The neighborly thing to do…

One of the only disadvantages I see of not having children is when you move into a new neighborhood. We moved into our house in October 07 and we had only met one neighbor, who was looking for a play date for her child. Other than that nothing. Now why not bake something and go over and give it to the neighbors you ask? I have done that at previous places with HORRID results. HORRID I tell you.
The first time I made a Bundt cake for my downstairs neighbors. They opened the door, said nothing to me, took the cake, slammed the door. That was it, and I never got my cake plate back(a lesson learned to give things on disposable dishes) nor did I ever really see them again, except when they asked me to watch their children(but that is a story for another time) for “awhile” while they got away.
The second time I gave a little basket of mini loafs to my neighbors downstairs and across the hall. There was a lemon poppy seed, banana nut, and orange cranberry. How did that one go you ask? They smeared the banana nut bread  on my door with a note saying they are allergic to nuts. I would have liked a simple no thanks. Needless to say I was a bitch to them and got even with them when they were breaking an apartment rule(normally I could care less, but they squashed bread on my door). I did however get the basket back. Plus one for me.
And the worst one of all was my third and final attempt. Late 20 something girls who seemed to be home when I was and directly across the way from me. So again I tried with the little basket of mini loaves, this time making sure that there were no nuts to be found. But what I did get was the whole basket returned to me with a note(visible to everyone) saying please don’t leave them food as they did not want to get “fat like you(me)”.
Three strikes and I was out…or done with it in this case.
Lucky for me my neighbor across the way, who I have now met decided to throw a BBQ in our cul-de-sac. It was originally last week and I was deeply saddened because we were to be in Idaho with the In laws visiting my parents. But God was looking out for me by dumping A TON of rain that day and so it was rescheduled to this last Sunday. And I could go…yay! My neighbors across the way were kind enough to organize it with another neighbor and provide the burgers and hot dogs. We were asked to bring a chair, something to drink and either a salad or dessert. Well, as you can guess, I brought dessert…and a lot of it. I couldn’t decide. I made Rice Krispy Treats because everyone loves those. I made Chocolate Fudge Cookies(I left out the nuts), Oatmeal Toffee Cookies, Orange Cranberry Cake and the TWD pick for this week, Black and White Banana Loaf. I know, enough to feed an army. Luckily much of it went in other people’s tummy.
And speaking of lucky, I sure do have some nice neighbors. It was great to finally meet some of them and now I have someone to say hello to, feeling a little less isolated. :)

The Black and White Banana Loaf is nice and moist as the bananas and sour cream(never mind there is not sour cream…I was making something else with sour cream at the same time) help with that. I did change a couple of things in the recipe. I used semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet and I used banana liqueur instead of rum. I also omitted the lemon juice. Other than that I stuck to the recipe. Many a TWDer had issues with the cake not baking all the way through. I made mini loaves and did not have a problem at all. If you go with the mini loaves they took about 45 minutes to bake.
Thanks to Ashlee of A Year In The Kitchen (you can get the recipe there)for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie pick, it was a good one.


  1. That loaf looks fabulous! Wow, you had impolite neighbors! here, in Switzerland, if you would bring a cake to them, they’d be “terrified”, look at you wish fishy eyes and would not understand your gesture… People tend to mind their own businesses and stay in their corner. A pity!



  2. Your loaf looks great! I probably would like the banana liquor and not so dark chocolate better…maybe I will give it one more try with your changes!

    Glad you are meeting your new neighbors. I know exactly what your have gone thru – even though I am not childless – because my children are grown and we moved just last year. Not one soul welcomed us to the area. Pretty pathetic.

  3. Unbelievable! Some people can be so rude. That’s pure ingnorance in my book. I’m glad your new neighbours seem nice! For some reason I can’t view your pictures, but your mini loaves sound yummy :)

  4. Beautiful marbling you’ve achieved here, Pea… It looks perfect :)

    What in the sam hill was wrong with your neighbors? I understand the right/need to be alone but it’s simply inexcusable to go out of your way to be horrible to someone else. (Hah, is it excusable to be horrible to someone else if it’s along the way? Lol.) It frightens me that such people exist.

  5. I can’t believe anyone would return such kindness with such horrible, horrible behavior. I just bought a condo and would like to get to know my neighbors, too, but don’t know how to go about it. I say hi and smile shyly, but that’s it…no one has introduced themselves on either side. I guess baked goods is not the way to go, based on your stories. :(

  6. great marbling skills displayed here! these look perfect!

  7. Sorry you’ve had so many issues with crappy neighbors :( I’m glad that you finally have some good ones. Your bread looks so pretty. I love the way the marbling turned out. The mini loaves are so cute. I need to get some mini loaf pans soon!

  8. Oh you had me laughing with your stories about your neighbors and trying to be friendly. Why are people so rude or is it just plain stupid? Anyhow, your black and white banana bread looks great. I have Dorie’s book and need to try more of her recipes.

  9. I am so glad that it worked for you. Mine was a bust.

  10. OH. MY. GOSH.
    Can I come move across from you? I swear, I’ll hunt down the bread smearers and the stick-witches from across the hall.

