Thursday, November 12, 2009

Neighbor Favors

How often does one have a neighbor call and say, "Can you do me a favor? Come over right now and let me give you three different kinds of meats." It was unprecedented in my experience, I can tell you.

My neighbor Theresa had discovered, on the very eve of a business trip to Amsterdam, that her big freezer had quit and all her carefully divided and vacuum-sealed meats had thawed. She was calling all the neighbors to offer them packages of viands - I scored marinated chicken thighs, beef short ribs and duck legs. I needed to cook them all in a single day as they wouldn't re-freeze happily, so I got to work the next morning in a flurry of culinary energy and made cassoulet with the duck legs and braised beef stew in the crock pot with the short ribs. More about those later; this evening, we enjoyed the marinated chicken thighs.

When I asked Theresa what the marinade was she couldn't remember, so it was a mystery as I cut open the package. One sniff told me garlic and soy sauce, maybe a sort of teriyaki? Theresa recommended baking at 400 degrees, so that's what I did, first nestling alongside the chicken some slices of bright orange kabocha squash and halves of ruby red potatoes. It made a beautiful fall color palette as it slid into the oven.

The chicken and veggies emerged about 40 minutes later, all browned on the bottoms, soft in the middle and ready to eat. The sauce wasn't really teriyaki, as there wasn't any ginger or sweetness, but it was garlicky, mildly salty and delicious - we enjoyed every bite.

While I wouldn't wish such a dilemma on anyone, I stand ready to do such favors for any of my neighbors who are in a bind in the future. It's what good neighbors do, right?

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Blogger katiez said...

How awful for her - and wonderful for you!
Years ago, my cousin had just filled her chest freezer with a side of beef - enough for her family for a year. Her youngest left the top up during a July heat wave. She spent days cooking it all so she could refreeze it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Katie, OMG, I can't imagine how much cooking that must have entailed! I got just three portions and it took me all day to prep them!

Saturday, November 14, 2009  

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