Over the weekend there was a get-to-know-your-neighbors block party in our ‘hood. This sort of gathering is rather old-school, and far too uncommon these days. I don’t think we all need to be best friends with our neighbors. But knowing the folks around us and being friendly is a great way to have each other’s backs. I guess I look at it like insurance: I hope I never need it, but I’m glad it’s there – just in case I do. And besides – some of us have great neighbors.
Anyhoo – as neighbors from a about a 3-block radius came together for food and conversation, we had the opportunity to learn a bit about one another and to share some laughs. I met folks of all ages and backgrounds and it was lovely. And then one new-to-us neighbor showed up with a gi-normous basket of fruit from a tree in her yard. She had brought Jujubes and they were awesome.
For years I’ve seen Jujube fruit in ethnic supermarkets, but I’ve never tried them, nor have I known a darned thing about them. Turns out, a common name for the cultivar here in Southern California is Chinese Date. (This is not the same variety as the Indian Jujube, whatever that is.) The tree common to our neck of the woods is drought-tolerant and loves heat. The tree needs a little cold in the winter time in order for the fruit to set, and as we have that, all is well. Our generous neighbor not only educated us on the local Jujube, but she also provided us with a tasty treat. Jujube fruit is delicious!
We had a grand time hanging out at our block party. Not only was it fun, it was also educational. Y’all have got to know I love learning about food. I also love eating it. And thanks to a kindly neighbor, I not only learned a thing or two but I’ve also got a bowl of beautiful Jujube fruit on my counter. Win-win.