Ina Garten Said She Couldn’t Keep Up With One Of Jeffrey’s Sweet Habits

Ina Garten and her husband Jeffrey have one of the sweetest, albeit silent, love stories in Hollywood. Garten, a Food Network chef, and Jeffrey, Dean Emeritus met at Yale Management School, when they were just teenagers and had been married for more than 50 years. Before they married, Garten and Jeffrey’s relationship lasted a long time. Jeffrey had a sweet habit that Garten has said was difficult to maintain during their early romance.

Ina Garten and Jeffrey first met him when he first saw her walking on a college campus

Garten was just 15 when Jeffrey first saw her walking across the Dartmouth campus. She had visited her brother, who was a student at the time. Garten hadn’t heard anything about Jeffrey at the time, but he knew he wanted to meet her. That meeting did not take place on her first visit to the prestigious school, however. Instead, Jeffrey tried to deliver a series of letters to his future wife.

Ina Garten and Jeffrey Garten attend Disney's 'Mary Poppins Returns'
Ina Garten and Jeffrey Garten Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Disney

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Eventually, the couple managed to meet and go on a first date, although the two admit that it did not start well. After the first date, the couple knew they wanted to be together. Jeffrey was still at Dartmouth, and Garten was ready to enter Syracuse University, pushing the couple into a long-distance romance. They both knew they wanted to continue their relationship, though.

Garten went to Syracuse University, but their relationship lasted a long time

Garten has been open about her sweet romance, but the early days were not entirely traditional. She flew away to Syracuse University, which she pulled more than six hours away, by bus, from her love of Dartmouth. The pair made it work, and Garten visited Jeffrey almost weekly and put care packages between them.

In an interview with Food Network Magazine, Jeffrey explained, at the time, that many of his friends were in pursuit of different types of girls but regularly would go into his room to see what Garten had sent him from afar. At times it was brownies. At other times, she wore a sweater. She quickly became part of the group.

It was Jeffrey’s habit to write Garten letters every day

So how did Jeffrey keep his romance alive and his interest while the couple was so far apart? He went back to basics and continued to write love letters. In fact, he wrote a letter almost every day, according to Garten. She said he wrote so many letters to her that it was difficult for her to even keep up. His strategy worked, however. Garten and Jeffrey were married in Connecticut. She was a 20-year-old bride, and had, recently graduated, enlisted in the army as an officer.

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Jeffrey Garten and Ina Garten Photos by Sonia Moskowitz / Getty

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Even now, Jeffrey has quiet habits that help show his wife that he loves her. In the same interview with Food Network Magazine, Jeffrey admitted that he has a little “shrine” to his wife at his home in Southport, Connecticut, the house where he lives while teaching in Yale. Jeffrey has trimmed magazines and newspaper articles about Garten and put them on the walls. The saint helps him feel close to his wife, of whom he is extremely proud. Garten, however, suggests it looks like solving a crime.

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