Foodie penpals – February 2014

20140227-223335.jpgIt’s that time of month again for foodie penpals, and I was a bit concerned that I might not receive my parcel this month, but the package from Emma at Food and Drink Glasgow arrived just in the nick of time this afternoon.

As usual, I told my penpal that apart from mushrooms, rocket and marzipan I would eat basically anything, but would prefer things sourced locally. I had a very strange dream last night that Emma sent me a bag of broken chocolate Easter bunnies, but I am glad to say that she did stick to the real-life brief – as opposed to my strange dream nonsense – and I received a parcel which included Scottish goodies, along with some Chinese and American ones!

20140227-223151.jpgFirstly a selection of Tunnocks caramel bars – I had tried the stripy wrapped ones before (my Nan used to buy my brother and me a whole box of them to share on our summer holidays … hmmm, just a wee bit spoilt then!), but not the caramel logs, which I am very much looking forward to trying. The only reason I haven’t already eaten them is because I arrived home from the office at 9pm (don’t sympathise, it was via the pub) and filled myself up on toast and butter. What better meal to fill your stomach after cocktails!

The next Scottish treat was a pack of tablet, which is a bit like fudge but apparently eye-wateringly sweet. I am tempted to keep it in my handbag for emergency sugar lows!

Moving around the world to the USA, Emma picked some chocolate Jell-o for me to try. I am guessing it is a cross between jelly and blancmange, but if any American readers have some serving suggestions then please let me know. Then across the globe to China, with a selection of sweeties from Emma’s local Asian store, plus the intriguing ‘wine coffee’ … not sure what to make of that, but I do love coffee so I am glad to have the opportunity to try something new.

Finally Emma packed some poppy seeds (I love them on top of homemade rolls, or lemon and poppy seed cake – although they do catch rather unattractively in the teeth!), mung beans (for me to grow my own beansprouts – I can’t wait to try), and liquorice root. I do remember an ex-boyfriend of my mum’s who used to chew on a piece of liquorice root for hours on end, which has rather put me off it (even though I love liquorice flavour), so I need to search for some recipes that use the root.

20140227-223214.jpgAs well as being paired with Emma to receive a parcel, I had Marjan from The Netherlands to send to. I have just returned from Sri Lanka and had raided various shops there to put together a rather exotic foodie penpal parcel, so I was delighted when Marjan said she would love to receive some Sri Lankan goodies. I sent her:

  • Fanny’s (tee hee) potato fudge
  • Poppadums
  • Two packets of Sri Lankan biscuits (we got quite addicted to the milk cookies on our road trips around the country)
  • Tea leaves and coffee grounds
  • Cinnamon quills
  • Devilled cashews (another addiction)
  • Dark curry powder (for meat curries)
  • Light curry powder (for fish and veg curries)

Marjan said she had received the parcel whilst suffering from a cold, so had immediately opened the biscuits and potato fudge for some comfort food. I am sure that if she makes a curry with one of those curry powders, that cold will disappear!

As always, if you want to join in, speak to Carol-Anne at This is Rock Salt for more information.

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