Sunday, September 24, 2006

World Blog by Mail

I participated in a worldwide Blog By Post organised by The Happy Sorceress and eagerly awaited my parcel whilst pulling my own together to send to the States.

It is a curious concept to send a food parcel to someone whom one has never met or even been in touch with. It is akin to being given a pen pal whilst at school and writing that very first introductory letter. I visited the blog of my designated recipient to gain a flavour for her tastes and life and decided to send a thoroughly traditional British packet which I hope Nicole will enjoy, despite being on a nutrisystem diet (of which I am completely ignorant). And so my little pack of England contained:

Tiptree Little Scarlet conserve, pack of Williamson earl grey tea, tube of Coleman’s mustard, bar of organic Rococo chocolate flavoured with cardamom, disc of Gentleman’s Relish (I know that no-one ever eats this curious paste but it wouldn’t be a true traditional parcel if I had omitted this essential item), pack of rhubarb and custard boiled sweets for that taste of an English childhood and a pack of sugar flowers for decorating cakes as Nicole loves to bake.

And what did I receive? Chris Church from http://experimentationoftaste.blogspot.com/ had thoughtfully packaged up the following:

Wheat, gluten and dairy free bread and brownie mixes
Buckwheat flour
Toasted carob powder
3 organic fruit and nut bars
Sheets of toasted nori
Sindhi biryani masala mix
Fenugreek
Cardamom pods
Sumak
Garam masala
Za’atar

I can’t wait to get baking with the mixes and to see how American allergy-free compare to ones available in the UK. I have already nibbled the bars and they are truly scrumptious – great for those mornings when you have already tried on three pairs of shoes, have yet to chose the matching outfit and ‘oh my god’ you only have five minutes to run for the train to work. The rate with which they disappear from my cupboard will indicate just how indecisive I am (and how many times I am late!).

Chris’s parents hail from Saudi Arabia, hence the variety of spices. The only one that is completely new to me is za’atar which Chris informs me is a lovely accompaniment to bread and olive – even more reason to try out the new bread mixture.
Sumak is a herb that is often used in Lebanese cuisine when lemons aren’t available and so I will be sprinkling that on a variation of the vegetable moussaka I made for girlfriends this week (marvellous, tonight’s dinner is taken care of).
I have to confess that I have already consumed the nori – one of my absolute favourite foods – which provided me with a couple of lunches of handrolls (minus the rice) in which it encased strips of cucumber, avocado and slices of marinated tofu.

Thank you Chris and thank you to the Happy Sorceress for organising the blogging event. What a fantastic way to travel the world – with one’s tastebuds. Lord knows that may be the only way I’m to achieve it until I have more work confirmed…………

2 comments:

chrispy said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed your package. When I found out that you were gluten and dairy free, I immedietly thought of my favorite mill in this area. I also can't stop munching the fruit bars. I have restrain myself from buying them at the store. I hope you got the second package, amazon refused to track it for me. Cheers.

Nicole said...

Clare,

My package arrived yesterday and I love it! Thank you for packing such a lovely gift. Most of the items fit within my diet restrictions, so I will get to indulge now, rather than at a later date. Last night, I tried the Banana Custard candies and they were absolutely delicious! This weekend, I plan on having a good cup of English tea and some shortbread! Thanks again!