LOCAL FOCUS

Aubrey Marie: Recipes for a good life


 

 

We are sitting in the middle of a tiny oasis, a small lusciously bohemian garden that could easily be described as Bali-chic with teak seating and a peaceful, rhythmic waterfall creating nature’s music. It enhances what is already a beautiful day. Other than the gentle stirring of the water, I hear nothing but silence. Fragrances designed to soothe the soul embrace the air as I talk with Aubrey Otten, the assistant manager of Isle Style.

Isle Style is a full-service spa and salon that is also a women’s fashion boutique, although it is contemplating adding a small men’s line. When that occurs, Audrey will be helping owner Annie Oakley with buying a selection of clothing that is not only in season, but that thoughtfully follows the feng shui “color story” of the reception desk and storefront. If you are someone who likes to be pampered with a deep tissue or Thai massage, get your nails or hair done, to buy a new outfit including shoes, or to go home with a bottle of fine wine and a gourmet chocolate bar, then look no further than 1204 Simonton St. Aubrey will make sure you are well taken care of.

Aubrey is pretty good at taking care of people, actually. She has a motherly quality that probably comes from spending so much time babysitting her friends’ children.

“I’m like the babysitter for the island,” Aubrey laughs, but then gets a little bit more sentimental when she talks about the three years that she spent teaching the toddler program at Montessori Children’s School on Varela Street.

“I love kids. I love watching them grow up. I taught a group of kids from 18 months until they were 3 years old and saw a lot of growth and change. Sometimes, though, I was just helping them blow their nose in the bathroom.”

In fact, Aubrey first met her current boss when she was the teacher for her son. One job led to another and she recently celebrated her second year at the “one-stop shop” of self-grooming paradise.

Besides babysitting, she also enjoys playing hostess and is well known for her annual, lavishly decadent Thanksgiving party which she starts preparing for a week before the actual dinner. She invites everyone she knows like they are her own family with a come-as- you-go open-door policy. Aubrey enjoys having her “girlfriends over for wine and cooking.” A quick flip through her social media posts reveals many photos of homemade meals — avocado toast with cilantro lime sea salt, shaved Brussel sprouts and a tofu sour cream and hot sauce, closely followed by a photo of baked ziti with mushrooms, sweet Italian sausage and fresh basil that she grew herself. Not too bad I would say, for an amateur chef.

“It’s literally what I do all the time,” she says.

In keeping with her giving nature, and since it is the holiday season, she is nice enough to share with me her famous turkey recipe that I am happy to pass on to you as well at the end of this article. But first, let’s keep talking about Aubrey.

She grew up in Delton, Mich., but is effortlessly content with where she’s at these days. Between the job and the hobbies, she “can’t imagine” living anywhere else. While most of us feel extremely lucky that we were able to escape winter, Aubrey says she “still misses snow from time to time.”

However, as we comfortably sit here in the seclusion of Isle Style, no amount of frozen rain can compare to the beauty and tranquility of this lusciously leafy garden. It serves as a meeting place for the community where they host their once-a-year clothing swap, Botox parties or ladies night. With no shortage of detail-driven service, Isle Style has acquired a good number of regulars over the 13 years that is has been open. If you happen to become one of them, then Aubrey will no doubt get to know your name, what kind of package you prefer — the transform, the float or the relax — and can help you pick out your next piece of statement jewelry.

“I love the clients here,” she tells me, “I’ve gotten to know a lot of people. It’s a really nice group.”

“Some people don’t know about the boutique, some people don’t know about the spa,” Aubrey says. “It’s not only a cute little conch house, it’s a whole other world offering so many things.”

I just took a good long look at their salon menu at www.islestylekeywest.com and I think I’m about due for another visit.

Aubrey’s bacon-wrapped turkey recipe

ingredients
Turkey (this is based on a 23-lb bird)
2-3 lbs. of thick cut bacon
Fresh sage
Fresh rosemary
Fresh thyme
1 lemon cut in half
1 onion cut into quarters
Fresh garlic kept whole
2 sticks of Butter

Directions

1. Rinse your turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Then carefully separate the skin from the meat of the turkey making sure not to rip the skin.

2. In a food processor, combine two sticks of butter with one package of bacon. I usually cut the bacon into

chunks so that it breaks up easier in the food processor. Add in one bunch each of sage, rosemary and thyme and pulse till finely chopped, making a compound butter.

3. Take your compound butter and place it under the skin of your turkey. Then take your remaining bacon and weave it across the body of the turkey. Making a bacon blanket.

4. Then place your lemon inside the turkey along with some onion, garlic cloves and more fresh herbs. Sometimes, I even throw in a green apple cut in half.

5. Roast your turkey at 450 degrees for 30 minutes then drop the temperature down to 375 for the remaining time based on the size of your bird. I also make a foil tent to put on top periodically so that the bacon doesn’t’t burn.

6. Take it out of the oven when the internal temp is 150 and let it sit for one hour before carving. ¦

One response to “LOCAL FOCUS”

  1. Dee Bargy says:

    I love my Delton peeps and I love Key West! I’m the short 7 out if 52 yrs I lived in Delton No I met some if the finest people and best friends a person could ever have the privilege of knowing. I’ve been blessed with 5 trips to Key West and the next time I visit I am making a point if checking out Isle Style and cant wsit to neet you Aubrey!

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