April 05, 2008

Ozzy and This Post Are Bananas!

Ozzy Osborne? Almost. Crazy? Definitely. The basement dweller who lives below me is a spitting image of Ozzy Osborne. He has long black hair, little purple glasses, plays the guitar and is just creepy. I’ve previously mentioned my struggles with The Landlord here and here and now it’s time for you to hear about one of the other nut cases that I deal with on a regular basis: Ozzy.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Ozzy is bananas. But not in the good and tasty way like banana bread, white chocolate banana muffins or caramel pecan upside down banana cake. No, Ozzy is bananas in the sense that he’s crazy. He doesn’t seem to have any concept of time either, as he’s woken me up on numerous occasions at 4am by playing his electric guitar with the amp plugged in and turned up. Scares the bejesus out of me. He also shows up randomly at my door and the worst part is that I can’t hide from him because he knows when I’m home! He can hear me walking around, turning the tap on, cooking and ugh, showering, (as one friend pointed out, to my absolute horror, he knows when I’m naked).

So I answer the door and try to be polite and think of an excuse of why I can’t go drink beer with him, (his usual request). Sometimes I pretend to be on the phone, but he’s persistent and will show up first at my front door and then 20 minutes later at my back door. Other times I’ve ignored the knocking, which is hard to do with someone so persistent, but I don’t always have the patience to deal with him. When I see him outside the apartment I hurry to get my keys and rush inside before he has time to strike up a conversation.

Between avoiding him and The Landlord, it’s an ongoing mad dash to get in and out of my apartment without being seen. Perhaps the best part of all of this is that The Landlord constantly tells me to stay away from Ozzy because he says he has brain damage from all the alcohol and drugs and Ozzy tells me to stay away from the crazy Landlord who’s always in everyone’s business. I think they’re both nuts.

I’m currently involved in a battle of the bass with Ozzy. I think he’s winning. His bass shakes my floor and therefore everything in my apartment. The only card I hold to best him with is the scent of freshly baked cookies. On quite a few occasions I’ve heard him come home when I’m baking and comment on the smell. I contemplate bringing him some in the hopes that he’ll knock off the bass, but I think it will have the opposite effect and just make him come visit me more often, which I’m trying to avoid. So to drive him crazy and to keep me sane, I keep on baking. I find bananas to make especially fragrant baked goods and I’ve been on a banana binge lately, turning them into cakes and muffins and smoothies, but not taking nearly enough pictures. Sometimes I feel like one banana muffins looks like all the others but that doesn’t stop me from baking them. I’ve made Peanut Butter Banana Muffins from Pittsburgh Needs Eated, Banana Walnut Whole Grain Muffins from the Wellfed Network and Banana Bran and Raisin Muffins from Cookie Baker Lynn but I don’t have pictures to show for any of these. Shame on me. Ironically, the one picture of muffins that I do have is my White Chocolate Chunk Banana Muffins that I don’t have a recipe for because I made it up. The thing is, I wrote it down, but when I made it a second time it wasn’t as good so I’ll have to play around with that one for a bit before I post it for real. I’ve also made Cooking Light’s Classic Banana Bread which I found on Twin Tables Banana Bread Bake Off. This is a pretty nice post that features 6 different banana bread recipes that you should definitely check out. Oh and I've also made tons of variations of David Lebovitz's Easiest Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe Ever, (chocolate, bananas and Bailey's? Yes please!).

And finally, I made Bon Appetit’s Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake I was convinced I had already posted about this cake. So when I saw Deb of Smitten Kitchen make it I made some comment about how great it was when I made it with pecans, blah blah blah, then I checked my blog to see exactly when I posted about it and I found out that it was at about a quarter to never. Good job self. I’ve got a brain like a sieve. Don’t worry though, I won’t forget to post about the raspberry ice cream I made at the same time as that cake, (which was ages ago). It’s a Ben and Jerry’s recipe that I was inspired to make after my mom made their kiwi ice cream, and it was phenomenal, (and she is phemomenal).

Ben & Jerry's Raspberry Ice Cream (From the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Book)

Compared to other fresh fruit, fresh raspberries are intensely flavorful and very tart, so to make ice cream you need less fruit and more sugar. If you prefer a chunkier raspberry ice cream, return the raspberries to the refrigerator after pouring off the juice. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it's done), add the whole raspberries, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Makes generous 1 quart

1 pint fresh raspberries

1½ cups sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

2 large eggs

2 cups heavy or whipping cream

1 cup milk


Toss the raspberries, ¾ cup of the sugar, and the lemon juice together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining ¾ cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the heavy cream and milk and whisk to blend.

Drain the juice from the raspberries into the cream mixture and blend. Mash the raspberries until pureed and stir them into the cream mixture.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.

