Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Neighbors


The house next door to us has been for sale since January. It's a lovely house with incredible curb appeal and a fabulous kitchen/family room. The entire time the house has been for sale, I have secretly (and not so secretly) been praying that a family with young children moves in. You see, I've got neighbors on my left and neighbors on my right, but I couldn't pick any of my neighbors out of a police line up. And I've lived in my house for four years.

I know that young kids brings a certain sense of willingness, of openness, that just doesn't always exist in couples that have moved on to other phases of their lives. No judgement there, just a fact.

So you can imagine how psyched I was a few weeks ago when I ran into a guy on the sidewalk and he introduced himself as, "Hi, I'm your future neighbor" or something like that, and then within minutes I found out that an 8 year old girl and a 5 year old boy would very certainly be taking possession of the house next door. Winning!

It wasn't long before I invited them over for dinner.

In fact, they hadn't even moved in to the house yet.

When I asked the dad if anyone in the family had an food allergies, he replied, "No, but my son's favorite food is Palak Paneer."

Really?

Seriously?

I told him we were "mostly vegan."

I don't think he knew what to say.

And without any further conversation on the matter, I quickly planned an Indian feast for last night:

Chana Dal (split chick peas) Soup with Zucchini and Tomatoes
Raita (yogurt with cucumber and spices)
Naan
Saag Tofu (aka Palak Paneer)
Indian Rice Pilaf with Cauliflower
Aloo Baingan (potatoes with eggplant)

After last night, I'm not quite sure if he was serious about his son's favorite food. The adorable five year old looked at the Saag Tofu and made a funny face. I was left wondering if the parents even like Indian food, or ate it just to be kind.

But I am totally convinced that we've got really nice new neighbors.

And she loves to cook. Winning!

Have you ever served food to guests where it felt like a risk?

8 comments:

Amy said...

That's funny - we are having people over for the first time on Saturday and I had just decided last night that I am going to do Indian food for when they come. Keeping my fingers crossed they enjoy it!

emptynestnotreally said...

Can you tell me your go to cook book on your Inidan food recipes?

Healthy Girl said...

No go to book, unfortunately! I think I'm going to have to write the no-oil vegan Indian cookbook myself! I take traditional Indian recipes and use the knowledge and techniques that I have and then work out these Indian recipes. So far, so good!

heather g said...

When can I come for leftovers?? Sounds delicious Wendy!

Sue The Caring Foodie said...

That is too funny! I would fall over if any my neighbors requested Palak Paneer.... Then again, I have lived in my neighborhood for EIGHT years and know very little about their diet preferences.

TejasJJain said...

I have to admit that oil helps with cooking...specially Indian cooking. I am doing no oil cooking. However, when I have guest, I use little oil to saute spices.
Interestingly, if I have guest, whom I want to serve healthy food, I serve usually non Indian food.

Dreambox 800 said...

I left the ginger is used yogurt instead of sour cream and added some 'fresh lemon juice. I used frozen spinach and it worked well. I have never seen the cheese that could be cut to pieces so I had no idea what cheese to use, so I used a Spanish cheese, the plot of mozzerela sticks, but hey, he had tasted the form of a large, dissolved in mouth and the kids loved it.

jaltarangart.in said...

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