How to Pull a Fast One on Your Neighbor

How to Pull a Fast One on Your Neighbor  #funny #baking #cookies #kids #parenting #humor

So then…I clamber down from the kitchen stool and dejectedly place the flour and sugar on the counter.

“What’s wrong?” asks my little sister, Della, age 7.

I sigh with all the long-suffering frustration rattling through these 11-year-old bones of mine. “We don’t have any brown sugar. How can we make chocolate chip cookies without it?”

Della looks stricken. She’s not familiar with the ingredients necessary for the recipe, but the very thought of our grand baking plan being crushed has cast her into despair.

She furrows her brow and leans her bony little arms against the kitchen counter. I rustle through some more cabinets unsuccessfully, but eventually come to rest next to her, concentrating hard on how to solve our problem.

Our siblings and parents are out of the house.
I’m too young to drive.
The store is too far to walk.
Our dream of warm home-baked yummy goodness is crashing to a halt.

I grab a piece of paper and a pen.

“Dear Mrs. Hanover,
We are making chocolate chip cookies. Can we please borrow ¾ cup of brown sugar?
Sincerely, Darcy and Della”

I hand the paper to my little sister so she can walk down our street to Mrs. Hanover’s house, our sweet neighbor who is friends with our Mom. (It’s perfectly safe – we run around to the houses in the neighborhood to visit our pals all the time.)

So off she goes, feeling very important on her mission, while I begin gathering the rest of the necessary supplies. A short while later…

“Got it!” she exclaims, bursting through the door with the package of brown sugar.

I turn to her with such sadness she can only imagine our entire immediate family has been run over by a Monster Truck. (This is, after all, Louisiana.)

“What? What?” she asks.

I open the fridge and point. “We only have 1 egg left and the recipe calls for 2.”


We stare at the egg. We stare at each other. Back to the egg.

Della’s eyes are pleading with such desperate craving; I know a big sister has no choice.

“Dear Mrs. Hanover,
We are making chocolate chip cookies. May we please have 1 egg?
Thank you for the sugar.
Sincerely, Darcy and Della”

And off she goes again, note in hand, to rescue the operation!

When she returns, we set about mixing and stirring and laughing. We preheat the oven and pull out the cookie sheets.

We stir the butter and vanilla into the delicious golden batter.

I open the cabinet and gasp!

“What?! What?!” Della asks.

I turn slowly, with a deeply pained expression, and whisper. “We have no chocolate chips.”

Her eyes go wide.

We stare at the batter. We stare at each other. Back to the batter.

Dare we? How far can one stretch the goodwill of one’s neighbor?

I take a deep breath.

“Dear Mrs. Hanover,
Thank you for the egg.
We are making chocolate chip cookies. May we please have a bag of chocolate chips?

Sincerely, Darcy and Della”

And off she goes again, my valiant little soldier.

I stand by the window and peek past the curtain to see her walking down the street with all the dread of a condemned man off to the guillotine.

Will Mrs. Hanover get mad?
Will she call our Mom?
Or worse — is SHE out of chocolate chips too?

When Della comes running back in, holding a bag of chocolate chips aloft, hootin’ and hollerin’ – I am overjoyed! We dance around, absolutely thrilled!

“What did she say?” I ask. “Was she mad?”

“No!” says Della. “She burst out laughing and said she can’t believe we started making CHOCHOLATE CHIP cookies and didn’t even have CHOCOLATE CHIPS in the house! And then she said if we bring her another note, there better be some chocolate chip cookies attached!

Fair enough, Mrs. Hanover, fair enough.

And God bless you and your well-stocked pantry.

— Darcy Perdu

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(What have YOU borrowed from a neighbor? Or has anyone borrowed something strange or interesting from you? Any stories of you and your siblings cooking — or conspiring — or creating clever solutions to your problems?)

In honor of this post’s subject matter, I’m sharing a link to the most outrageously delicious Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies my daughter and I made yesterday from this recipe we found on Pinterest: Sally’s Baking Addiction  BEST COOKIES EVER! Enjoy!

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64 replies on “How to Pull a Fast One on Your Neighbor

  1. Very sweet. Mrs. Hanover was a doll! When I was a little girl, I used to go to my neighbors door and say, “My mom says I can’t ask for cookies, but that if you offer, I’m allowed to have them.” When my mom found out, she was mortified that I was out there trolling around for cookies like that. :)
    Claudia Schmidt recently posted..Memories of Snow Days Past…..My Profile

    • Kristina said:

      Darcy’s original story made me laugh hysterically, and Claudia’s comment had me continuing the laughter until my eyes were tearing. Hilarious, both of you!

    • That’s hysterical! And apparently successful! I may start trolling my ‘hood for wine and chocolates.

  2. Meredith said:

    Hilarious! When I was 9 I used to babysit some younger cousins during the summer months. I will admit, I used to send them on “scavenger hunts” for a scoop of ice cream & soda on hot days (no AC) for a float.

    Deplorable behavior, but funny in retrospect I suppose.

