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From first to fourth grade we lived in a small town with a population just under a thousand people. It was one of those small towns where everyone makes it their business to know everything about everyone else, especially the older people with so much time and so little to do.
We, of course, lived next to one of those people, a sweet little old lady with way too much time on her hands; Mrs. Martens.
During our time in this particular house my Mom tried to plant a row of bushes between our houses for a little privacy, oddly enough, the bushes never grew, my Mom said that she thought Mrs. Martens had poisoned them. Haha, little old ladies . . .
My Grandma lived just down the street from us and years after we had moved from that little town I remember her telling my Mom one day that she would set her alarm for 5am every morning, just to turn her light on, and then went back to bed. If she did not, Mrs. Martens would phone her and ask why she wasn’t awake yet.
Other than potentially poisoning bushes and spying on my Grandma (and probably the rest of the street) I know one other thing Mrs. Martens did: make strawberry jam. The absolute best strawberry jam I had ever tasted. I loved hearing that Mrs. Martens had come by and dropped some off for us. I remember slathering that sticky red jam on buns and after I had eaten every piece I would lick my plate clean so as to not waste that precious jam.
We recently had new neighbors move in and yesterday I prepared a jar of strawberry jam to deliver to them.
It only seems right (but don’t worry, I don’t plan on poisoning any of their bushes).
Do any recipes remind you of neighbors you’ve had in the past?