Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Neighbors...

When I lived in New York, I had lots of neighbors. Living in a big city, you're constantly surrounded by people. I was always cordial and friendly with my neighbors, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they were friends or that we had any special relationships besides living next to each other. (That is with the exception of living in the doll factory in East Williamsburg. It was like living on the frontier by way of Modern Day Manifest Destiny there.) One of the very first things you learn living in a big city is to mind your own business and that just because someone is close in proximity, doesn't mean anything – because EVERYONE is close in proximity! You become an island, surrounded by other islands.

I now live in a carriage house on several acres of land in rural Pennsylvania. I don't have very many neighbors. But I'm happy to say that the ones I do have are all wonderful people who have been so gracious, generous and helpful. They've always been there whenever I needed anything. When I first moved here, they gifted me with a pair of gloves, protective glasses, and my first ice scraper. This provided to be very instrumental to me getting around this past winter. Another example of how nice they are came recently in the way of a parcel of fresh river trout. Fishing season launched this past weekend and we were gifted with some very tasty fillets. For dinner, I dipped them in beaten eggs, dredged them in a dry mixture of flour, cornmeal, bread crumbs and seasonings, and fried them up. They were absolute perfection. I served them with mixed vegetables tossed in an Italian salad dressing. Nothing fancy, but a wonderful meal nonetheless.

I feel really fortunate to live where I live now. "The Neighbors" have become family.


Lynn said...

That fish looks scrumptious! I want it to me *mine*!

I didn't even need to read your prose, I knew the fish was *IT*.

kate mckinnon said...

You are just blogging up a damned storm today. Love it. I thought of you tonight when I looked desultorily in my fridge and freezer for something, anything, to cook up into a fabulous meal.

Ended up baking chicken and baby carrots and then making a bubbly glaze with the pan juices and the POMEGRANATE MOLASSES that I keep trying to get you to cook with. I added some ginger jam from trader joes, it was very nice.

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Lynn! "Oh, Atlanta" came on while I was driving today and I thought of you all down South. I liked it so much I played it on repeat.

Next time we're at all within close proximity, we'll have to do a fish fry! Because you're right, that's where IT's at!

Andrew Thornton said...

Hey Kate!

I was going to try and squeeze out one more post, but it'll have to wait till tomorrow, I think. My eyes are tired. My hands are tired. I still need to finish up a handful of chores before I can call it a night.

Your meal sounds lovely! I will think of a Master recipe to incorporate pomegranate molasses into for the next time I'm in town. I pinky swear that I'll use it next time.

Did you know that turning jams and jellies into a sauce by reduction has a name? It's called a "gastrique". It doesn't sound appetizing, but Lordie Lou, you can wham some major flavor points with a yummy gastrique.

I wish there was a Trader Joe's closer by. Alas.

Barbara Bechtel said...

Andrew, I grew up in Western PA and as a child, fresh trout from the first day of trout season was the only fish (or "seafood") I had ever experienced.

Now, living away, I wish to have fresh caught trout, every time I walk passed the seafood counter.

Also delicious is sauteed with browned butter, lemon, and capers.

Alice said...

I love our neighbors. They're far enough away that we don't feel like we're always being watched, yet close enough to be 'neighborly'.

Jamar said...

Having lived in very rural places I find I miss having "family neighbors" in the city as well at times....and then sometimes...I'm so glad I'm here and don't have folks so close....paradox.