Another Foodie Penpals parcel! This one came from Jessica, who is a non-blogging member of the FPP group. We exchanged a couple of emails, wherein I was as vague as ever (only mentioning the few things I don’t like) and she picked up the ball and ran with it. She went the whole nine yards, knocked it out of the park, got a hole in one, made a slam dunk and potted a 147. I received this lovely parcel full of things I can’t wait to use. Here it is!
Let’s get stuck in. First of all, there was an adorable card and two hand-written recipes on the sweetest notepaper with happy little critters and rainbows. This was such a personal touch, I really appreciated the time and effort that went into these. I also appreciate what looks like a robin in a flat cap and pom pom scarf, and a curious, mustachioed long-tailed mouse. Very cool.
Next there was this lovely box of Moroccan mint and spices tea. I opened this straight away and had a cup; it’s absolutely spot on. The spices are mellow and warming, the mint flavour is sweet and the smell is rich and enticing. it’s not too strong, and it doesn’t go bitter over time as some herbal teas do. Great stuff, and absolutely perfect timing since my tea stash at work has run out a bit of late.
In the middle of the parcel was a packet of dried oyster mushrooms. Funnily enough, I sent a packet of dried porcinis to my penpal this month, and resisted buying myself a packet while I was at it. Now, it turns out I didn’t have to! Penpal mind reading strikes again. I recently saw a recipe that called for grinding dried mushrooms to a powder and using them as a coating, I might try that out with some of these. Otherwise I’ll probably use some in a big bowl of ramen, it’s been a while since I made myself a nice mushroom dashi.
Underneath the mushrooms was a little treat for me, a packet of Pepero chocolate biscuit sticks. They’re like Mikado or Pocky, but made by a different company, in Korea. I opened these after dinner the day I got my parcel, and they didn’t disappoint. The chocolate is dark and the biscuit is quite sweet, sort of like a tea biscuit stick. The only trouble is how easy it is to eat a whole packet in one sitting. I managed to avoid this, but only by standing up and putting them out of my own reach before it happened.
The two long packets were a bamboo sushi mat and a packet of green tea noodles. The sushi mat is a nice reminder that I used to make and enjoy sushi. I might also start to use it in photos to make them a bit more interesting. I can’t wait to try the green tea noodles; I had some flat green tea noodles years ago which I loved, but the place I got them stopped selling them and I’ve never properly looked for them again. There is a definite future blog post in these, and there are so many of them that I can try out a couple of different recipes, too.
The final item is, I have to confess, my favourite; a little pinch pot of smoked Cornish sea salt. You may already know about my love for salt, and smoked salt in particular. I use it in a lot of recipes and it’s perfect as a topping for pretzels or crackers. I love it so much that my current box is almost finished. Enter Jessica, who solved that problem like a beautiful fairy godmother. Thank you Jessica!
I sent a parcel to Andy this month – even if you’re not interested in what I sent him, check out his blog High Maintenance Life because it is really excellent. Another benefit of Foodie Penpals is finding new blogs and blogging buddies, and this is a prime example. I love his post about Beards in Space but his recipes also look rather special – I’ll be having a go at Miso Pork Ramen before too long.
If you’d like to get involved in Foodie Penpals and you’re in the UK or Europe, you can find out more right here on Rock Salt – there is a drop down menu up top, or simply click here. If you’re in the US or Canada, head to the Lean Green Bean and sign up there. If you’re in other countries, get in touch with Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean because she may or may not be thinking of branching out to your area!
To see a selection of Foodie Penpals posts from this month, have a look at the linkup post here. You can also take to Twitter and check out the #foodiepenpals tag to keep up to date with all the chat.