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. Could you move in near me? Those stories are seriously crazy. I love how nicely ‘lifted’ your loaf is. Mine came out with major sunkenness.

  2. I can not believe your neighbors (previous ones, that is) acted like that! If someone brought me mini loaves I might just have kissed them! I moved a lot as a kid and every time we got to a new neighborhood my mom would count the hours until someone brought over some kind of baked good. She never felt part of the neighborhood until she had been offered at least a brownie, if not two.

  3. Weird people acting weird. Those neighbors! Your loaf looks delicious. I had trouble with my marbling.

  4. Looks fabulous. Wish I were your neighbor. :)

  5. Are you serious?! I can’t believe anyone would be so impolite and downright mean. I’m sorry about your experiences. I think it’s terrific you took the initative to greet your new neighbors, and to bring them welcome treats.

  6. You’re kidding right?

    People like that don’t really exist in life do they? Esp that ones who smeared banana bread on your door, and the others who called you fat? WTF?

  7. I love your loafs, they are beautiful photos!!

    Your story is too funny. I am laughing so hard, I almost peed my pants. Now, I know why I never make or attempt to make nice nice with the neighbors! Can you imagine what city/urban dwellers would do!

  8. By the way, am I blind?? I do not see Sour cream in the recipe??? I usually always add it to my other recipes, this was the first time I did not. How much did you add? I want to make it again, tonight to send to me pops!


    Denise –

  9. what?!?!? i’m sorry, but who DOES that? smears bread on your door? that person needs to go crawl under a rock. and the other two are wretched too. what is wrong with people?

    isn’t it nice to have a blog though, where you can vent about stories like that and have 50 people write you back and say “those people are JERKS”! :-)

  10. We had a neighbor who didn’t even acknowledge our fruitcake … and, yes, it was fruitcake … but it’s fabulous fruitcake.

    People suck. This is why we leave them.

    Of course, they’re also stupid, which is why they reproduce.

  11. Unbelievable. Mean people suck. They’ll get theirs someday. If you don’t like something, you throw it away and tell the giver it was fantastic. F them.

  12. My blood pressure was rising when I read how horrible your “neighbors” treated you (not very neighborly. When we moved here (to Long Island from Queens) I made all my neighbors a baked good, then every Christmas made them a cookie/bar tray—they think I’m Mother Theresa! Who said New Yorkers are mean….we’re not…sometimes…

  13. Wow, that was a pretty horrid neighborhood you used to live in! A neighbor I took my baked goods to has become one of my closest friends now. I can’t imagine people saying things like “you’re fat” to kindness….are these humans or animals? I’ll go with the second guess.
    I’m happy that you have a better neighborhood now :)

  14. Gosh, pleased that you have at last found some nice neighbours! the loaf looks good too!

  15. You’re lucky to have met nice neighbors – I’m STILL looking for some, haha ;0)

  16. I love the curves and dips in the top of the loaf! And I’m really shocked by how all of your previous neighbours responded to your baked goods. Makes me not want to attempt to give baked goods to neighbours now. Glad you finally found some nice neighbours though. :)

  17. Your cake looks wonderful! As for the neighbors – wow. Just wow. I can’t believe people acted that way when you were just doing something nice. Actually, I can believe it – but the fact that I’m still surprised at the utter stupidity of some people is the same reason I like to say I’m an optimist. I know if we were neighbors I would be thrilled with crumbs from your kitchen! Glad you finally met some nice ones!

  18. Damn the neighbors!

  19. Oh, God, you are not alone. I once opened the door to tied-off Subway bag full of frat puke. Classy, classy neighbors.

  20. I have been hearing all sort of weird neighbours stories, I have a few my self, but really this is too much! I even comment about your post to my mum and she couldn’t believe how rude people are! “Sad, that’s sad people”, she saied.
    Your banana bread looks great, it’s good to know you know have normal neighbours to share it with.

  21. OH MY GOSH! What AWFUL people you’ve had for neighbors! I just reread your post to my husband and he was shocked. Wow.

    Hope your new relationship with your new neighbors goes so much better!

  22. Some neighbors can just be so awful. So glad that you are developing a wonderful relationship with your new neighbors, hope everyone appreciated all your goodies, your loaf looks great!

  23. Wow, I cannot imagine people being so incredibly rude to such a welcoming neighbor! Oooh, I would have gotten even with each and every one of those jerks. The bread looks so moist and yummy!

  24. crazy neighbors! If they only knew how delicious your baked good were! Your cakes look delicious! Great job!

  25. What the heck?!? I’d just smack those self-righteous neighbors. Who would turn down such beautiful baked goods?

  26. glad you finally connected with some of your neighbors. what is that old saying? you have to have a lot of banana nut bread smeared on your front door before you find the right ones?? :P i couldn’t imagine life without mine now, there’s a huge group of us that get together regularly and i pass all my baked stuff along to them . otherwise i’m sure i’d be as big as a house.

  27. Wow. Good thing you moved out of that place. I always bake stuff with good results, except for one mini loaf that elicited no response, no thank you, no it was lousy, nothing. And this from the wealthiest folks on the block too. Everyone else here in the new neighborhood is lovely and was appreciative!

