Last month, Mel mentioned she was part of a group of foodie penpals organised by Carol Anne from Rock Salt. After reading about the concept and the delicious treats her penpal sent her, I subscribed to the Foodie Penpals project.
I love sending and receiving things through regular mail. Letters, postcards, parcels… although it takes much longer than e-mail, it takes more time and dedication to prepare it and it feels more special. Also, you can’t e-mail food… yet.
My Foodie Penpal was Hannah from Hannah Does Healthy, and she truly surprised me this month. You can’t imagine my excitement when I found this giant package on my mailbox.
When I unwrapped it and opened it, I found a bunch of small and secret goodies wrapped in Lush newspaper. And a letter, handwritten by Hannah herself.
In the letter she described each of the items she sent me, and why.
First, I tried the cherry scone, as it was the closest to its sell by date.
I don’t usually like cherries (forgot to tell her, oops!), but this was delightful, and from a Cheltenham bakery, close to my dear land of Bristol. So it was like breakfast for the soul.
What I did tell her I loved was olives. She doesn’t like olives, which is fine, as olives are one of those noms you either love or hate.
And for someone who doesn’t like olives, she surely chose something fantastic.
Olive breadsticks! Sheer genius! The crunchiness and salty-ness of the sticks are not compromised by the presence of the dry olives. I reckon people who don’t usually like olives could eat this with no problem whatsoever, as the flavour is very delicate – but nice enough for those of us who worship olives like holy relics. They go perfectly with my usual lunch of humus, tzatziki and taramasalata. A nice Mediterranean experience.
Another treat from the West Country! Artisan raspberry and chocolate jam handmade in Gloucester. As you can see, it combines my love for chocolates and my love for berries. It’s so artisanal, you can feel the raspberry seeds crunching as you eat. The chocolate flavour, just like the olives in breadsticks, is subtle yet nice.
So far, I’ve tried the jam as part of a fruitful smoothie and spread on some plain toast (as pictured). Let me tell you this plain toast is not plain at all now.
The raspberry jam was not the only chocolatey thing in the parcel. These Choccy Munchy Seeds consist of Belgian chocolate mix with dried apricot, sunflower & pumpkin seeds. They are HIGHLY addictive. When we’re on the computer, we’re always nomming a handful.
I’ve stopped having them this weekend because I didn’t want to run out of them. Will have to find out where to get them over here. PRONTO.
Finally, she included this curries cookbook in the parcel. She got it from a charity shop. I adore charity shops and all the nice, unique things you can find there for affordable prices. Plus, I was looking for curry recipes to make at home, so this is right up my street! It includes recipes with meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and pulses; from the very basic to the most experimental.
For instance, I hadn’t heard about these curried meatballs with eggs before, and they sound quite interesting. My husband didn’t find the idea so attractive. His loss, more for me!
Exotic Curries is now part of our small cooking library:
(someone in the house might have a crush on Nigella. Ho hum… who could that be?)
Thank you so much, Hannah, for your exquisite parcel! And thank you, Carol, for this wonderful idea.
I can’t wait for Nikola to get my parcel and tell me what she thought about it! 😀