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Manggy said...

Oh boy! I am worried about your neighbor situation. Don't give this guy any food, it'll encourage him.

Meanwhile, I am totally craving the raspberry ice cream :) I love tart-sweet flavors :)

LyB said...

Brilynn, I feel for you, it's horrible having annoying, noisy neighbors and I know what you're talking about! Keep on baking, it's the most perfect, tastiest way to stay sane and if that doesn't work, well, blog about it! All of your recipes sound incredibly delicious, I have a few "monkeys" around here who'd love any one of those muffins and cakes! :)

Peabody said...

I had a guy below me who loved to play the electric guitar. Luckily it was never ungodly hours but it drove me insane. I was a bitch and I knew he slept in every day because he worked nights, so I would vacuum my master bedroom every day....several times through out the morning. He finally camed up and bitched and I said that his guitar playing caused my walls to shake the dust onto the ground and I had to vacuum. He never played it again until he moved out 3 months later. :P

Susan @ SGCC said...

Oh boy! This does not sound like a good situation for you. I wish I had some great advice to give you. I'd be happy to come up there and rough him up a little. I've been feeling pretty feisty lately.
While you're thinking it over, I'll just sit here and admire your beautiful food! ;)

KJ said...

Oh I feel for you!! I have been there. Noisy neighbours are a pain. Psycho neighbours are horrid. Noisy psycho neighbours - the absolute subterranean pits!!

At least you have this gorgeous ice cream to cheer you up.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Crazy neighbors with loud music are a bad combination. We once lived above a guy who was a weekend disc jockey and he practiced during the week -- at home. Drove me nuts. I feel for you and hope it gets resolved somehow.

Rachel@fairycakeheaven said...

My god you poor thing with the crazy neighbour and the landlord!! I don't think you should give "Ozzy" food though as it might encourage him to come around even more.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I have the opposite where I live. I never see a living soul from day to day..but I am glad I have no Ozzy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, don't feed the rats they say or they'll be back! But wow, if you fed me these things, I would be back with a vengenence!

Rosie said...

Oh boy I really do feel for you!! I once lived in flats many years ago with Ozzy and the music - I know where you are coming from!

Rosie x

Deborah said...

That's a lot of banana love!

I'm so sorry about the neighbor - there's really nothing worse than having to avoid someone every day like that! I hope it gets better!

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Landlords can be so strange and difficult, at least ozzy seems more like the crazy one than your landlord, although most people get the picture when you ignore them enough.

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream can't be beat. I don't know if you're aware, but the certifiable BEST Ben & Jerry's flavor is "Oatmeal Cookie Chunk". It's not really up for debate, it's sort of a fact. If you haven't had it before, go get a fresh scoop, you won't be disappointed. What I do is get a large, but ask for a tasting spoon to eat it with, so I can fully enjoy every little morsel. I eat about 20 spoonfuls (like 1 bite) and freeze it, saving it for the next week or so. This way you get the maximum flavor and enjoyment out of it and don't overeat the stuff (which is real easy to do).

- The Peanut Butter Boy

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Helene said...

Creepy neighbor...Wonderful banana bread recipe and absolutely smashing ice cream!

jasmine said...

Ach! Yes...I sympathise.

No, don't show up with cookies...he'll think you *like him* like him and then it will just get creepygrossweird.


Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Wow! I if I were you, I would be really afraid, and carry pepper spray lol.

Annie said...

Yikes. What a mess. I can't imagine having to dash in and out of my own place. I also can't imagine being woken up by his damn guitar either!
It's a good thing that you have your baking to keep you sane!
It all looks too good!!!

Good luck avoiding the bananas.

Lyra said...

Hi Brilynn, that sucks about your neighbor. Definitely don't feed him, and the next time you go home for the weekend, when he asks you where you have been tell him you were visiting your boyfriend. And that you have a lot of studying to do, so goodbye. Or, you could just go for the direct approach and tell him that his constant visiting is making it hard for your to concentrate on your studies and that you would appreciate it if he would let you get down to business. Good luck! And all these banana recipes have me drooling, especially the cake with the pecans/walnuts. First Smitten Kitchen and now you...I can't get away from it!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Creepy. Just creepy. Keep your banana treats all to yourself, don't feed the crazies. I hope things begin to look on the brighter side soon!

Maggie said...

You've sent 'Ozzy' nuts with the cooking smells coming from your appartment.
Ozzy Osbourne comes from the West Midlands where I now live, but he isn't our ambassador!!
Has your neighbour cloned with him?
Great posting.

Pittsburgh Needs Eated said...

How'd you like those peanut butter and banana muffins?

Your neighbor sounds pretty out there...I don't think i've met anyone whose crazy neighbors continually stopped by to chat. At least when you move you'll have some good stories...

