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Ina Garten talks about time Jeffrey accidentally sent flirty text to another woman

Garten told Katie Couric, "It wasn't a sext but it was close."
Ina and Jeffrey Garten know how to keep the romance alive — but not everything goes according to plan.
Ina and Jeffrey Garten know how to keep the romance alive — but not everything goes according to plan.Katie Couric/ Youtube
/ Source: TODAY

Ina Garten is expert at dishing up cooking tips but occasionally — if we're lucky — she also divulges some secrets about her and husband Jeffrey's successful marriage.

Ahead of the Gartens' 52nd wedding anniversary later this month, the Barefoot Contessa joined Katie Couric on Instagram Live to share tips and answer questions from fans about her favorite dishes, gift-giving and happy marriage. In the 50-minute video, the former TODAY anchor and Garten gossiped over cosmos, discussed how fruit cake is an acquired taste and made viewers drool over Garten's go-to New Year's Eve dish: buttered cavatelli with caviar.

While we thoroughly enjoy salivating over what Garten's cooking up for the holidays, we're going to skip straight to the salacious stuff, like the time Garten's hubby romantically texted the wrong woman — by accident, of course.

Just like everyone else who's been shacked up with their loved ones for most of the year, the Gartens' relationship has been affected by quarantine. But when asked how she and her husband stay consistently infatuated with one another, Garten said the answer is "surprisingly simple."

"That each person feels that they're the most important thing in the world to the other person," Garten told Couric, adding that she once heard motivational speaker Tim Robbins say that. "Jeffrey could be in China or Peru … but if anything happens with me, I know he'll drop everything and come home immediately. We just feel connected. I think that if you feel connected with someone, it gives your more freedom. It gives you freedom to do whatever you wanna do with their support."

Garten said one way they foster a connection when they're in separate cities or countries for their thriving careers, is by texting.

"He texts me all the time," Garten said. "We had this funny thing. He sent me a text but unfortunately it went to someone he knew in California. It wasn't a sext but it was close," Garten told Couric, both of whom erupted in laughter.

The former TODAY anchor and Ina Garten had a good laugh about Jeffrey Garten once romantically texting the wrong woman.Katie Couric/Youtube

Garten didn't give Couric all the details of her husband's message (at least not on-camera), but it was easy to get the gist. When Mr. Garten realized his wife wasn't on the receiving end of his romantic gesture, he quickly apologized to the business acquaintance who did get it. But the story didn't end there.

What they later discovered was that the woman later showed the text to her husband, likely a little envious of their marital affection.

"So she, a little jealous I think, showed it to her husband and said, 'Look at the text that Jeffrey sends to his wife.' And he goes, 'Oh nobody sends those texts to their wives. That was for his girlfriend but he was embarrassed to tell you that,'" Garten laughed. "Isn't that great?"

"You're lucky it didn't go to the tabloids," Couric said.