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Apr 26, 2013 02:49 PM

What to bring a new neighbor??

The last time I had new neighbor I made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and put them in pretty basket with a (new) tea towel. Come to find out later one child had celiacs and the parents were (at the time) low carbers. I felt terrible.

Our neighborhood isn't really one. It's basically a long country road that abuts a state park, has no street lights and most houses are close enough to see but not really close that you see each other out and about. They are thru woods kind of behind my house so it's not like I am going to see them over the fence or run into walking around the area.

I still would like to cook/bake/make something but am at a loss on what would be a safe bet. A loaf of homemade bread with good butter? Scones and jam? a pot of soup? I wish I could tell if they had a dog as I thought home made dog biscuits could be fun but so far no evidence of a pet.

So in this age of increased food allergies and sensitivities is this even a good idea anymore? Based on the hostess gift thread I know to never ever ever ever bring lilies or scented candles, LOL.

If you were new to the neighborhood what would make you feel welcome?

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  1. Honey almond cake. I got one and it's great with coffee.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wattacetti

      This is no better than the OP's oatmeal cookies if there are allergies or dietary concerns. Unfortunately, I don't think it's a good idea to bake something if you don't know the families no-no's.

      The only reasonably safe thing that comes to mind is a pot of homemade vegetarian soup and even then, there could be problem ingredients.

      I would probably give them a plant or some sort of small item of outdoor decor, like a door wreath, windchime, or seasonal decoration.

    2. How about a gift certificate to a local restaurant that you like and frequent (doesn't have to be high brow), with a nice little jar of jam?

      2 Replies
      1. re: pinehurst

        I just want to say that you are an awfully sweet and thoughtful neighbor.

        1. re: DaisyM


          (whispers...also, I don't trust that others will like my cooking! shh!)

      2. Oh I miss the good old days when you brought your new neighbors a batch of warm cookies or fresh brownies and were fast friends who sat on the porch together and had play dates and were each others emergency contacts. I am in my 20s so this was not so long ago! Not sure when or why everything became so complicated but to get back to your OP, I would just invite them over for coffee or tea or iced tea or sugar free lemonade or whatever. That way you can find out if they have any dietary restrictions by observation, and get to know them a bit better to determine if you'd like to invite them into your circle of friends. Moving can be unsettling and it's always nice to have someone reach out to you and introduce themselves.

        1. Yikes.
          A simple note with contact info and a "welcome to the neighborhood" should work. Perhaps a small gift of unscented candles or soap? Love those ideas, and if they work well you could perhaps advance on to a loaf of bread or some dog treats.

          1. I have food allergies - I wouldn't be able to eat anything that a neighbor brought over. That being said, even if you brought something that no one could have (we don't keep any apple products in our house, for example, because I'm severely contact sensitive to them) it would still have the intended effect of making me feel welcome. I'd just quarantine them when you left, wash up just in case, and send them to work with DH, where it would surely be inhaled.

            I think that the vast majority of people with allergies are reasonable enough to know that you aren't out to intentionally harm them - I'm in a support group, and I know that most people just smile, say thank you, and regift.

            I have environmental allergies too, but this time of the year, I would definitely appreciate a potted plant that could be kept outside - keeps the pollen and such out of the house but I still get to have something pretty.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jw615

              The plant is a good idea. I'd like to get that, but id still probably kill it, sadly.

              1. re: TroyTempest

                Oh, I'd probably kill it too. But I would like looking at it and it would make me happy until its untimely death.