    • Some might say “deplorable” — I say “creatively resourceful!” :o)

    • Yes! :o) And when you make them, try the recipe link in the post — honestly, those cookies are KILLER!

  3. LOL this definitely made me chuckle – how cute you two must have been trying to gather all your supplies! Your neighbor must have been laughing indeed at your unpreparedness :P Hope you two did share some cookies with her though!! :P I will be trying this recipe out as my son LOVES chocolate chip cookies :) Happy Monday Darcy! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted..Words to Live ByMy Profile

    • Our neighbor still tells that story! She totally cracks up about our little notes!

    • Thanks! And now that I’m a grown-up, my pantry is ALWAYS well-stocked with ingredients for chocolate chip cookies — you never know when an EMERGENCY will occur and you need those cookies STAT! Pot luck dinner party? Cookies! Zombie Apocalypse? Cookies! Tuesday afternoon? Cookies!

    • Ha! When I lived in NYC, I felt the same way! We had no idea who our neighbors were! One time the cops came to the door because they said the elderly man upstairs claimed we were throwing buckets of hot water UP from our window to his. Ummm…no. The cops clued us in that this gentleman called frequently for a variety of reasons and not all of them were relevant to this world. That’s the only neighbor we knew of in our building!

  4. Haven’t ever begged, borrowed or stolen, but during a blizzard I once traded a half pound of sugar for a half dozen eggs. Does that count?

  5. That was hilarious!! Did you send Mrs. Hanover some cookies? I would love some right now:)
    I borrow eggs, sugar, mixers from my neighbors. They’re all very sweet! Last week for my son’s birthday, I mixed the cake and was ready to put it in the oven when I realized that the oven wasn’t warming up and it broke. Out of desperation, I called the neighbor on my right, she didn’t answer. I then called the Constable on the other side. He was too familiar with me. He said, “Do I preheat at 350?”.. He baked my cake. Isn’t that sweet. BTW: we bought a new stove/oven.
    Loved the post!
    Manal The Go Go Girl recently posted..Shimmied through my weekMy Profile

    • You have a neighbor Constable who bakes for you in emergencies? Score! :o)

  6. Love it! I have borrowed twice…never thrice. That’s so brave.

    Also, I made those cookie’s from Sally this week too! In fact, I think there is about one big spoonful of dough left in the fridge. Hmmm…must go investigate…

    • Seriously, Jen? That’s so cool you made those same cookies! We made them for the first time this weekend and they are spectacular! Sally does such a great job giving tips and tricks to make the cookies super thick and chewy!

      And yes, borrowing thrice IS pushing the boundaries of etiquette a bit much — fortunately, Mrs. Hanover is a sweetheart!

  7. William Kendall said:

    Of course, the best time to eat chocolate chip cookies is when they’re just out of the oven….

    • Amen, brother! And with an ice-cold glass of milk!

  8. Our electric gate would not open. My husband had to borrow a ladder from our neighbours to climb over the electric fence.
    Vivian Pitschlitz recently posted..It’s In a HugMy Profile

    • Borrowing a ladder is a pretty big “borrow” — but more to the point, I wondered why in the world does Vivian have an electric fence?
      Is she a drug lord, protecting her cocaine empire?
      But then I remembered you live in Africa — so perhaps an electric fence is prudent to ensure you’re not eaten by wild animals! :o)

  9. Paul said:

    Funny post Darcy. I could see your poor sister trying so hard to help you and to do what she could to get cookies. You must have been a hard act to follow. I was never one much for baking. As an only male child, I focused more on cars and machines. My Mum still tells the story of how I took my first girlfriend for a ride in the family car at the ripe old age of 6. At the time we had a steep driveway from the house down to the road. Apparently, in an effort to impress her, I was sitting in our car in the driveway with the young lady. The car was a standard shift and in an attempt to show her how much I knew about driving, I managed to get the car into neutral and take off the emergency brake. My Mum was looking out the front window when the car rolled down the driveway, across the street, plowing down the neighbor’s empty garbage cans and coming to rest against a light pole. She says that the doors popped open and my girlfriend and I jumped out and each ran as fast as we could in opposite directions. Ha! There was little damage to the car. I was a lady’s man from a very early age – always out to impress the girls.

    • you little Romeo you! impressin’ the babes with your driving skills — at age 6! ha! adorable!

    • thanks, Beth and yes, she not only enjoyed some cookies; she enjoyed laughing about our exploits with our mom!

    • thanks and yeah, it was pretty good lil ‘hood! :o)

    • Ha! I would offer to mail you some of the ones we baked 2 days ago, but we polished those suckers off already!

  10. I was hoping she just made you the cookies! We made my dad a german chocolate cake when I was about your sis’s age and my sis’s were your age. When the cake was done my big sis opened the oven and took the rack out with her bare hand.

    That was the last time we were allowed to bake.
    The Shitastrophy recently posted..15 Disney Characters You Will Work With At Some PointMy Profile

    • OUCHie-wawa! Man alive, I’m not surprised they suspended your baking privileges! Your poor sister! But how sweet that you guys were making a cake for pop!!

