This month my Foodie Penpals parcel came from Anna, who is an all-cooking, all-baking, all-foraging teacher from Plymouth. She does not write a blog but she must put all that energy (assuming she has any left at the end of the day) into putting together really thoughtful parcels to send, if this one is anything to go by.
My main stipulation for this parcel was that Anna send me things that were either ready to eat or small, so I could easily find space for them. My kitchen is still in need of that great clear out, and I have things stored on worksurfaces in a way that I find *most* inconvenient, but I just can’t quite seem to prioritise sorting all the cupboards out… Anyway, Anna delivered on this wonderfully, and sent me a parcel full of instant edibles and pint-sized wonders. It was beautifully presented with this sweet ribbon, and a Worzel Gummidge postcard! I love the Penguin Books branding, I wonder how Anna knew?
The tag also features a tiny sticker of a bus – SO cute. I opened up the ribbon quick-smart and delved into the bag to check out what treats awaited. First up, a couple of items to treat my chocolate addiction. Though, actually, it’s not so much treating it as enabling it… But I am all for that. There is a bar of Montexuma chilli chocolate on the left, which I recently tried and loved, so I was delighted to see its familiar face again!
On the right is a block of proper hot chocolate – the kind you get in a solid bar, then melt through hot milk and drink on a cold and stormy night with homemade marshmallows (storm and marshmallows optional). It’s from a Spanish company called Simon Coll, who have a great website that even shows you a wee cartoon of how to make their hot chocolate on the stove. I can’t wait to tuck into some of this one night soon – homemade marshmallows or otherwise.
The next thing I opened was this Dartmoor wild flower honey. This was collected from an apiary local to Anna. The most incredible thing about this honey, apart from its delicate flavour and lovely light colour, is that the beekeeper – Peter Hunt – has been keeping bees since he was 12 years old. You can find out more about Peter on his website. As well as producing and selling honey, he is an expert on bees, and provides advice for novice and experiences beekeepers alike. It is great to be able to get a back story about a product like this, thank you Anna for really embracing the idea of ‘eat local’.
The next item I lifted out were these awesome baking cases. As we all know, I’m a bit of a pirate, and as such I get a lot of pirate stuff. Not only did I not own any of these particular cases, I’d never even *seen* them before – they are so sweet!
Ahoy there, matey! Avast! Batten down the hatches! Love it. I will have to have a pirate party very soon. Gahahahahaaaaaarrrr!
The last thing from this bag of tricks (le sac magique, and those of you who are about my age will recognise that phrase) was my favourite of the bunch – Cornish fairings.
Fairings are chunky, crunchy ginger biscuits, a Cornish specialty. These ones also contain dark chocolate, in the form of generous big rounds scattered through the biscuits. I ate these all to myself, and all in one night. I know, it’s bad. Biscuits for dinner. I don’t regret it a single bit, they were delicious!
Anna, thank you again for this great parcel. It was so thoughtful, you obviously spent time putting it together and wrapping it up for me, and I really appreciate it. The biscuits and chocolate have both been scarfed and I look forward to treating myself to a proper hot chocolate soon. I used some of the honey to make a honey and ginger cake for a friend’s birthday, and you really can taste the difference between this and something off the supermarket shelf. It was perfect in the sponge and in a simple glaze to go over the top, too. Absolutely huge thanks to you for everything.
My penpal this month was Fay, who blogs at Food Fables. You can pop over there to read up on her Rolo cupcakes (helloooooooo!) and to see what I sent her. You can also see the huge linkup post for all participants round the world here at the Lean Green Bean.
If you like the sound of Foodie Penpals, why not join in? If you are in the UK or Europe, the details are right here on Rock Salt. If you are in the US or Canada, you can find out more and sign up at The Lean Green Bean.