Hello everyone. Today’s tale is about helping your neighbors…and food! My neighbor was kind enough to jump start my car (frozen battery) after I was stranded in my driveway. He did so in 15 degree weather and with no gloves! I wanted to thank him and in what better way than with a warm tasty lunch, complete with homemade salad dressing?
The idea of giving homemade food as a gift dates back to the beginning of humankind, but my own mother’s modeling of giving food gifts as a “thank you” gesture is what has always made it seem like a special way to show gratitude or love to me. I value modeling this type of cooking behavior and gift giving for my own children.
When I was about 10, my mother sent me to our local supermarket to buy a few items. She gave me a $10.00 bill in a little blue purse. (Question: Are you more shocked that I was sent to the store by myself at age 10 or that I could buy a few items with only $10.00?). When I got to the register, the purse was gone! We did not have much money in those days and $10.00 was a lot in our house.
When I got home and reluctantly told the story, my mother immediately called the Supermarket manager to see if someone had found it. Someone had! A nice, older man had found it and turned it in to the manager. As confidentiality wasn’t a big deal back then, the manager gave my mother the man’s number or address. Soon after, she and I showed up at his door with a bread she had baked which was significant because she rarely made that time consuming bread recipe (she worked and had 7 kids).
I remember that story vividly, as you can tell. I saw it as very special that she wanted to show her gratitude by taking the time to make it for him and and I saw that he was very happy to receive it for his good deed. A heartwarming win-win.
Even a jar of simple homemade salad dressing, like the one I made for my helpful neighbor, can be a gesture of gratitude. Here’s the one I made for him, inspired by a dressing that my friend, Deb, told me about. P.S. Consistent with my need to use everything I have in the house (ie; never throw anything away), I sent the dressing in an empty spice jar, cumin to be exact:
White Balsamic and Honey dressing:
1 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk with a fork or whisk until it’s totally combined. Taste and add more salt, honey, oil or vinegar if it is not to your specific liking. You are the taste judge of your own food, not me. Be confident and taste with your eyes closed to get a good sense of what it needs. Enjoy!