Being fifty-something, I’ve had some marvellous neighbours.
And some not so marvellous neighbours … like the grumpy old fellow who’d phone to complain if the kids bounced their basketballs as they walked past his house.
Let’s forget him and focus on the good guys.
A couple of days ago my neighbours messaged to say they were going away for the long weekend and had left a bag of fresh vegetables and other goodies for us at the door, knowing they’d be otherwise wasted (the veg, not the neighbours).
Yep, we have the best neighbours. All these lovely fresh veg plus home-baked brownies and chocolate chip cookies (which were devoured before I got a chance to photograph them).
Those zucchinis meant one thing … Kenneth’s Zucchini Slice, the recipe for which happens to be a gift from another neighbour.
Way back in 1987, when My Girl was having her first birthday, I was also readying myself to return to work after my maternity leave. I was resisting the idea wholeheartedly but there was a big financial carrot dangling … if I went back for just 10 months, I’d qualify for a chunk of paid Long Service Leave. I started checking out childcare options and wasn’t happy with any of them. My neighbour, Phyll, came to the rescue. She was a stay-at-home mum of two teenage boys, Kenneth and Jeffrey, and was keener than mustard to provide care for My Girl while I worked.
For 10 months, Phyll cared lovingly and wholeheartedly for My Girl, making the working mum juggle so much easier for me.
Phyll was super organised. She kept a diary (which I still have) documenting the details of every day that My Girl was with her, her sleep times, what she ate, even some of those special milestones. It’s a family treasure.
During that time, Phyll shared the zucchini slice recipe with me. Kenneth, who grew up to be a baker, used to make it for the family.
It became a favourite of our family, too, and we’ve always called it Kenneth’s Zucchini Slice.
Here’s a snapshot from the diary showing a day when Phyll gave My Girl zucchini slice for lunch. Cute.
And here’s the recipe itself, now being shared from one bloggy neighbour to another, via the internet.
Today, I turned the fresh goodies gifted to me from a lovely current neighbour into something special using that recipe gifted to me by a lovely neighbour of the past. Just for old time’s sake, I baked it in the original eighties smoky glass Arcoroc lasagne dish I loved to use back then. Factoid: I still love using it.
How have you fared in the “neighbours” department?
Have you been as lucky as we have?