Okay. So we will turn out the lights and I will turn on the pretty lights. And I will put on the music. [Both laugh]

Ice Queen: I would've been so awkward—

Natalie: I went with it!

Ice Queen: Oh, you did? You proposed again? [Both CRACKING up] She comes back you're just like, Surprise!

Natalie: ~Una sorpresa!~ It was fine. She said yes twice. So I got that enthusiastic consent.

Ice Queen: I can just see Halah looking around, like, did I make up the first one?

Natalie: Deja vu motherfucker!

Ice Queen: [As a confused Halah] I got so drunk that I made up the first one?

Natalie: [Also as a confused Halah... we love you, Halah] I still have the ring on, so...

And it was like, it can't hurt. It's a fun story. I'll go with it.

Ice Queen: They'll remember it! That sounds amazing, I think that is a beautiful memory. Was that an impromptu trip to Italy that y'all took or how long had y'all planned on that?