Saturday, November 17

My Great Neighborhood





Since mr. kenju came home from the hospital in September, my neighbors have been bringing food here every Thursday. The schedule was set up through November 15th, but since I was not working any of the first 3 weeks of the month, I cancelled some of them, much to mr. kenju's consternation. I felt like a fraud accepting food from people when I was fully able to cook.

Some of them refused to take no for an answer, and one woman called several weeks ago and asked if we liked chili. Answering in the affirmative, I learned that we would receive a pot of chili that night. It was wonderful; there is little better than a big bowl of chili on a cold night, with chopped onions, shredded cheese and crackers!


Last night, we were brought an excellent meal by a neighbor who should never have to feed anyone outside her home, considering that she has an invalid husband. The pork loin above is similar to what she brought, although hers was stuffed with dried apricots, which I heartily recommend. Rounding out the meal were salad with feta cheese, scalloped potatoes, steamed broccoli, rolls and ice cream. It was a feast, and we were both grateful, but mr. kenju was ecstatic. He is so tired of my cooking, since it tends to be boring, low fat and salt-free, and the same things over and over ad nauseum.



Now that Thanksgiving is coming closer, I find myself reflecting on how lucky we have been in our lives and the many people for whom I am grateful. Right near the top of the list, after my terrific family, will have to be many of my neighbors, who continually prove their compassion and friendship by selfless acts, such as these. I am truly grateful for them and surprised by them.



I was hoping I would get the opportunity to "pay it forward", although the idea that someone else would have to be sick to make that possible is not appealing. Today I learned that one of our own is in the hospital, and will definitely need help with meals after she comes home. She also has an almost invalid husband - so my ability to do something for them is coming sooner than I thought. Now, just what should I plan to cook?






24 comments:

kenju said...

If anyone knows why the bottom half of the post turned blue - let me know.

Jennifer said...

We had a lot of church friends that brought food last week while I was recovering from my surgery...and I am so grateful for that. I told a friend once that I felt guilty occasionally taking advantage of such blessings, and she said, "Why? Don't you know that it makes the other person feel great to be able to do something for you?"
I know for a fact that that's true...that knowing that I'm helping someone else makes me feel terrific...so I am trying to learn to be a gracious, thankful receiver!

Jean said...

This post warmed my heart - and made me hungry:)

Carmi said...

I'm inspired by your words: they echo my thoughts as I have watched my parents and in-laws battle their own health issues in recent years. They are surrounded by angels in their community who never fail to be there for them. They support them in whatever way is necessary: food, lifts, taking the mail in...you name it, they're there.

In this case, your image is not simply one of a pork loin. It's one of hope.

Consider me inspired again. The concept of pay it forward is clearly alive and well in you.

Leigh in Atlanta said...

hw wonderful that you have a community that cares so much.

hope all is well with you and yours.

Here from michele's

colleen said...

My first reaction to the photo was "Yum" and that was when I thought it was raisin bread. Then I figured it was meat and I said "YUM YUM," even better.

You are blessed with such good neighbors!

Hey Kenju, do you remember why Art Linkletter went in the audience looking in woman's purses? Was it a game in which they won something if they had the right item?? We all want to know at Loose Leaf.

Ha Ha! I'm laughing at how you post turned blue and you don't know why. I was wondering when I read it what the significance of it was!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I don't know why it turned blue either. I thought it was for effect. Spaghetti or lasagne/salad/bread are both easy dishes to give and liked by most everyone.

No_Newz said...

You have the best neighbors on the planet! And, it is just like you to go and pay it foward. You are a sweetie!

Beverly said...

How wonderful to have neighbors like that! I know that you will find many times to pay it forward. Enjoy.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

judy, you and your family have so much to be thankful for this year. As my family and I have to. This year it is going to be really special.

