Taylor & Ina Got Their Drink On

by Kristie Rohwedder

Taylor Swift. Ina Garten. Whiskey sours. It HAPPENED. Back in March, Food Network Magazine brought Taylor Swift and Ina Garten together for a feature that'll appear in the July/August music issue, and the details from that day are so delightful. The country/pop star and the Barefoot Contessa were already fans of one another (Swift owns all of Garten's cookbooks and Garten owns all of Swift’s albums), but I hope their Hamptons hangout sesh was only the beginning of what would definitely be a fantastic BFF-ship. Trust.

What'd Swift and Garten whip up? According to E! News, they baked a mustard-roasted fish and prepped a Pavlova. Proving my theory that meringue desserts are scientifically irresistible, they didn't waste time with plates when they went to eat the Pavlova. THEY NOSHED ON IT RIGHT OUT OF THE DISH. So rebellious. So un-Garten. Swift corrupted her! (JK, JK.)

Another highlight from the E! News exclusive: Garten shared an anecdote about whiskey sours, which prompted Swift to reveal she’d never had a whiskey sour. Garten remedied this immediately: The cooking show host made whiskey sours, and she, Swift, Swift’s mom, and Swift’s brother got their sauce on.

Holy cripes. Garten showed Swift the whiskey sour light, and Swift encouraged Garten to embrace eating straight from the pan. What a great pairing of people. What a great day. Yes, all of it was for a photo shoot, but I don’t care. I’d give my left ear to be a fly on the wall in that kitchen.

And what do you know? An actual fly that was on the actual wall of the kitchen reached out to me. And he shared what he saw and heard the day Swift and Garten hung out and ate Pavlova. And he said I could share it with all of you.

The Fly On The Wall Report: Ina Garten and Taylor Swift*

First things first: I must say that Ina’s kitchen is one of the most spectacular rooms I’ve ever been in. It’s pristine. The temperature is ideal. The appliances are so nice, even I, a fly, didn’t want to land on them. I didn’t want to germ ‘em up with my feet. That never happens.

Before Taylor arrived, Ina prepared some date bread and brewed some coffee. I hid on top of a cabinet. While the coffee percolated, Ina scrolled through the iTunes app on her iPhone.

“Gosh, what was the name of that song?” she asked out loud. “The one from The Hunger Games?”

“Safe and Sound,” an assistant replied.

“Yes. I always liked that one. We could do a video segment for this feature and use that song. We could call it The Hungry Games.”

“I don’t know if referencing a series about starvation and kids battling to the death in a lighthearted cooking segment is the best idea."

“Oh, goodness. You’re right. I never said all of my ideas were home runs!” Ina chuckled as she walked over to the sink. She washed her hands and dried them on a hand towel. “Shoot! Do I need to replace this towel? I’ve mussed it up before the photo shoot.”

“It’s fine,” her assistant replied. “It adds to the ‘Ina at home’ vibe.”

“Okay,” Ina said. She sliced the date bread. “If you say so.”

I stared at the towel. Yes, Ina used it only moments ago, but it looked perfect. How does she do it?! That kitchen makes me believe magic is real.

A few minutes later, Taylor, Andrea Swift (Taylor’s mom), and Austin Swift (Taylor’s brother) showed up. Taylor and Ina exchanged introductions. It was all very nice. I wished I could be a part of it.

And then, Taylor and Ina got to cookin'. I tried to get closer to the action, but Taylor swatted at me. I left the kitchen. I buzzed around the living room until I thought it was safe to go back into the kitchen. Rule of thumb: Wait at least eleven minutes. The humans usually forget about you by then.

When I returned, Taylor, Taylor's family, and Ina were just about to start eating the Pavlova directly from the serving dish. So much for keeping a low profile, I thought. I have to see this.

I hovered directly behind Austin. Ina's eyes darted over to a cabinet. Her assistant shook her head. I assumed that was a nonverbal exchange about whether or not Ina should retrieve dishes and silverware. The assistant said no, so Ina dug in.

And then, there was a conversation about diets and food and whiskey sours. Taylor said she'd never had a whiskey sour. Ina's eyes lit up and she snapped into action. She darted around the kitchen and returned to the counter with whiskey sour ingredients. She prepared the drinks. Taylor, Andrea, Austin, and Ina drank whiskey sours. Their cheeks flushed and their voices grew louder.

"Can I say something off the record?" Taylor asked.

"Of course," Ina replied.

"I've made your turkey meatloaf recipe a number of times, but—"

"It tastes great, but you want to know how to take it to the next level?" Ina interjected.

"YES!" Taylor screamed, sloshing her cocktail around. The drink spilled onto the counter. "Oh, dangit. I'm so embarrassed," Taylor said, grabbing a paper towel to wipe up the liquid.

"It's okay, happens all of the time," Ina said. "Just never on camera."

"But what is it about that meatloaf?" Taylor asked. "What am I missing?"

Ina leaned in and whispered something into Taylor's ear. Taylor looked at Ina and gasped. Ina nodded.

"Can we take a selfie?" Taylor asked.

"Absolutely," Ina replied. "I'd be honored."

"This has been a terrific day," Taylor said. "I'm so happy we did this."

"Please let me know next time you're in the Hamptons," Ina said, arms outstretched. They hugged.

"OMIGOD. INA," Taylor shouted, splashing her drink around yet again. "You haaaaave to come to my house sometime. I'll make the turkey meatloaf and I'll make it right. AND OMIGOD, you haaaaaaave to come to one of my concerts."

"I'd be honored," Ina said. "Wait. Do you hear that?"

Ina detected my presence. I had no choice but to skedaddle. I've heard horror stories about Ina's strict no-flies policy. I left the house through the doggie door. And then I took a nap in a dumpster


*Uh, I can't communicate with flies. I fabricated this report. I repeat: This is not real. I hope you aren't mad at me.

Image: taylorswift/Instagram