Tom and I have been extremely fortunate in that wherever we've lived, for the most part, we've had awesome neighbors. Some have even become good friends.
When we moved from our farm into town five years ago, our next door neighbors on our south side was a young couple without children. Although they were friendly enough, we didn't see much of them. They were a busy couple, involved in work, school and community activities, but we'd say hello and converse when we crossed paths doing yard work on a summer morning. But within a year of our arrival to the neighborhood, they put their house on the market and headed to jobs in the northwest.
A couple of weeks later we met our new neighbors, a tall dark-haired congenial professor of art history and a petite soft-spoken International Programs instructor. Their three daughters ranged in age from about 4-years old to 11-years old, each one very different from the other.
After a frustrating previous summer punctuated by late night under-age alcohol-laden parties to celebrate the high school graduation of another neighbor's offspring, the voices, squeals and laughter of children playing outside in the yard next door was a welcomed addition to our neighborhood.
If you've visited my blog for any length of time, you know that Tom and I cook and bake....a lot. Trust me when I say, I could not, or should I say dare not, eat all of what I prepare. Leftover main dishes, of which there are many, are vacuum bagged and frozen for another meal, sometimes two. Desserts are shared. Well, except for that sickening sweet, nutty, sugary, melt-in-your mouth Cinnamon Roll Cake, which if you will recall we cut into serving pieces and froze. It's probably the only dessert I have not shared.
Anyway, when we do share, our neighbors are our go-to people. And we've had the distinct pleasure of being on the receiving end of their wonderful baked goods as well. And Valentines Day was especially memorable.
The middle daughter (now about 11-years old), I will call her "V", is a vivacious, outgoing young girl with a wonderful smile and a warm approachable nature with people she knows. She's very open and enthusiastic about what foods she loves and is always appreciative of what we share with her and her family. You might remember the sweet card she sent as a thank you for the Ultimate Chocolate Chip 'n' Oreo 'n' Fudge Brownie Bar I
needed to get out of the house sent to their house to enjoy.
When the doorbell rang the afternoon of February 14th, I thought it was UPS delivering a package of essential oils I ordered. Instead, it was V's mom with a small white plate graced with two beautifully decorated red and white cupcakes.
It was V's first attempt at baking from scratch. Did they taste as good as they look? In a word...Better. Tender, great crumb, hint of vanilla. Very yummy. We enjoyed every morsel.
I think we have a pastry chef and/or food blogger developing right before our eyes.