The idea of receiving a parcel from someone you don't know and never met is thrilling to say the least. Especially when you don't know at all who to expect it from. I am grateful to Nic of Baking Sheet for coming up with this brilliant idea and to Andrew of Spittoon for organising it for us in Europe. Receiving a food package from someone from a different country is wickedly delectable - since you will be savouring a whole different kind of food experience! Because not only you will get food but there is surprise, there is intrigue, there is suspense! It has been an exciting month and a bit -- planning your own package to send and later, waiting for yours to arrive!
This arrived from Edinburgh 2 weeks back. It is from Melissa of The Traveler's Lunchbox. I may have been to her blog once or twice from hopping from other blogs but I never actually thought she'd be sending me a parcel! The whole box was a delight and my daughter's eyes grew so big as we opened it together and going wow wow wow at everytime we unwrapped something. She was saying, "Your friend must really love you, Mom!"
We both actually ate the whole bag of papadam in 3 seconds! It was a revelation! Though we do serve and fry our own papaddam here when we cook curry and have Indian food, I never knew they are available in this form! Melissa in her note said Curry has replaced Fish and Chips as the English no.1 dish!
I had a Proustian moment with the pumpkin-vanilla-compote on freshly baked croissants the next morning. They were out of this world. The texture brought me back to a custard made of eggs, screwpine leaves and gula melaka (brown sugar) called (Seri)Kaya in Malaysia. My mom used to make Pumpkin Serikaya as well - which was the compote (kaya) steamed in a whole pumpkin and then baked in the oven. I think you can get it sometimes in Thai restaurants here in Europe - but only if you're very lucky. I used some of Melissa's out of this world pumpkin-vanilla compote in my steamed cakes (during the vacation) - recipe and pictures to follow later. Melissa also inspired me to make some of my own pumpkin compote fwith this fabulous jar she sent me!
She also sent a jar of lavender from her hometown in Washington - my head is already swimming with ideas to concoct dishes and cakes from that one ;-)
From the back of her cupboard, Melissa sent me half a bag of Jasmine Tea from her local tea shop. Which I planned to use to make Jasmine Tea Smoked Duck and/or Jasmine Tea smoked salmon and there is another idea of marrying a French classic dish with this very chinese ingredient - sort of a similar dish of how we use Chrysanthemum tea - like the ones I sent Flo of Pumpkin Flower. But we will have to wait!
And for the love of Caramel... how did you know I love them, Melissa? She sent me a package of fudge and Green & Black's Milk chocolate with soft caramel centre.
Lastly, a packet of Orkney Oatcakes which we plan to enjoy with some fabulous cheeses and wine.
Thank you, Melissa for sending us the package and for the thoughts and care and way you chose and wrapped them! It is a true delight and we will enjoy them in many ways and weeks to come!
For the roundout and to read the other parcels exchanged throughtour Europe this past few weeks, go here!