Tag Archives: care parcels

February Foodie Penpals Linkup

Hi all!

It’s the time of month where we all share our Foodie Penpals posts with each other. Below is the link to our February Foodie Penpals linkup page. I can’t host it directly on my blog, as Lindsay used to, but this ought to do. If anyone has suggestions about how to make the linkup better (fitter, happier, more productive), please drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.

Please add your links as you wish!

Not sure what Foodie Penpals is? Let me tell you a little more about it…

  • Foodie Penpals is free to sign up for, and there’s a link a little further down so you can get started
  • Participants are matched to two people – one person to send to, one to receive from – on the 5th of the month
  • Penpals send thoughtful, food related parcels, on or before the 20th of the month. The parcels can include home baked treats, shop bought treats (especially local or unusual things), cake cases or decorations – use your imagination. The parcel must include something hand written – a note explaining the box’s contents, a recipe card, whatever you like. The price limit for the boxes is £10 – this is a limit, the point is not the cost, but the thought (no, really!)
  • Penpals open their boxes and rejoice!
  • At the end of the month, everyone blogs about their box, or writes a guest blog post if they are usually a blog reader and not writer. Everyone reads one another’s posts and rejoices some more.
  • You can take part for as long as you still want to – if you need a month off here and there, you can opt in and out as you like

Who’s taking part next month, you ask? Here’s a peek at the different countries we already have represented. Don’t see yours? You know what to do…

FPP March Chart

You can find out more and sign up using these links:

Sign up before March 4th, and you’ll get your first matches on March 5th!

Foodie Penpals March 2014

I’m late! What a terrible example to set! Posting more than once a week is something I used to take in my stride, but these days that stride has to encompass many other things and is also hampered by stray wool. I knit now, did I tell you? Knitting is cool.


Anyway this preamble is a pathetic attempt at an excuse for not having my Foodie Penpals post up yesterday, as I should have. My apologies, especially to Pami who sent me my lovely parcel, and deserved a prompt reveal post! Pami lives in Kent, and writes the beautiful blog A Crust Eaten. She also has that whole social media thing DOWN – she’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram too. She sent me some thoughtfully chosen Kent classics, plus a jar of homemade… well, wait. Let’s start at the beginning.


FPP March 001


Love this postcard, that dippy egg looks deeeelicious!


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A lovely big wedge of Kentish cheese. The producers, Cheesemakers of Canterbury, describe it as a cheddar style, but to my tastebuds it seemed to go beyond. I love a cheddar, don’t get me wrong, but this Ashmore was firmer and more tangy, with maybe even a hint of the kind of nutty flavour you get in hard European cheeses. I wasted no time in getting tucked in.


FPP March 016


Beer! I haven’t popped this one open, it’s in the fridge waiting for an opportune moment. Love the idea of locally brewed beer, and these cows have plenty of attitude. I like that in a cow, you know? A bit of chutzpah.


FPP March 013


Kentish lemon rapeseed oil. You may already know that I love rapeseed oil (and attribute the perfection of my roast potato technique to discovering highland rapeseed oil). However, while I have a plain bottle and a ginger flavoured bottle, I don’t have any lemon oil. Well, I didn’t until I opened my parcel! Lemon oil is great for baking as well as finishing off soups, paella, roast veg – a whole host of things, really. Can’t wait to crack this open and drizzle it over some new season asparagus, once it arrives.


FPP March 003


Homemade piccalilli! I’ve never had piccalilli before, being put off by the luminous colour it usually is when you see it on the supermarket shelves. This is a whole other beast – fresh veg, finely balanced flavours of vinegar and curry and a far more natural colour. It was great piled up on some of the Ashmore, ferried to my face with an oatcake or six.


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Pami said she’d never made it before, which I find hard to believe because it was an absolute triumph! Much more of a triumph than the pictures express, in fact.


Pami, thank you again for everything, I loved my parcel and love that it was a mix of things I could eat straight away, and things that could enhance my kitchen cupboards.


If you’d like to see more Foodie Penpals posts from around the world, have a look at The Lean Green Bean’s linkup post.

If you’re in the UK or Europe, you can find out more and join in here on Rock Salt.

If you’re in the US or Canada, you can find out more and join on The Lean Green Bean.

Foodie Penpals February 2014

I am a day late with my post – my parcel arrived while we were in Berlin, so I didn’t get the chance to open it until last night. I trust this transgression will be forgiven.

Sandrine in France was my penpal this month, and she obviously put a lot of time into thinking about what would make a great parcel. Let’s take a look…. I felt like a children’s TV presenter saying there, I don’t think I’ll say that again.

FPP Feb 003

The box contained a pretty card, as well as a long handwritten note to tell me about the contents.

FPP Feb 008


Crisps! The Dixi on the left are sort of like Wotsits in nature, but round and tomato flavoured. The Monster Munch are not the same as the ones we get here – they’re more like Pom Bears, which might be my favourite crisp… Naturally, I demolished the Monster Munch last night. They were excellent.

FPP Feb 007

Interesting chocolate! Violet and earl grey flavours, right up my street. I’ve tried them both and can confirm they are delicious. The earl grey one is fruity and sweet, the violet one unsurprisingly floral with little crunches throughout. Brilliant find.

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Traditional Breton four quarters cake – a butter cake that is perfect to go with a cup of tea. I haven’t opened this yet, I can see it disappearing pretty quickly once I do.

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These fancy sweeties are chocolates that Sandrine tells me are often eaten at New Year. Not only do they have spangly wrapping, but they are like little crackers inside!

FPP Feb 013

Truth: I almost gave myself a heart attack by pulling the cracker part. It’s REALLY loud and makes a big spark! There is also a little sheet inside with trivia, jokes, riddles – the kind of stuff you get in crackers. The chocolates have various fillings (yes, I’ve tried more than one), and they’re worth celebrating on their own. Perhaps with another chocolate.

FPP Feb 011

Sandrine describes these as ‘irresistible’, and I can well believe it. I haven’t had these before, I’m not sure if we get them here, but i can imagine the crisp shell on the outside and the chewy insides all too well. And there are two packets! I might even share. Might. I said might.

FPP Feb 009

Caramel chews with little faces on the wrapper. How cool? I haven’t opened one of these yet (I’ve eaten a surprising amount of this box already, but not these) but I love the kind of ‘penny sweet’ vibe to them. They made me think of going to the shops after school with my pocket money.

Thank you so much, Sandrine, for a wonderful, well thought-out and beautifully presented parcel. It was a treat to open, and I’m sorry I was late in posting about it!

If you would like to see other Foodie Penpal parcels from around the world, have a look at The Lean Green Bean’s linkup page.

If you’d like to learn more about Euro Foodie Penpals, click here.

If you’d like to know more about US and Canada Foodie Penpals, click here.

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