    And it’s not just ’cause I want some cake, though it does look fabulous and tasty.

  11. Good god Pea, where did you live before to have neighbors like that?? Thank goodness, I have not had the same type of reactions. Although now I’m afraid to bake for my new neighbors… ;)

    Your banana bread looks great!

  12. Oh my god! What jerks! Where is the humanity these days? People are SO freaking strange. I mean, I’m not always thrilled to talk to my neighbors, but to be down right flat out rude is beyond my comprehension… I’m seething for you.

    But on a brighter note, I’m glad THIS neighborhood party was a success and I can’t wait to try this bread!

  13. Oh MY!!! Come on down to Texas! I’ve never known anyone to turn down a baked good! :)

  14. That’s terrible. I’m very shocked by those stories. How can people do that. Taking without a word is very bad, but the other two are beyond belief. They aren’t just ungrateful – that’s bullying.

    There are a couple of foods I really cannot eat without getting very ill, but I ALWAYS acknowledge the thought when someone cooks for me, and never take it as insulting (or a reason to insult them) if they bake me butter-broccoli cake or something (brassicas and dairy, my nemisis).

  15. What the heck was wrong with those neighbors? Good grief, if someone in my apartment building decided to bring me muffins, I would be showering them in thanks and praise- even if they were muffins I didn’t eat. Which is technically impossible, since I’ve never met a muffin I didn’t like, but still.

    This loaf looks great and oh man, now I wish I had some muffins. But I’m at work…

  16. Carole R. says:

    God, I wish you were my neighbor. If you would have been kind enough to bring me a basket I would have at least accepted it gratefully, even if I didn’t eat it. And, I may have even returned the gesture.

  17. Geez, whatever happened to hospitality? You made an effort, so they can return the favor, or at least be gracious. I have never experienced anything like that in my life! However, I have found up here, over here, wherever… people are not quite as open as I am used to. But never, have I been treated that way. I am glad your new neighborhood has redeemed things for you. I would be ticked too.

    This bread sounds amazing, I just may make it since I have a bunch of bananas.

  18. I’m with Bridget-I’m in Georgia, and when you come bearing gifts of baked goods, you’re always welcome! Could explain the obesity problem in the south, but better chubby and nice than thin and mean. I’ve had strange neighbors, and reclusive neighbors, but the behavior you experienced is just bizarre!

  19. Looks perfect! I would never smear bread on your door, so please bring me some goodies ASAP!

  20. Ha you had quite a few bad experiences with neighbours they were really mean. wish i was your neighbour. :-) The banana loaf really looks delicious.

  21. Pea, your post made me smile.
    I have been planing this bake-for-the-new-neighbors thing for a while. Now that I am finally moving – I know I have told you that 15 times already, sorry, I’m too excited to control myself – I can get the plan in action.
    I just hope my new neighbors are nicer than the idiots you had previously and the ones I have today. :)

  22. Gosh.. those are some pesky neighbours..Sighhh I wish I had atleast one neighbour who’d send some mini loafs…

  23. Oh my, that is why I’ve always been afraid to give baked goods to my neighbors, I’m absolutely positive I’d get results like yours and I’d just end up feeling awkward where I live for all time…
    Can you tell you’ve hit on something I’ve thought a lot about?
    Anyway, it’s good to hear that your current neighbors are good folks and are willing to take desserts from you. The loaves look great.

  24. Peabody, I LOVE your site- it is always the first one I check on Tuesdays. This story is hilarious. I think I would have written a note back saying you hoped you don’t become a doody head like your neighbor who left the ugly note. Some people!!! I always take samples to my 80 year old neighbor, and I wonder if she is diabetic and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings…. She always says she enjoys it. You should move to the south!!!

  25. Damn. They smeared it on your door. RUDENESS! I would be ecstatic if you were my neighbor. Come over anytime and we’ll get fat together. w00t! Your loaf looks yummy as always. Great job!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

  26. Oh my gosh what horrible people! I wish you were my neighbor.

    Your loaf looks brilliant, such great detail in the pictures.

  27. biogrrll says:

    That’s too bad you had such a negative experience. I don’t know where you live, but you’re more than welcome to bring me a loaf of that delcious looking bread anytime! : )

  28. Man, if we were neighbors, you couldn’t get me out of your kitchen when you’re baking something up… and likewise, I would expect you over for dinner all the time :) Glad that you have some decent neighbors who can appreciate your delicious efforts. Screw those who dont! :)

  29. My gosh, your neighbor stories are ridiculous!

    How do you even smear a mini loaf on a door? I wasn’t even aware that was possible… Were they like militantly allergen phobic and somehow convinced themselves that you were out to poison them? Glad that you’ve finally found neighbors you can talk to – Otherwise you can just move to my neighborhood and I’ll relieve you of any pesky extra baked goods ;)

    Thankfully my neighbors are nice (if a bit distant) but when I was a kid there was this one crazy family whose kids I couldn’t play with – I once tried to sell them chocolate bars for school and the father said “What’s the scam, huh?” and shut the door in my face.