  28. Oh my god, I’m sorry Peabody, but you’ve got the neighbors from hell! I would leave some rotting vegetables in their mailbox after all of their rudeness! ;)

  29. How nice to have a neighbour like you – I get to eat good food

  30. Man, you’ve had some really rude neighbors…smearing bread on your door is crossing the line! I’m glad you didn’t give up, and BTW I’d be a happy recipient of your lovely baked goods any time!


  31. It does shock me that you have had to deal with such complete idiotic MORONS as neighbors. I can’t believe the ones who smeared the bread on your door. Or the bitchy girls…I am speechless! It seems as though the neighbor Gods are smiling on you now. We know you deserve it, that’s for sure. Nice job on the banana bread.

  32. What’s wrong with them?!?!! It’s actually mind-boggling. You wonder how they can even stand to exist being that way. $%!@$%!%$#@ them! Haha. ;D

  33. Those loaves look gorgeous!

    And what the heck is WRONG with your past neighbors? How could anyone respond in such a vile manner to such a kind gesture by you?
    My neighbors have always been really nice, even without lovely baked goods upon introduction (that comes later, to people that are deemed deserving!) and actually, now I’m dating one of my ex-neighbors from my old apartment complex ;)

  34. I saw your sour cream comment and immediately panic set in – “I totally missed the sour cream!!! How could I do that?!?” So did you slip and tell us your super secret ingredient? :)

    I can’t believe they smeared your loaf on the door. Glad you connected with your new neighbors!

  35. Omg, your neighbours are quite weird to react like this. And I’ve never heard of anyone reacting like that to cakes!

    That aside, your loaves looks absolutely lovely. Nice photos! :)

  36. Wow I can’t believe people can be so uncouth! I’d love to have a neighbour like you :D

    Your loaf looks fantastic! I can’t wait from my book to arrive so that I ca make some of Dorie’s recipes!

  37. I suppose Sally in comment 44 has a point, but common courtesy would dictate a polite response to someone who would try to be friendly.
    I always think it is bad karma to be rude or fighting with your neighbors, I am all for peace, love and happiness. But having said that, I do have a neighbors a few doors down that beggar belief. But I’m not going to rattle their cage!
    I actually take my favourite chocolate chip cookies in a bag tied with a ribbon to new neighbors. I leave it on their door with a note and leave. I’ve only had good responses so far. In fact, I have people asking for more and do I sell those cookies for money?
    Hey…I guess English neighbors are just so grateful for baked goods without raisins in them! (private joke!)
    Don’t ever give up on people. There are diamonds out there!

  38. What a pile of horror stories about nightmarish neighbours! You did well to get back in your own little way. What a nice neighbour you are…my neighbours & kids friends love me for my baking. This is a great looking loaf…YUM!!

  39. Those are some shocking neighborly tales. It’s hard to believe that people can be so unfeeling. I’m glad to hear that your attempts had a happy ending…or happy beginning.

  40. Wow, I’m glad you have some nicer neighbors now! And your cake looks wonderful.

  41. I can’t believe the rudeness of your past neighbors. My jaw is dropping. And I’ve lived in Paris! I have frequently been offended by neighbors giving me the cold shoulder, never imagining I should be thankful they didn’t steal my plates, deface my door or call me fat! And I thought it was ingrained in American genes to welcome your neighbor?! Glad you have some good neighbors now. Oh, and lovely cake too!

  42. My goodness your neighbors all sound loony toons! I’m glad you found a nice breed of neighbor, and I’m sure that they’re glad that they found you!

  43. I rubbed my eyes with disbelief – can’t believe how mean people can sometimes be. Luckily now you have good neighbours! The cake looks marvelous! Can I be your neighbour? Promise to be nice and love everything you bake me, and even return you the plates :D

  44. Your loaf looks great, but never mind that – I sat here reading your post with my mouth hanging open in horror – what awful neighbors you’ve had in the past!!! I can’t believe how terrible they all were to you! So glad you’ve got nicer neighbors now!!

  45. Hey I just thought I’d update you on the Bonney Lake baristas…

    What horrible ungrateful neighbors you have had. I’m glad the BBQ turned out to be a better experience.

  46. Wow! What horrible neighbours, certainly would make you think twice about being neighbourly!

  47. Blimey, the neighbours sound absolutely vile.
    I’d have you for my neighbour any day. Come and live next to me and we’ll bake delicious stuff all day… well you’ll bake it and I’ll eat it!!

  48. At first I was going to say I don’t know where you find these people, but then I remembered I’m surrounded by crazies and it all made sense. I’d like to get to know some normal neighbours if those still exist…

  49. I am simply appalled at your (thankfully former) neighbors’ responses to your generosity! Seriously, that is awful!

    I’m glad that you finally had a good experience. Unfortunately, I have yet to have awesome neighbors. :-(

    PS–if I were the recipient of a basket of your treats, I promise I would have written a thank you note and have been forever in your debt!

  50. Awesomely moist and scrumptious looking loaf, peabody. Dang. You are so much more persistent than I am. Since my neighbors walk around with sour looks on their faces, the only thing I can think I may offer them is Malox. But I did write about this very subject myself. I’m still amazed at your former experiences with rotten neighbors. JEEZ.


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