Foodie Penpal Goodness

This month, I have been very naughty, and shirked my posting responsibilities.  For that I repent.

But I musta done something right,  because the Postperson brought me treats, courtesy of Foodie Penpals:

Sweet treats from Kathryn in Vancouver!
My first Foodie Penpal package: sweet treats and a lovely handwritten note from Kathryn in Vancouver!

This month was my first trying out Foodie Penpals.  I received goodies from fellow foodie Kathryn, in Vancouver.  Thank you, Kathryn!

To participate, you send an email to founder and organizer Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean.  You are then matched with a foodie in your country (Canada, the US, and the UK are current options), and you send them $15 worth of treats.  A separate foodie sends you a parcel of your own.

Kathryn sent a lovely box of thoughtfully selected goodies that match my tastes perfectly:

A tasty bag of mulled cider–cinnamon, cloves, allspice, organic apricots, apples, and orange peel.  I’m looking forward to later in December when my out of town best friend flies in, at which point, I’ll be breaking out the crock pot and the bottle of good Bahamian rum for some strong-simmered winter sweetness.

On an aside, I particularly appreciate the organic apricots included in this cider mix.  If you’ve never tried organic apricots, please do.  Where standard dried apricots are rubbery and unnaturally bright orange, organic apricots are soft, and have a beautiful caramelized flavour.  Mmm!  Can I wait until mid December to crack this open?  Not sure…

Mulled Cider Mix from Ambercott Acres in Cawston, BC.
Mulled Cider Mix from Ambercott Acres in Cawston, BC.

Also included was…

Trudy Ann's Bombay Masala Chai
Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai

This selection is a winner for many reasons.  We’re big Chai drinkers around here.  Far from finding a new brew mundane, it’s exciting to try a new version of this favourite.  I poked around online and found that Trudy Ann’s Bombay Masala Chai is made in Vancouver, which is very handy for when I want to track down a refill.  I’m also delighted by the prancing elephant logo.

And finally….

Maple Pecans, from Cocoa Nymph Chocolates & Confections
Maple Pecans, from Cocoa Nymph Chocolates & Confections.

Since all Foodie Penpals are to post the reveal of what they received, on the same day–the 30th, this month–I tore open the box as soon as it arrived, but patiently tucked the goodies away.  Until today, when the Maple Pecans were, after a hasty photo shoot, opened, and the attack began.  I enjoy nuts.  A lot.  Pecans are probably the best of the bunch.  And I really, really enjoy maple syrup.  Cocoa Nymph’s Maple Pecans are…

(pardon me while I have another…just to, you know, remind myself of the flavour.  So I can describe it.  You know)

…mmmrrph…mmmrrph…crunch…sweet caramelized mapley…crunch…

My last post was an emotional one about some memories of my dad, who died a few months ago.   Daddy was a huge fan of the pecan, and of nuts in general.  If there was a stash of nuts in the house, chances were good that you’d go to it and find Daddy had got there first.  Oh, the container would still be there…with two peanuts, and some mixed nut dust left.  So I raised a maple pecan in his honour tonight.  And it was good.

Thank you again, Kathryn, for such a thoughtful selection of goodies!  What I find loveliest about this selection is that, even after living in Vancouver for 10 years, I’d never encountered any of these brands myself.  There are always new treasures to be enjoyed.


		
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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Ally says:

    Oh yum! That all sounds lovely. Bonus points for an elephant on the Chai packet!
    I haven’t eaten maple pecans (I have never seen them) but I imagine they are delicious.
    Re: the cider mix- Good luck holding out until your friend arrives 🙂
    I agree with your comments on dried apricots. I love organic, dried Turkish apricots.

    1. Oh, the maple pecans are all gone. They were so good. I may have to hunt down a recipe…something to keep my hands off the cider mix!

  2. Trudy Ann says:

    I made your chai packets and my super talented husband designed the elephant! Hope you are loving your treats!! Thanks to Kathryn 🙂 This is the second foodie penpal who mailed my chai.. thank you!! Cheers 🙂

    1. That’s great, Trudy Ann! Thank you for stopping on by, and for making a lovely local chai. I think tonight shall be the night I brew up the first pack. It’s lovely to know that your husband designed the elephant, too…nice work!

  3. Julie says:

    Yum! Great package. We hope to visit Vancouver this summer…I will have to be sure to find some foodie specialty stores. Are there rules about bringing food back to the US? I will have to look into that. Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Julie–thanks for stopping by! Sorry about the delay in responding to your comment…in my experience, fresh produce and dairy are what you’re likely to be asked about when going back to the US, so sealed and packaged goodies aren’t likely to be a problem at all. I do know I was once told (by a border guard, as a matter of fact) that produce like apples and pears could, in fact, be brought across as long as they had either a Washington State or British Columbia sticker on them. Yeah. I tried that on my next trip down and got to learn what that secret back room of shame is used for. The one behind the double doors. And my fruit got taken away, too. But if you steer clear of any sort of fruity goodness, you should be safe to bring your goodies back! Happy Holidays to you too 🙂

      1. Julie says:

        That makes sense…I was wondering because we were asked questions on our way back to the US from Toronto, maybe just about fruits and veggies. We said no, and then I found forgotten bananas in my bag…oops! We always laugh, but that border guy was super-serious- I probably would have been tossed/heaved into the room of shame! Sorry about your luck…and your produce…Happy New Year!

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