So my first month of Foodie Penpals has been and gone. It was a really great experience, but I struggled a little bit with what to put in my parcel, so I think I need to tweak my email a bit more to get the best of the information so I feel more confident with what I send. It was a good experience though, and I did enjoy it. It has made me think that I need to plan it all a bit better.
My parcel went overseas to a lady called Nathalie. I shopped locally, and sent some shortbread (who doesn’t love shortbread!), a jar of handmade chutney, chilli crisps/rice puffs, and some chilli chocolate from the South Devon Chilli Farm. It was surprisingly difficult to stay within the £10 budget. I should have taken some pictures too, as Nathalie doesn’t have a blog, but never mind! I know for next time.
So, onto the very exciting bit… I had been like a child waiting for Christmas to arrive for days. M always gets to the top of the stairs before I do, and I had been asking for the last couple of days “anything for me?”. A parking ticket letter, yes. Foodie Penpals package, no. But then, the day came and it was carted off to the living room, scissors in hand to break into my box of foodie goodness (it was incredibly well packaged and taped!). Inside was a beautiful card (I’d been interviewing designers all day, so I probably paid even more attention to the patterns on the card than on a normal day – though I do love good stationary, and could spend a fortune in Paperchase) with a lovely handwritten note from Kit at What a Peach, explaining the contents of the box and some serving suggestions. Then, into the box…
I swear Kit is a kindred spirit of shopping trolleys! I am a fan of Japanese food, and can’t wait to use the black soba noodles in yasai yaki soba (my favourite Wagamama dish – recipe book courtesy of my sister a couple of years ago). I’ll be topping it with the Japanese sea salad too. All this new food to try – so exciting!
I had to try one of the Nakd banana bread bars immediately, and it was love at first bite. How have these beauties escaped my notice until now?! I have a real soft spot for banana based products – banana cakes, breads, chips, milkshakes, bananas themselves… You name it, there’s a good chance I’ll love it. After snaffling the first one, a second one started staring at me, calling my name. I reasoned (perhaps unreasonably) that it was fine to have a second one (about 10 minutes after the first), as I hadn’t had lunch because work was so crazy, and I had spinning in half an hour. So I sat down, and slowly ate the second one. Wow! So tasty! I am not sure how I would keep them in the house, so when I buy some I may ask M to hide them from me and allow me one when I’ve had a low-syn day. Of course, there’s a reason I love them – they’re 10.5 syns! Oops. There are lower syn bars though, so I think I could definitely work my way through the range in time (whilst practising that pesky “moderation”). Can you tell I am totally taken with these?!
The dark chocolate will be reserved for a sweet treat with a cuppa. It’s the only way really. I could grate it into a yogurt or something, but I doubt it’ll make it to that point.
The two jars were a local honey – so handy, as I have just about run out of honey for my porridge (and I have to have honey or peanut butter in my porridge). Strangely, I only like honey with meat, or in salad dressings or porridge. As a child, I always remember the rest of my family having honey sandwiches for Friday tea, and I had jam as I didn’t like honey. I won’t actually lick it off the spoon either. Weirdo. The peanut butter is smoooooooth. I usually buy crunchy, and have a pot of Whole Earth crunchy on the go, but will definitely be using the smooth in stir fries (and Kit has inspired me to hunt down a gado gado recipe to try).
Last but not least – some lovely L’Occitane soap and a Pukka tea. I’m on a real fruit/herbal tea kick at the moment (though to my dismay had bought raspberry leaf tea, which I didn’t know was meant to bring on labour at the end stages of pregnancy – hope no one thinks I’m pregnant!). The soap and tea will be my Sunday bath treat after my run.
So, a huge thank you to Kit – I’m so pleased with what I received, and love that I get to try new stuff that I would just never think to pick up. You’ve picked some really great things, and I just can’t wait to try it all!
Thank you also to Carol Anne at This is Rock Salt for coordinating the UK & European contingent. I can’t wait for next month’s instalment!
If you’d like to see what Kit received from her Foodie Penpal, head on over to her post here.
I have also made a mental note to research taking good pictures, so hopefully May’s Foodie Penpals will have some better quality pictures.