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Monday, May 14, 2012

Neighborly contributions

     When my father passed away on Long Island last month I spent three weeks at my brother's helping make arrangements and taking care of Mom, who, although knew it was time for him to go, was very, very sad, and not faring too well physically herself.
   I have to say my brother's neighbors were, each and every one, a Godsend. You would not believe the amount of food that showed up on the doorstep. Their timing was impeccable, as who could think about preparing meals for so many people while we all were reeling from the shock of losing our husband, Dad, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa? Not many. My brother did have the presence of mind to grab a bunch of steaks and toss them into a marinade--we'd pick up macaroni and potato salads from the deli--oh, yeah, I'm back in civilization--real macaroni and potato salads that I didn't have to make! And we were going to go grab a few bags of prepared salads from the supermarket. 
   But two of the neighbors stopped by bearing gifts- that were sent by at least ten families that are my brother's neighbors-- a large peace lily, and two very large baskets of food stuffs. One basket had corn muffins and blueberry muffins, English muffins, a few boxes of cereals, a couple of boxes of Entenmen's doughnuts, granola bars, and breakfast bars. The other basket had a gallon of milk, orange juice, apple juice, 2 liter bottles of Coca-Cola and Sprite, and four bottles of wine. Wow!

     I was about to head out to go pick up the salads when I got called back to the kitchen. No need for the salads. My brother was packing up the steaks and sending them to the deep cooler out back. Apparently the neighbors bought us dinner, too. Five minutes later a delivery van was in front of the house. Trays and trays of food starting pouring in the front door. Eggplant Parmesan; chicken, tomato, fresh mozzarella, and artichoke salad; chicken tenders; baked ziti, with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and baked until bubbly; sausage and peppers; a mountain of garlic knots; and two huge tossed salads with Italian dressing on the side. This was awesome! Most of us did not even realize just how hungry we were. There was something on the menu for everyone--even the picky eaters.
    I cannot say enough for the thoughtfulness of my brother's neighbors in Stony Brook. The selections Sal, the owner of Ole Solo Mio, made to make a complete and special meal for all of us were perfect, as was the quality of the food. I love the idea of the baskets of food and plan on using that idea in the future, when, inevitably, someone passes, to help one of my neighbors through a rough patch of life. 
   Let's just hope that the need does not come too soon, nor too often.

Eggplant Parmesan
Mountain of garlic knots

     What about you? Do you have a special dish you send to a neighbor in need?


growingpains said...

I love your recipes, the food looks great. I will definitely be trying out your recipes. I come from a long line of chefs and enjoy cooking fast easy recipes.

Aunt Barbara said...

Thank you, growningpains. Don't forget to share some of your creations, too!

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