Beverly said...

hey I know, just tell your friends that you might still need help with food, then take it to your friend who need help. She will think you are the best cook. (just kidding) Besides my kenju would never stand for you taking it away....
You must have wonderful friends, that means you must be a mighty good friend too.

Joy Des Jardins said...

You really do have some wonderful neighbors Judy.....but I imagine you are one in return.

That pork roast looks amazingly good. That was always my husband's favorite food....me too.

Cravey said...

I'm with whoever said lasagna.. it's great comfort food and freezes for later well. Somewhere I have a recipe for a chicken/spinach lasagna if you ever want something just a little different. If you want yell, and I'll start digging.

Bring along fresh bread and butter and you'll be a hit.

jc

Awareness said...

when I came home from the hospital with my daughter when she was just born, I was bowled over by the kindness of friends and neighbours. One day, I received a call from a friend to tell me not to worry about dinner. At 6 pm, a knock on the door.....a big pot of homemade thick soup, french stick bread, a quiche and an apple crisp for dessert. It made me cry......

Anything will be gratefully accepted I'm sure......

take care....

Star said...

What great neighbrs you have. And very talented in the cooking dept. it sounds like.

Carolyn said...

That looks & sounds scrumptious! I suppose depends on the persons med problems and diet, but I'm sure you'll come up with something super tasty!!

Sara said...

How wonderful that you have such wonderful neighbors and friends! I think it is awesome...and your turn will come to pay it forward...but enjoy being taken care of - everyone needs it every now and then...even though some of us (meaning me) have a heck of a time being on the receiving end.

Omykiss said...

Pork lion! And i thought it was a picture of bread!!!
Hello, Michele sent me.

Maria said...

Ofcourse I only know you from your writings, but I believe that is one of the best ways to know someone. Let me assure you that these neighbors take great joy in preparing meals and bringing them to your door. You are most deserving of all this attention and if I lived around the corner, I would bring you my famous lemon chicken soup, a green salad, and home-made cheese bread.

Jamie Dawn said...

You sure have fine neighbors.
It will be nice for you to have a chance to return kindness to them when they have need.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

You'll definitely get a chance to pay it forward and probably have countless times in the past. When I went through my cancer surgeries and treatment, my friends (not so much my neighbors as I was new in my townhouse then) made such an incredible difference. My dad was a really negative man and he had this drawing of a man hunched in a box with the phrase "People are no damned good." In my life experience, it has largely been the opposite. Have a happy thanksgiving.

Smiler said...

Heavens, I'm a terrible meal planner. Hardly ever cook these days, what with my cereal habit. Or I make very simple fare. My omelets are excellent. A big pot of homemade chicken soup is always something nice to give to someone recovering. Or Shepherds pie I love that on cold days. I make mine with mashed yams instead of potatoes. More nutritious that way, and the colour is quite nice. Michele sent me. Hope all is well.

Kristi said...

Your neighbors sound wonderful. And I have a suspicion that that are so kind to you because you're a pretty wonderful neighbor to them as well.

Blond Girl said...

Your story reminds me of when Sweet Girl was born and I spent 8 days at the hospital with her. When we came home, I was able to cook, but everyone insisted on cooking for us. This was fine with me; it gave me a chance to learn to feed my baby apart of hospital monitors and feeding tubes and let me sleep. The power of a gifted meal is vast, isn't it?

Oh, I can't tell you how much I wish I were nearby... I would love to cook for you and for your own who needs help now. I miss cooking for my family and this would help to fill the space. Some ideas for you that are easy to make, freeze and reheat well and are appetizing - white chicken chili, bread pudding (especially made with challah and cinnamon bread), shredded chicken enchiladas, creamed chicken and veggies....

If you want any of my recipes, Judy, you just let me know and I will send them along. I may not be able to drop by with a casserole, but I would love to share with you.

And, I have to say, thank you for keeping track of me these last months. They've been hard on me, but with all you've been going through, your consistent encouragement to me has been so very welcome and I am thankful.