Lola’s kitchen: Where to start …

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I decided to write this column before the Mountain Fire mandatory evacuation was lifted.

Needless to mention, starting Monday, July 15, the residents of Idyllwild have been through hell.

The fact is, my mind and heart were filled with turmoil, but I was not alone. All residents of Idyllwild scattered throughout Southern California and those who stayed were feeling the same way.

I stayed with friends Julie and Jim Kehl in La Quinta. Fortunately, they have a well-stocked bar and plenty of good wine. Thank you, my good, good friends.

Keeping in touch with the Town Crier staff was crucial for me, every two hours or so logging on to idyllwildtowncrier.com and watching for fire updates.

Back to the fire. This was not my first experience with a mountain fire. In 1996, the Bee Canyon Fire took its toll on Idyllwild minds. Evacuation was mandatory. All of the Town Crier staff managed to get back in time to put out a publication for the upcoming week.

Fires of this size have a way of getting into your soul, leaving residents lamenting about their suddenly uncertain future. “What next?” keeps going through my head.

With all said, I have my pets and I am healthy. All the belongings I left behind are just things and things can be replaced.

Idyllwild residents are resilient. We did it before and we can do it again. When we got back home, we hugged each other hello then got to work rebuilding our resort town’s reputation.

Is Idyllwild a great little town or what?

Thank you, all firefighters and everyone involved, directly or indirectly, with putting out this fire monster. My heart is with each and every one of you.

No recipe in this column, just my heartfelt thanks.

Next column, how about Oven-Fried Chicken by the Bucket? Will try it out on Town Crier Staff first.

Love, from Lola’s Kitchen.

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