Gardening Magazine

Foodie Penpal Parcel One

By Patientgardener @patientgardener

Foodie Penpal Parcel One

I have a real weakness for a parcel, I adore receiving them.  In fact the actual receiving of the parcel is often more exciting than the contents which is why I love internet shopping.  I also like eating, well who doesn’t, although I am now on a diet but more of that later.  So when I came across Foodie Penpals via @Carllegge on twitter I was curious.  I umm’d and arh’d for a few weeks, did some snooping on blogs to see how it worked and what sort of thing people sent then this month I signed up.

The premise comes from the US and they now have around 1000 Foodie Penpals.  I don’t know how long it has been going in the UK and Europe but there are around 100 signed up now.  At the start of each month you are emailed the email address of your penpal to whom you are to send a parcel during that month.  You email your penpal to enquire about preferences, dislikes etc etc.  There is a £10 limit to spend on the contents of the box and as I discovered you have to really think clever if you don’t want to pay as much again for the postage.  I originally had ideas of sending chutneys etc to my penpal but am very glad I re-thought it.  My foodie penpal for August was Lucy over at OffallyGood and you can read what she thought of my first attempt of a parcel here.

Foodie Penpal Parcel One

Of course this is not a one way activity, as you are busily scouring the shops for good ideas someone somewhere else is doing the same for your parcel.  My parcel this month came from Elaine and Simon at Luv4Fashion – you see it isn’t all foodie bloggers who participate.  It turned out that this was their first parcel as well.  I told them I was trying to follow a GI diet lots of wholemeal etc, my dislikes and favourites etc.  I then joined weightwatchers – opps.

Foodie Penpal Parcel One

Anyway my parcel arrived very promptly.  I had had a tweet from Elaine when she posted it the parcel so I was anticipating its arrival but the whole mystery of what might or might not be inside was rather thrilling.  I hoped for some baked goodies  as I have noticed that this seems to be a bit of a theme in the posts I had read.  Elaine didn’t let me down and had included some raisin cookies.  My youngest son and I soon demolished these, I went for a few extra walks to work off the calories, and my son said they were so good I should get the recipe from Simon and Elaine.  Also enclosed were some chocolate macaroons which we haven’t opened yet as we were waiting for my other son to return from his holiday plus I need to factor them into the diet!

Foodie Penpal Parcel One

There was a huge bag of good risotto rice which is quite exciting since I always use the supermarket’s own brand.  I had risotto this evening and I have nearly used up the boring stuff and can’t wait to try the posher version. Simon and Elaine also included a recipe for their favorite risotto, including a written letter, recipe etc is one of the requirements of being a Foodie Penpal.

Finally there were some crisps and some white tea with cherry blossom.  I have saved these for when I go back to work next week.  I love white tea and drink it as work as I have it black and it avoids the whole milk war issue in the office kitchen.

I really enjoyed my first go at Foodie Penpals and have to say how relieved I was that Lucy loved her box which has made me feel more confident about continuing for another month.

If you are interested in joining up contact RockSalt   and for more Foodie Penpal blogs  visit the founders’ blog Lean Green Bean

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