I have had all types of neighbors. A loud college frat house sat across from me during my junior year of college. A kind older couple with a beautifully manicured backyard I could see from my bathroom window lived next to my small garage apartment. I've also had upstairs neighbors who I swore may fall through the floor one day because they jumped and stomped so loud during Kentucky games. I've had all kinds — but never have I lived next to anyone like Harleigh.
When moving in, he came over in his cowboy boots and white cowboy hat (I'm not kidding, it's the cutest thing) to introduce himself. He shook our hands and told Todd and I, "I try to be a helpful neighbor, but not so helpful I'm a pest." I'm not sure of his age, but I know he must be at least 80. His artwork is made of everything from paint on canvas to construction paper hangings throughout his home. One time when a package of mine was missing, I asked Harleigh if he'd seen it — now he takes the packages left for me on my doorstep inside his apartment and leaves me sweet notes that he's got them safe and sound.
Some Saturdays when we are home relaxing, Harleigh pokes his head in through the open door to check in. He'll compliment the new flowers on my coffee table or tell me stories of the neighborhood. He brings a smile to my face every time I interact with him because he is so thoughtful. To say thank you for his kindness, I wanted to bake him something special. After all, thats what good neighbors do right?
I very embarrassingly and hilariously read 1 cup of butter as 1 pound. (Here I am yet again wondering how I'm qualified to co-author a food blog?) As I was cutting the butter into the flour mixture I thought to myself, "this is so much butter." So I double checked my written recipe to make sure I was following it correctly. Nope — not at all! But mistakes shouldn't really be considered mistakes if the only repercussion is more cake-like loaf, right?
Once baked and cooled, I wrapped a loaf up for Harleigh and left a note that read, "Thanks for being such a great neighbor. Love, Morgan & Todd." A day later, as we were walking up the steps with sweaty gym clothes on and groceries in hand, Harleigh was leaving his apartment. His face lit up as he turned toward us and said, "Oh I loved your treat, did you bake that yourself?" I laughed and told him yes. We chatted for a while and just before saying goodbye he chimed in, "Oh! One more thing, I've got a package for you. Let me grab it!"
- Pre-heat oven to 375° and grease 2 medium loaf pans.
- In a large bowl with a whisk combine flours, sugar and baking powder, cut in butter until it becomes crumbly (you can use a pastry blender if you have it, or two knives will do), remove 3/4 cup of this crumbly mixture to a small bowl, stir in cinnamon and nutmeg (this will be your topping).
- In a medium bowl beat with a fork, milk, eggs and vanilla until combined, add this mixture to the flour mixture (in the large bowl). Stir just until moistened, gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into 2 medium prepared loaf pans, and sprinkle both with the reserved topping.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool before serving. Enjoy.
Serving: 2 loaves