Nope. I'm not a recipe giver. Not because I don't like to share, but mostly because I'm just an o.k. cook who copies a whole lot of other people's recipes.
The only "recipe" you'll find here today is a "recipe" for being a good neighbor and it looks like this...
Good Neighbor Recipe
- 1 kind Greek neighbor in her fleece pajamas, sans make-up and tousled hair with a warm and inviting smile and her 3 1/2 year old son
- one momma with 2 small children who live down the street
- some leftover homemade spinach pie
- some gingerbread tea
- a couple of unripe bananas
When momma with two small children from down the street rings your doorbell because they are looking for some company in the sometimes lonely world of stay at home motherhood, invite them in whole heartedly, warm up some leftover spinach pie in your toaster oven, make her daughter tea and then let her children eat all of your unripe bananas all without so much as batting an eye. Add in a little pleasant conversation. Mix it all together.
Yields: A very grateful neighbor woman and two happier toddlers
This is exactly what happened to me earlier this week. My sweet, sweet, Greek neighbor (it doesn't really matter that she's Greek except that you should know that she makes the BEST Greek food, all of the time, from scratch, and then shares it with us!), unabashedly invited us in...We arrived completely unannounced. We were actually intending to take a short walk when the girls asked if they could ring the doorbell to see if said neighbor and her son were home. When she opened the door she was actually in the middle of a phone call, but never the less waved us in and invited us to stay.
Ava, as Ava does, started asking her what she had to eat right away (I've tried to explain to Ava that this is not really the most appropriate thing to do when you arrive a guest's house, but she LOVES going over to this particular neighbor's house because she KNOWS there is always something yummy and the neighbor always goes so far as to give her tea in a ceramic teacup with a saucer and oodles of honey!)
I don't have time to go into all of the details of our visit, but what I wanted to share with you is what impressed me so much about this particular encounter. I am guilty of not inviting people over or into our house because of the perpetual mess that it is. I am also very guilty of not wanting people to see me with my bed heady hair or in my sweats or with my glasses on. I am usually not as hospitable as other people because I let my inhibitions about my cooking or hospitality skills get in the way of simply offering something from my cupboards or my fridge. If I do allow all of these things to not stand in the way, I spend the entire time apologizing about the state of my house or the state of myself, for that matter.
My lovely neighbor didn't do any of these things. She simply invited us in, gave us some food, made us feel welcomed and never apologized. I'd like to be more like her.
Next time you have a moment to connect with a neighbor, don't let your messy house or pajamas get in the way. Invite them in. Give them some tea and if you have nothing else in the house, offer them some apples and cheese....it's about the gesture not the food or your clothes anyway. Wouldn't you rather be known as the super nice neighbor with the inviting smile in her pajamas than the crabby unreachable one who never opens her door? I know I would.