  11. Too cute! You gotta love great neighbours! He’s all grown up now but one of my neighbours used to ring my door and ask if I had any popsicles.

    • That’s so cool! You’re the Popsicle house! I wish you lived in my neighborhood!

  12. Reindlgator said:

    Ok Darcy, a little off topic, but sometimes a girl has to vent. This is why I am forced to humiliate myself by eating a bowl of chocolate chips. For some reason the folks at Ghirardelli have decided to stop making simple milk chocolate bars. Not everyone on the damn planet likes weird ass fillings in their dark chocolate (ugh) squares. So over the holidays I spy Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips on the baking aisle. Soon I was eating my chips out of a container I keep in the freezer. Then I think to myself that any family member/nosy neighbor who sees this must think I am the biggest piglet of all time. It really is not an attractive look. I think it is time to shame the company who made me a chocolate snob to continue feeding my habit in a non-humiliating way. Thanks, had to get that off my chest.

    PS I almost threw a tantrum in the baking aisle today when there was only one bag of milk chocolate chips surrounded by a metric ton of dark chocolate. They are conspiring against me, I am sure of it.

    • That’s so funny! I’m picturing you sneaking little tiny chocolate chips out of the freezer, a few at a time. Maybe you could melt them all together in your microwave in a mini baking pan –then re-freeze it to create your own Frankenstein-version-candy-bar!

      Meanwhile, I checked with the Grocer’s Association vis-a-vis the dark chocolate situation — and yes, they ARE conspiring against you!!

      • Reindlgator said:

        Now I must buy in bulk to carry out my mad scientist/chef experiments. I have actually quietly munched on the chips while reading by ipad backlight while my husband slept next to me. Yes, I am ashamed. Or should I be proud for not being caught?

        Those bastards!!! I am going to do some recon around the local groceries, They do not have a clue of the pain I will rain down upon them. Never come between a woman and her chocolate.

        I feel like you understand me.. You crack me up.

        • Ha! We are soul sisters! (If that soul was made of really delicious chocolate!)

  13. That is so funny Darcy. I bet Mrs. Hanover has told that story more than once in her life. I hope she reads your blog.

  14. What a very nice neighbor, Darcy! I haven’t borrowed anything from a neighbor. But I have a question for you. Do you mail order those chocolate chip cookies? My gawd they look delish! :)
    Mike recently posted..My First Time Chicken StrippingMy Profile

    • Right? Honestly, it’s the best recipe I’ve ever seen for Chocolate Chip Cookies! I would offer to mail them to you, but I’d eat them all up before they even made it into the package!

  15. Charlene said:

    When I was about 4, my mom worked swing shift as a nurse, and we had just moved into our house. I remember waking up and crawling into bed with her, and eventually getting bored and very hungry. I had met the neighbors next door to us, a sweet elderly Italian couple. I got dressed up in my best clothes (mind you, I was 4 and apparently did not think I needed underwear under my skirt or a shirt under my vest ((it was the 70’s)) and presented myself to the neighbors, announcing I was ready for breakfast if they had anything to eat. I’m not sure what they thought but they fed me. Cue my mom, waking up and looking for me, then growing frantic because I’ve disappeared. As a parent now, I understand the panic she must have felt, and especially being in a new neighborhood. She finally came next door as a last result before calling the police. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why she started crying. Those neighbors were awesome, but my poor poor mom.

    • omigod, Charlene, your poor mom indeed! That’s hysterical, though, that you dressed in your finery to go scammin’ for grub! I bet your neighbors got a kick out of you showing up requesting breakfast! Ha!

  16. Sarah said:

    We have neighbors who, several times a year, ask to borrow meat tenderizer.

    I don’t think I want to know what’s going on over there.

    • bwahahah! I laughed out loud at that, Sarah! Keep your doors locked!

      • Sarah said:

        Remind me not to accept any dinner invitations they may extend.

    • Glad you liked Sally’s recipe, Roshni! It’s delicious!

    • Oh, Jane, they are SO delicious! We’ve made them twice already! I love her recipe!

  17. Kathie said:

    I just came across your blog and have been laughing for over an hour.

    I have to comment on this one. When I was about 7 or 8 years old we had a deli on our street. The guys in there were always nice to us kids and we knew them all by name. One of the guys was kind of cute and we knew that my mom liked him. My brother and I found out when his birthday was. Then we found out from one of the other guys what his favorite flavor was and bought a cake mix that we took over to our uncles’ to help us make a cake for Vick. We pulled it off and he thought it was really sweet of us. My mom on the other hand was so embarrassed when Vick gave her back the plate that the cake she didn’t know about was on.

    • Omigod, Kathie, that is hysterical! You guys were very enterprising kids! It sounds like the beginning of a Disney rom-com movie! Ha!
      And thanks for the compliment about my blog — so glad you’re enjoying the stories!