When we moved to our home in Concord, Ma., we vowed that we would get to know our neighbors... it was essential - we saw it as one of our only ways to meet people in our new town. We ended up meeting a great family across the street - Jenny and Mike. We both had white fluffy dogs and white Cape Cod style houses. They were so kind to us as the new folks in town and even invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner and Jenny introduced me to her group of girl friends (remember the Ladies Night Patio Party?).
Above : Nine Color Salad, recipe here
We made the move into our new home in our old neighborhood last fall and made the same vow - we want to know the people that we share this lovely street with. As a girl who grew up in the country whose nearest neighbors were no where near the 5 second walk like they are in Fairway, I was always enchanted by neighborhood life. When I was a little girl I loved spending the night with my Granny who lived in a great little neighborhood. There was a certain buzz in the mornings, afternoons and evenings when people were coming and going, saying their hellos and goodbyes that we just didn't have out in the country. In the country, you knew Mom or Dad was home when you heard the crunch of gravel - a sound I still love. (Side note, do you think they'd allow a granite pea gravel drive in Fairway? If it's good enough for East Hampton and Concord - not to mention Lexington...)
You might remember the Holiday Happy Hour we hosted for our street - it was amazing. Everyone that came said how glad they were to receive the invitation. Most were shocked by our audacity - how brave we were! And they loved it. Since then, we've been invited to other dinners and cocktail hours by our neighbors and Mr. Darcy and I have new walking buddies... at 6:15 am that I miss more than I make. I highly recommend extending an olive brand to your neighbors - it has been such a fulfilling experience for us. Interestingly enough, making warm and "neighborly" relationships with our neighbors has made our home feel much more "homey" than an piece of furniture or window treatment could ever do.
Most recently, we hosted our neighbors over for dinner last Thursday night. Since it was a Thursday night dinner, I had to make everything during the day while Emma was at school.
So, I selected my menu based on what would be easily made ahead of time. I landed on Lobster Macaroni and Cheese because it is something that everyone loves, seems a little special, but is not too fancy so to make it a stuffy night.
For dessert I decided to do a spin on one of Mike's favorite - Tiramisu Pound Cake. I made a Vanilla Pound Cake, cut it into layers, soaked each layer with a combination of coffee, vanilla and espresso liquor and filled it with a sweetened Mascarpone Cheese.
Nine Color Salad
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese