I seem to start many of my Foodie Penpal posts by explaining why my post is late – we are meant to post on the last day of the month all at the same time. So, as has become the tradition…this month my post is late because I’m away for the weekend visiting some lovely friends in London, so have only just had the time to get to my laptop.
Excuses over, if you haven’t read one of my penpal posts before, Foodie Penpals is a scheme that originated in the US and was brought over to the UK by the lovely Thisisrocksalt, to find out more about how it works take a look at her blog or click on the badge at the bottom of my page.
This month my parcel came courtesy of Rachel over at Foodnerd4life, who I was very impressed to learn has the envious job of inventing pie fillings for a living. Since my evening of pie at Asda HQ ‘pie maker’ is a job I’m much aspiring to. I told Rachel I was feeling very Christmassy, loved spice and warned her about my limited cow milk intake, but gave her quite a loose scope on what I’d like to see in my parcel. In the end, she sent a package full of sugar and spice and all things nice. Here’s the beautiful food-inspired Christmas card that came in my parcel.
Inside the parcel was a real mix of ready-to-eat and quality ingredients. The diversity of this package blew me away and though I’ve not had a chance to sample much of it yet I’m very excited about doing so. The first thing I dived into was the homemade chocolate fudge, which I did share a little with my work colleagues (I’m nice like that). It’s always lovely when a penpal goes to the effort of making something for you and the fudge was delicious. I hope the fudge I’m making as part of my Christmas hampers turns out half as well. Rachel also include a mix for ;Joy the Bakers pancakes’, the recipe for which can be found on her blog (you should take a look, her blog is very pretty). The special thing about the mix is that it requires no eggs. Also in the sweet category was some Rabbit Candy from her local Chinese store.
Moving on the the spice, Rachel had included some fabulously fragrant Paprika from a recent trip to Madrid (it’s begging for me to make paella with it) and some Japanese chilli oil. And for the nice, I had some freeze dried olives and some unusual squid ink. I think I’ll probably put the olives into some scones and if Santa brings me the pasta maker I’ve asked for, the squid ink could well be making it’s way into a pasta dish. Here’s my impressive haul..
I sent my parcel to Kimberley Stout fullasanegg Manchester, who is a fellow baker and a bit of a chocolate lover. Kimberley told me that she liked ginger (which I may have got a wee bit carried away with). I sent her some festive chocolates from Bon Bons as I was feeling Christmassy, some chocolate coated ginger fudge – also from Bon Bons, lavender essence for baking and some Alnwick Marmalade complete with more ginger and rum. I was a bit worried about it looking like quite a small parcel but I’d blown my budget a little in Bob Bons. This little boutique chocolate shop is one of my go tos when I get partnered with someone with a sweet tooth.
There’s no foodie penpals running in December, but I am taking part in another exchange specially for Christmas, which has been organised by moneysupermarket.com. As I love giving and receiving parcels I couldn’t really resist when I was asked, so expect more details on that over the next few weeks.