I read about Foodie Penpals a few months ago and finally got involved this month. Originating over in the US by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean in September 2011, Carol Anne at Rock Salt brought it over to the UK and Europe.
The idea is this: participants are matched up on the 5th of each month*; penpals post out a box of foodie goodies to their penpal on, or before, the 20th (up to a value of £10 and including something handwritten i.e. a note, postcard, recipe, you get the idea); everybody receives their parcel; enjoys said parcel; blogs about it (revealing on the last weekday of the month); and finally, enjoys reading other peoples posts (which are also collated over at The Lean Green Bean).**
On 5th November, as planned, an email fell into my inbox from Carol Anne containing November’s matches. I quickly opened the attached spreadsheet, looking for a) who I would be sending a parcel to and b) who would be sending a parcel to me. In addition, what is really great about the spreadsheet is that it contains the blog addresses and/or twitter details for many of those participating, which means lots of exciting foodie blogs/people to check out!
So off I went in search of foodie finds to send off to Rebecca at Really Nice Food (@reallynicefood) and eagerly awaited my parcel from Kelly.
It was awesome, it really made me smile and I am so excited about eating/using/enjoying its contents over the next few weeks.
I nearly opened both the spiced broad beans and cajun nuts the moment I opened the parcel. I am a big fan of the broad bean, but this is the first time I have seen them roasted and/or in this form. Kelly warns me in her card that they are addictive...
The Fire Spice Mill looks equally as exciting. Kelly says that it is great on anything that you want to spice up: stews, stir fry, porridge (?!), and as a big fan of spice I am really looking forward to testing it out. Though maybe not on porridge...
For something sweet, the White Hot Chocolate spoon is going to be such a treat as it gets colder and darker, along with the chocolatey treats Kelly popped in the parcel.
I had never ever seen and/or heard of Elderflower Rice Pudding, and according to Kelly's note it is lucky I even received it as she, "almost didn't put this in, because I want to eat it". I can't say I really eat a lot of rice pudding but I am guessing it is suitable for a post-Sunday Roast dessert? That's when I have earmarked it for anyway. It sounds tasty though - apricot and crystallised ginger? Mmmmmmm.
Finally, and possibly what I am most excited about trying out, are these cake sparklers!! Yes, the inner child in me cannot wait. I am going to *try* and save them for Christmas, however, I wouldn't put it pass me popping one in my poached egg tomorrow.
I am so pleased I have finally got involved in Foodie Penpals and based on my first experience, would definitely recommend it. I really enjoyed putting together a parcel of foodie treats and I am really looking forward to working my way through the box I received from Kelly, thank you!
* There is no Foodie Penpals in December.
** I have greatly simplified the process, but head to Rock Salt for more information and to sign up.