About two weeks ago, new neighbors, another young couple, moved in next door.  To be neighborly, and that totally-cliché-possibly-creepy-lady-next-door, I forced upon them brought over some of my homemade Brown Sugar Roasted Pineapple Ice Cream.  Okay, so it wasn’t a pie or a casserole, but it was a hot day, and it would have to do.  I am often sharing my pastry experiments with our various neighbors, simply because I’d rather not lock myself in my house and polish off everything myself.  I lie, sometimes I wish I could.  And Hubby eats a LOT of what I make, which is why I’d rather spread the calorie love with others, but I digress…

from google images

Turns out, that one gesture was the beginning of an awesome food exchange between us and our neighbors.  Who knew that we had such talented cooks living just a few steps away!  A day later, they came by our house with a jar of buttery soft, garlicky, pickled jalapenos, which they canned themselves.  Let me repeat, THEY KNOW HOW TO CAN.  Hubby and I have been dying to learn how to can, so that we can enjoy the harvests of our hypothetical garden year-round.  Someday we WILL have a garden and we WILL can everything.  I’d love for them to teach us, and did I mention they BREW THEIR OWN BEER too?  Another at-home foodie hobby I need to learn.  This is gonnabegreat!

That next week, Hubby and I invited them over for dinner.  We really wanted to make ribs on the grill, and we knew we’d have too big a feast for just the two of us.  With the ribs, we made salad, local zucchini and squash, and a strawberry and ganache tarte.  Our neighbors brought over some delicious jalapeno corn bread (made with the above-mentioned pickled jalapenos) and homemade applesauce (again, the canning!).  Feast we did, and it was great getting to know the two of them better.  I was thrilled when my neighbor recognized the tarte crust as a shortbread dough, apparently a popular dessert in his family.  These guys know their food!

If that wasn’t enough, a few nights later they made homemade borscht, and brought a few servings over to share with us.  Borscht!  Who makes borscht at home?  My neighbors do.  I had never tried it before, but it was really, really good.

How cool is it that we get to try some new things from our new neighbors, and get to share good food with them?  It’s such a classic way to get to know people, breaking the proverbial bread, but it totally works.  We’ve already been invited to dinner at their house, and I will certainly be sharing my next culinary creation with them.  Until then, I have one more serving of borscht in the fridge to hold me over…

Do you nourish friendships with food?  What are your traditions surrounding food?

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