What would you have done? Fun and unique "gift"

On Tuesday, after showering and dressing, I opened my front door (as I often do) to circulate and cool the air (I prefer it to air conditioning). Sitting on my doorstep was a (somewhat tattered) silver shopping bag. Without touching it, I looked inside and saw the most beautiful loaf of homemade challah (egg bread). It was braided and looked and smelled amazing! I could see it was resting on parchment paper, but it wasn’t wrapped in any way. Monday was my birthday so I thought it was a belated gift. I lifted the bag and hung it on the outside doorknob, and briefly looked for a note, or other identifier. Nothing. I took a photo of it inside the bag, and texted my best friend, who lives 35 miles away, but bakes. “Is this lovely bread from you? It looks and smells amazing!” It was not. I texted dear neighbor friends of more than 20 years. Not from them. I texted and called everyone I could think of…including the owner of the company I work for and have known for more than 20 years…his response was the best…“nope, not from us, but hey, that’s a pretty specific (Jewish) gift…did we miss a holiday?” I left the bag on the doorknob and finally by end of day Wednesday, when no one “owned” the gift I felt I had no choice left, and I asked the postal carrier if she would like it (I explained I wouldn’t eat it without knowing where/who it came from), she was delighted and said she’d make French toast! So off it went! I regifted an anonymous gift. I have no guilt about giving it away as it went to a lovely person.

What would you have done? Brought it inside & eaten it? Immediately call the bomb squad :wink: ? Tossed it?

As much as I adore challah and know what an effort it is to make, I would have tossed it. Pre-Covid, I would have tossed it. I am very squeamish about kitchen hygiene, and unless I knew for certain who had delivered it, I would not eat it.

@Massmomm - agree 150% - One of my texts to a friend reads “No bread, you may not come in, I don’t know where you came from! I do not let strange bread loaves into my home!”

I would be sad, but I would have tossed it. Even if it was someone I knew who gave it to me I would have thanked them, but still toss it. We are overly cautious and H is borderline obsessed with everything concerning COVID. He is compromised with high blood pressure, asthma and age. I am only compromised by age and D2 has high blood pressure due to kidney disease, asthma and a blood disorder. Also, I would be a little leery of eating food that I had no idea where it came from.

Covid is the least of my concerns with baked goods. A few minutes in a hot oven, and we will have pretty edible, denatured virus. My bigger concern about food of unknown origin? What if some deranged individual decided to spike bread with something nasty and left such toxic loaves on people’s doorsteps?

That’s pretty strange, but my first thought was that it might’ve been from a neighbor who forgot to add a note. Do you know any of your neighbors well enough for that sort of thing?

We kinda had a similar thing where we let a neighbor pick some lemons from our tree. They came by a few days later to drop off a lemon cake they had made. I was in the middle of washing my hands when they rang the doorbell so couldn’t answer right away. As I was finally walking to the door I overheard them saying, “Maybe they’re not home? Should we just leave it by the door?” If they had left it by the door I would’ve had a lemon cake without a note…

Yes, what a shame.

I’m wondering why you felt it was ok to offer it to someone else when you felt uneasy to keep it yourself?

I’d be so sad to not be able to consume a beautiful fresh bread masterpiece that I probably would have given it a funeral! :wink: :slight_smile:

I hadn’t offered it up - although my OP makes it sound like I did. We’ve had the same postal worker for 23 years. By chance I saw her Wednesday When she delivered the mail and shared the story. “I’ll take it!” I tried to tell her I was leery - she wasn’t at all. So yes, I did give it to her. I’ve seen her 2x since then and she’s fine.

I definitely would not eat. One Christmas when we were first married D and I received a check mix type homemade goodie in a holiday tin in the mail from a bachelor friend from another town. I happily ate it in the course of a few days or so, but h wasn’t really interested in it. Next time I talked to friend I thanked him for it, and he said he didn’t make it but received it from a client and sent to us as a joke!!? Not funny—and I think I was probably 6 months pregnant with S18 at the time unless it was the following year. Either way, I did not appreciate it, and would not have eaten it had I known. At least you told the person where it originated.

I’d eat it. It wasn’t left by accident.

If I was concerned that it might be nefarious, I’d throw it out before giving it away.

I’ve had a few occasions when someone has sent or delivered a gift and simply forgot to leave a card, or send an email. Usually the mystery is resolved soon enough. Once I posted on Facebook and said thanks for the gift, no idea who you are. The giver got in touch. She just forgot to leave a card. Once my mom sent something out of the blue. Took a while to solve that one.

If someone wants to harm you, a beautiful loaf of bread seems a weird way to do it. Especially now, when people are hypersensitive about food. Either it was intended for you, or it was mistakenly dropped at the wrong house.

It most likely was dropped at the wrong house, possibly by a well meaning friend or relative of someone else entirely who got the address wrong. Perhaps a family was sitting shiva? Or someone just felt like baking and sharing the result. It was probably harmless, but I also would not eat food of an unknown origin.

Moral of this story - leave a note!!! It’s still a surprise to receive the item!

This is also why I never really understood the logic in giving the kids teachers homemade edibles. I’d have to have a really, really good relationship with the teacher to give something I made as a gift. I wonder what % of teacher homemade edible gifts land in the trash.

Along with the “World’s Best Teacher” mugs. I used to put together “salad dressing” baskets for teachers - small fancy oils and vinegars, fresh herbs, lemons, croutons, etc. I figured they could regift if not interested.

I would have put it in the freezer. Here’s why:

Nearly 20 years ago, after I’d returned home from a hospital stay, I heard a knock at the door but I was coming out of the shower and by the time I got there, all I saw was a wrapped tray of lasagna. And it was gorgeous… but since it was of unknown origin and the usual suspects (everyone who I’d thought might have done something like that for me) denied any knowledge of it, I wound up throwing it out. About a week later I heard from a work friend who let me know she had left it… she meant to email me since I didn’t answer the door, but then her kid totaled his car and… well, she just had other things on her mind! I kept thinking that I should have frozen it and waited a bit longer to see if the mystery would be solved.

You know… I bet Nest or some other doorbell security cam company could make a great ad from this kind of scenario!

My husband had many patients that would bring baked goods, especially during the holidays. He would usually call me and ask should he leave the food for staff or bring it home. When it was homemade, unless from a patient he knew really well, I said leave it! The store bought food and wine came home if it was something one of us would eat. We are not whiskey drinkers and have had a few bottles put away for years; my son and SIL like to have some when they visit!!

The freezer idea is a good idea.

Perhaps there was a card or note
that blew away

I haven’t made challah or any bread since this virus, as I have no one to share it with. I do have a few friends that make challah. I’d send a text to those few, and say sit made me think of them. Maybe I’ll do that toMorrow.

In my neighborhood, people leave out mangoes and avocados.

@bookworm - my first text was to the one friend that bakes. She says that my mystery is making her nuts (she reads and watches mysteries on the daily).

I did put a “thank you” on FB, but no one came forth. It was a FB friend who suggested that she’d have called the “bomb squad” - she was kidding of course. Another said he’d have eaten the entire thing, and listed all the ways he would have prepared it!

I was just curious what others would have done.

I was so relieved to see @Lindagaf 's comment. For a moment I thought I was alone in thinking I would have eaten it. I’m not worried about Covid transmitting through food (I would have washed my hands well after touching the wrappings). I might have put a note on my neighborhood listserv first, though, in case it was meant for someone else. I wouldn’t have imagined someone trying to do harm that way.

(Now you know how to poison me if you ever wish to!)