Aunt Jenny’s Chicken Salad: TIME to pay it forward

If I’d waited until I’d had the time, I’d have never gotten to know my neighbors.

TIME.  That elusive, ethereal substance that can overwhelm us, escape us, stare us down or hover like a fog in an imaginary distance. Well that was an awfully pithy sentence for a blog! What a crock – Sheesh!

Anyhoo.  TIME is the stuff life is made of and TIME seemed to be the theme about a week ago when I was able to enjoy having a few neighbors over for lunch.  My goal was to host the same gals who started my “neighboring journey” with me one year ago last May [see: “The Power of the Neighborhood Directory”].

My neighbors are so gracious - look at these beautiful "hostess gifts" they brought to me at our luncheon! The most beautiful rosemary bush, and fresh peonies my neighbor picked from her garden that day. Wow.

My neighbors are so gracious – look at these beautiful “hostess gifts” they brought to me at our luncheon! The most beautiful rosemary bush, and fresh peonies and roses my neighbor picked from her garden that day. Wow.

Four of us gathered on my deck (a few were not able to make it). It seemed to be one of those TIMES when we fell in, grateful to catch a breath. TIME for everyone was a precious commodity this past year as each woman had either returned to work or increased their work hours, both outside of the home AND with kid’s activities.  But it’s amazing how just 90 minutes of TIME spent over great conversation can refresh the soul.

TIME was not available for a few ladies I had invited as they had other commitments to family and to volunteering at their children’s schools.  A GOOD use of their TIME.  And while I’m always a little bummed if someone can’t attend, I’m indeed encouraged when my neighbors invest their TIME well.  Family and volunteering – are there better uses of one’s TIME?  I think not.

Paying It Forward

Last summer when my mom entered hospice, my neighbor Jenny (“Aunt Jenny”) took the TIME to make and bring over to me a bowl of the most delicious chicken salad I have ever had. Bar None.  I appreciated it so much as my TIME was threadbare and this was such a gift to me and my family.

So, for my lunch, I knew I wanted to pay it forward and share Aunt Jenny’s Chicken Salad with my neighbors. And now I’m sharing it with you. The recipe is below.

So, in regards to TIME this summer, do you have TIME to share a serving of Aunt Jenny’s Chicken Salad with a neighbor or a friend? Is there someone you’ve been meaning to welcome to the neighborhood? Perhaps take them a Tupperware container of Aunt Jenny’s chicken salad?  Is there a neighbor whose time has been threadbare and you might be able to help them out with a quick meal?  Is there a friend you’ve wanted to share a ‘thank you meal’ with but haven’t yet nailed down the TIME? This summer is a good TIME to do that. Our summer TIME is often hectic and it slips away if we are not intentional with it.

Let’s take, make and grab some TIME that’s available to us this summer and make the most of it with family, friends and neighbors. Just one invite might prove to be the TIME someone’s been hoping to enjoy in your company.

Aunt Jenny’s Chicken SaladAuntJennyschickensalad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (I used a QFC whole rotisserie chicken)
  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • ¾ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

Dressing

  • ½ cup real mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Simply place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix dressing ingredients and pour over salad, tossing to coat.  Voila. Best Check Salad Ever.  I served mine in an iceburg lettuce “cup” because in my dreams I’m The Barefoot Contessa.

Enjoy!

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One Response to Aunt Jenny’s Chicken Salad: TIME to pay it forward

  1. Lisa says:

    It was a lovely lunch Becky. Thanks so much for inviting me again. And for sharing the delicious recipe. I know just the friends to make it for

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