Maria said...

A crazy neighbor and landlord...not a good combo!! Keep on baking though! Love your posts!!

PheMom said...

This was the perfect way to start my morning, I was laughing so hard about Ozzy and the Not-So-Helpful Landlord, then all the lovely banana goodness (I really hope you can remake the recipe for those white chocolate muffins!).

Thanks for a great laugh. Your banana pecan cake looks amazing! I love that you called your mom "phemomenal." I'm sure she is amazing!

Nic said...

Oh my gosh - that noise would drive me barmy. Take care.
Your ice cream looks wonderful, I can't wait for our raspberries to grow. .

PheMom said...

Baby bumped me before I could finish my last comment - he is learning to kick and swipe (usually at the computer). Anyway I was going to say that Ozzy maybe you could make some cookies and swap the salt for sugar or something, then take them to him and tell him he just has to try one. Watch while he grimasses and then sweetly tell him that since you can hear the guitar so well that you'll just have to keep giving him your extra baked goods. He sounds creepy and if he keeps hinting that he wants to be fed then maybe this is just devious enough to have him running from you! :) Just a crazy thought.

Anonymous said...

Well crap that Ozzy the mental case lives beneath you! :( ACK! That upside down banana cake is killing me! *faints*

Sara said...

You do live in a crazy place! Brings back not so fond memories of my first apartment in Calgary. Drug dealer lived below us (although he was a very nice man), hooker next door and across the hall, a rather large man who played opera cd's at top volume at 7 am and who wore only a towel to take out his garbage.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Omg, Ozzy was here on the weekend!
Bri, my landlady is selling the apartment and since we don't intend to buy it (we want something better), Joao and I will have to move. We're searching for a new place and boy, it is tiring!
These baked goods made me feel better already. :)

Unknown said...

So many great looking banana recipes! Just look at that caramen sauce running all over...mmm... and the raspberry ice cream!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Wow, you are one busy chefette, what with all the banana baking and avoiding the creepy neighbor. Good thing you have such gorgeous ice cream to calm the nerves.

Thanks so much for pointing me to the sugary, chocolate cookie recipe. You're a doll!

RecipeGirl said...

Your post makes me think of all the many very-strange neighbors I've had over the years. I had one that used to use an electric typewriter at like 4am everyday (underneath my bedroom...TYPE, TYPE, TYPE... talk about going nuts.) Anyway, be careful with the creepy guy.

I believe I was looking at this same upside down cake recently. Looks like it turned out great for you!

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Cheryl said...

Wow, that sounds like such an unfun situation with Ozzy and the Landlord. I don't envy you one bit in this. But you sure do produce some awesome desserts when under those situations. The ice cream is incredible.

Kelly-Jane said...

Everything looks great, your first picture is really stunning :) but I can't help it I'm thinking chocolate, Bailey's and bananas - wow!

Ozzy sounds a touch creepy, I'm quite worried now, you take care.

Gabi said...

You are right do not feed the crazy they'll just come back for more.
Oh this situation is making me worried for you. Can you move? Luckily most of my neighbors are nice or at least they mind their own business.
I guess if you're going to go bananas your baking is the way to go :)
Stay safe!!!!

ChichaJo said...

Oh no :( Wish I could send you some of my neighbors...they are a pretty good bunch :) Below me is a law office...so no noise, and no one complains when we have parties :)

But rest easy...because I know you are driving this guy insane with the baked goods smells! I can't even smell them but already I am going a little nuts with the yummy pictures!

Gigi said...

Oh, Brilynn, I can totally relate to your living situation. Three years ago I had a neighbor (Jason) who knew exactly when my coffee was done brewing. As the last drop fell into the pot he would knock on the door with his mug and say "...do you mind filling me up?" I finally moved into a house 2000 miles away and can drink my coffee in peace and alone.

P.S. Love, love all the banana inspired treats!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I'd guess you drive Ozzy crazy with all this baking. Reading all the things you bake and don't post makes my head spin.
The caramel pecan upside down banana cake: stops me dead in my tracks - that looks totally over the tops good. . . yes I'm thinking of licking the screen but know that won't work.

Anonymous said...

Brilynn, I have a great idea... invite your crazy neighbor over for some of that delicious dessert you made, but slip some arsenic in his! Voila, no more problem neighbor!!

Anonymous said...

Good grief - sounds like you're dealing with a warzone! Best of luck dealing with both crazies - and at least you can make delicious treats like these to help keep you sane :)

Cakelaw said...

Woohoo, both cake and icrecream are to die for!

Unknown said...

That is the most awesome story ever - if you weren't in your situation. Sorry you have to deal with that, definitely annoying to have to creep around your own place. I LOVE bananas, so those recipes look wayyy too good!