    The banana loaf is gooorgeous, I’ve made it before but yours looks so much better because mine collapsed upon cutting :(

  30. Your loaves look delicious. It is definitely hard to meet neighbors without kids of your own. I met my neighbors because their kids marvelled at my large and unruly garden. It’s really large and REALLY unruly.

  31. Funny story! Awful experiences! Glad you didn’t give up completely. We were military and there was always a ‘Welcome Wagon” in the neighborhood. Too bad people don’t feel that way anymore.

    BTW your cake looks really good.

  32. Beautiful loaves Peabody! Seriously though… I can’t believe your neighbors. They much not know you’re a “famous” blogger! :)

  33. Good heavens. I’m sorry that you’ve had such a run of terrible neighbors. Move in next to me =P I can’t be too far away from you, and I’ll never turn down baked goods. We’ll invite you to bbqs too =) I never really got out to meet any of our neighbors either until I brought home a puppy a couple months ago. She’s adorable enough that I’ve met quite a few of them now thanks to them coming out to pet her!

  34. Now those are some absolutely HORRIBLE neighbors!!! Gah!

    That Black and White Banana Loaf looks delish :-)

  35. Holy crap! Your attempts to be so nice and thoughtful – those people are turds!! I can’t believe that!! If you showed up at my door with assorted goodies, I would definitely be appreciative! :-) Your loaf looks delicious!

  36. Holy crap indeed! OMG and I feel bad when people are unappreciative and don’t say thank you but devour every morsel. Your experiences are some for the record books :(

    Glad this time worked out for you. Your loaf looks lovely and I’m glad folks liked it.

    Have a delicious day!

  37. Um, who in the heck were your neighbors?? I can’t imagine people responding like that. Wow.
    Good thing this time around they sound like keepers!

  38. Oh my goodness, where were these people raised? In the bushes? By wolves? On the one hand, I find it stupefying that people would behave so rudely — actually, this is beyond rude, but on the other, I’ve seen more than enough to know that this kind of behaviour is not uncommon. A simple “no, thank you” would have sufficed. Or one could just accept with a “thank you” and then, if they find it unacceptable, just throw it out without the whole smearing thing!

    The banana bread looks great and I’ll have to get our resident baker on this. Thanks!

  39. PurposelyVague says:

    god, who are those ppl? i have never heard such stories! glad your desserts were a hit with the new neighbors :o)

  40. How unspeakably rude some of your neighbours were! I couldn’t believe what I was reading! I mean, if someone I didn’t know were to kindly bring me a basket of baking, even if I were allergic to it, I’d be so greatful and want to return the favour…Unbelievable.

  41. I am offended on your behalf! I always bring treats to new neighbors (on disposable plates ;-)) and have NEVER been the victim of such inappropriate rudeness. Where are the parents of these people????????

  42. Damn, P-bdy. You have lived next to some complete assholes. I’m really sorry. If you had been my neighbor, we’d be up until 2 or 3 am baking and laughing and pissing off one of our husbands ;) ha ha ha! All of my neighbors LOVED the sweets I’d bake for them (and the current neighbors are my Taste-Testers-For-Life). Well, you are finally living in a place where the folks around you (physically) will appreciate your phenomenal baking prowess and generous heart. F those previous jerks. Had I been there in my hot-tempered youth, I would have exacted revenge JenYu-style with a Family Size Can of Whoopass Soup! ;) xxoo

  43. I love the crown on your mini loaves – and the marbling is perfect! Simply amazing stories about your neighbors. Glad you had an appreciative audience this time around – 4th time’s a charm?


  44. Well I want to say your old neighbors suck but in some cases there is a bit of oddity in taking food from total strangers. When I lived in Minnesota, three guys knocked on the door with a plate of brownies—trying to get to know their neighbors. I happily talked to them but there was no way I was eating one of those brownies. Now it may be because brownies are the classic vehicle for laxitives or pot but seriously food from total strangers can be a little scary.

  45. WOW! I love your photos and the loaf looks really nice, and looks like it has a nice crumb to it.
    As far as your other neighbors, they obviously don’t enjoy life to its fullest. EAT, drink, and be merry bitches!

  46. OMG I am stuck on the part where they smeared the banana bread on your door. Seriously..! WTF! Glad you finally found some friendly neighbors…we are really good friends with our immediate neighbors thankfully and adore them. But yeah it can be hit or miss.

  47. I can’t even believe those neighbor stories…those are seriously unreal! The smearing the loaf on the door…who does that? And the girls that don’t want to get fat…the nerve…you wonder how parents forget to teach their kids manners.

  48. oh gosh, sorry. I got so caught up in your uncouth neighbors that I forgot to mention how great your loaf looks.

  49. Peabody, your neighbors are seriously bizarre. I was going to wonder if they were raised by wolves, but wolves have better manners than that – they’d eat your banana bread. Those stories are just appalling.

  50. How lovely that this worked out as a treat for your BBQ. It sounds like you have had some horrid run-ins with neighbors!

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