Last night, we finally met some neighbors. What is it in this day and age, that makes people not want to meet the people they live next to? I'll never know. I'm curious! And if you're going to LIVE right next to me, I'm also a bit nosy. But, for the most part, I just want you to know who I am and who my dog is, and vice versa. And if its not too much to ask, I'd like for you to look out for my property if any unauthorized shenanigans are going on. I would do the same for you.
It may be old fashioned of me, but when a new neighbor moves in, the first thing I'm going to do is go introduce myself. I typically don't bake brownies or muffins, but I'll bring you a bottle of wine (MWF Winery wine!), with the hopes that you'll invite me over to drink it with you. I like neighbors.
Mr. Dwight and Mrs. Susie are not our next door neighbors, but if they were, I have no doubt we would have met them before last night. It was love at first Coors Light. Meeting them, and their sons, Tye and Ethan, was happenstance, and is to be credited to Matt's uncanny ability to know a little bit about everything. Tye and Ethan had hooked a soft-shell turtle, and were having some trouble getting him in their boat, and had no idea what to do with the turtle after they got it in the boat. Enter Matt.
Now, keep in mind, I'm chilling on the deck, reading Impossible Odds, thinking he's just bream fishing, until he called to tell me he was at our neighbor's house, and I should come over, too! I was surprised and excited!
Mrs. Susie greeted me warmly and Mr. Dwight immediately offered me a beer. I liked these people already! They are good people, down to earth, hard working, and hospitable. Mrs. Susie has the most beautiful flower beds I have ever seen. There are a variety of plants and bushes, who's names I don't remember, blooming and filling the air with the sweet smell of summer. She immediately caught onto the fact that I am unable to successfully grow anything, and proceeded to dig up a few things from her garden that are "impossible" to kill, and sent them home with me with a full list of instructions.
We shall see, but isn't that sweet?!
Mr. Dwight, Mrs. Susie, and I chatted and laughed while Tye, Ethan, and Matt dealt with the turtle. (I'm not even going to get into that whole mess, but for that much trouble, whatever they make out of that turtle meat better taste like a feast from Heaven. And since I didn't have my phone or camera, you're spared from seeing pictures of the butchering. You're welcome.)
When we decided that we might have worn out our welcome, and as we were saying our thank yous and good byes, Mrs. Susie said she felt bad for keeping us from supper and came out of the kitchen with a bowl of Broccoli Salad (yum) and Cornbread Salad (even more yum). I had never heard of Cornbread salad, much to Mrs. Susie's dismay. And as it turns out, that stuff is G.O.O.D.
As Matt was eating said Cornbread Salad, I asked him what he was thinking. His response: "I'm thinking I ought to punch myself in the throat for never making this stuff!" Yeah, its that good.
|This picture came from Google Images, I'm having serious issues with taking pictures for some reason. It was the best I could do!|
Here's the recipe:
1 batch of cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can niblet corn, drained
1 medium Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup Ranch dressing
Directions: In the bottom of a large glass bowl, place cornbread cubes. Layer beans, corn, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, and cheese on top of cornbread. Spread ranch dressing evenly over cheese. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Garnish with green onions or parsley.
And if you want to go all Paula Dean on your Cornbread Salad, here is her recipe for Cornbread:
1/2 cup vegetable oil, pluse 1/4 cup for greasing the pan
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
3/4 cup self rising flour
1 cup cream-style corn
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese, optional
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees, generously season a cast iron skillet with up to 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Preheat the pan either in the oven or on the stove over medium-high heat.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Pour batter into the preheated cast iron skillet. Place skillet in the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes.