Baking my way round the United Kingdom, trying out regional specialities, traditional ingredients etc., and generally making (and sampling) nice things to eat in the cake, biscuit and bun line. Now with the assistance of my junior chef, Ellis.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
EBBP3 - Comforting Food Parcels
This was my first time participating in Euro Blogging By Post, organised on this occasion by Johanna of Passionate Cook. Thank you Johanna! The theme set by Johanna was 'comfort'. Perfect for curing those post-Christmas, New Year back-to-work blues. I enjoying putting a parcel together to send to Dagmar in Sweden, and once this was posted off I couldn't wait to see what the postman might bring to me.
And what a box he brought... A sunny yellow parcel from Nicky of Delicious:Days in Munich, Germany, packed to the hilt with wonderful things. Nicky had designed a special 'Foodblogging by Mail' label to go on the front of her box, so I knew before I opened the package that this was from someone with an eye for detail.
First out of the box were a cute little jar of sunflower honey, and a bar of chocolate from Dallmayr. Dallmayr, Nicky wrote, is a very famous and very traditional Munich food shop.
Next, calling out for my attention, was a bag of beautifully colourful pasta - coloured with natural colourings like beetroot. I have not seen pasta like this before. I look forward to turning it into a very cheerful looking dish. In the meantime I will open my cupboard every now and then to take a peek at it, as it is very cheering just to gaze upon.
Then, another bar of chocolate - Dolfin dark chocolate with grilled almonds. Mmm. Sounds good, and a nice looking wrapper too.
A little bag contained homemade Mozartkugeln sweets, made by Nicky herself. She blogged about them on her site, and includes the recipe. They are chocolate marzipan truffles (I LOVE marzipan), and I can highly recommend them!!. How fantastic to be sent handmade truffles all the way from Germany. Note also the felt coaster in the photo below. Nicky sent me a set of four - perfect for placing a mug of hot chocolate on.
Next out was a packet of tea - a blend of two of the finest - Earl Grey and Darjeeling. Again, this was in a lovely little bag, very traditional looking, with a handwritten label. To accompany the tea, Nicky sent four sugar stirrers - how beautiful these are. Who needs diamonds? - these are pretty, twinkly, and you can eat them!!
Then, for perfect accompaniment to the Mozartkugeln, or a square or two from the chocolate bars, a packet of PROPER hot chocolate. Great pink packet with a costumed lady. This hot chocolate is delicious. I made mine up with milk, no need to sweeten. It was creamy and extremely soothing. I had got the idea by now that Nicky was quite a chocolate fan, and saw chocolate as a comforting treat. Well, how right she is. It works for me each time.
See how perfect this arrangement looks. Mug of hot chocolate to hand. Choice of truffle or cube of chocolate - or indeed both...
At the bottom of my box was a little silver oil spout for adding to an oil or vinegar bottle. Actually, I put this straight to use on a vinegar bottle which I seem to be incapable of pouring in a controlled manner. Also hiding away under all the larger items were some caramels made with salt butter.
So who could not fail to be comforted after receiving such a lovely selection of foods and drinks? Thank you so much Nicky for your choices and your thoughtfulness. I look forward to trying out the Jamie Oliver pasta recipe that you recommend. Opening this box was better than Christmas. It was very touching that someone I had never met had gone to so much trouble to find me nice things and to send a parcel across many of hundreds of miles. So lots of best wishes and thanks are winging their way from me to Munich, and will continue to do so as I continue to enjoy my EBBP bounty!
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The hot chocolate in the pink packet comes from an Austrian company. In fact, that company is a small-ish chain of pastry shops, very very lovely. They make excellent strudels, and the places are decorated quite traditonally - lots of plush and gold inside. If you ever come to Linz or Salzburg, step inside! Oh, and their web address is www.sweet-niemetz.com
Dolfin chocolate also comes in a pink pepper flavour which is absolutely divine! I've been able to buy it in Amsterdam and in Paris, but I'm sure you can find it elsewhere. Go forth and discover it!
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