Shopping In The Neighbor's Grocery Garden

I know that I have barely begun to tell the story of why we love our new rental house so much, but I have to jump ahead for minute to pay homage to my neighbor... who just happens to be one of the things we love about our new rental house.

He stopped by yesterday to gift us with a jar of his homemade pickles. Pickles that are made from the abundance of cucumbers he's had in his garden, and using an old family recipe. Well, I thought it was just the sweetest, kindest thing... 

...Until he stopped by again  today and we got to talking about our fledgling veggie garden and how we are looking forward to building a raised bed, and somehow fence it in (to keep the local wildlife from enjoying it more than we will).  At that point, he invited me to his front yard to tour his expansive, fenced in garden, complete with a pond and a bullfrog that we often hear croaking on summer nights.

Before I knew it, he was pulling carrots, tomatoes, peppers, and squash, and layering them into my arms!  It felt like grocery shopping!  He then offered me all the materials we would need to create our raised bed.

Here's the kicker... he had no idea how much we are struggling right now... between our moving expenses, Hubsy's recent medical issues, and my son's inability to find employment in the area.  It was probably going to be another grilled cheese dinner tonight. But the Universe works in mysterious ways, and instead we ended up with this:

I wilted the carrot tops in some olive oil, salt, and diced garlic, and then paired them with some leftover crunchy garlic croutons.  I chopped the carrots, tomatoes, and squash, and stir fried them with butter, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil, and we ate this:

sure beats a grilled cheese sandwich

So, let me edit my previous statement.  Not to eliminate the "sweetest", but to upgrade to kind and generous.  Have I mentioned how much we love our new rental house?

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