Friday, 30 November 2012

Foodie Pen Pals November - a real Turkish Delight!

Well hello! This month's FPP  parcel came from Vildan Karahan, all the way over there in Turkey. Vildan writes Drwilldone - it's in Turkish, but Google's quite handy for that sort of thing, so don't be put off if you want to check it out.

Very sensibly, Vildan sent a selection of packet treats - no question of anything going off in transit - none of which I've ever tried before, so I'm looking forward to checking them out. Some of them, like this tomato and red pepper soup, were pretty easy to work out. Others I have no idea about but again, I'm sure Google will be of help on that one!

The second packet is an almond-flavoured custard mix, which I suspect will go beautifully with home-made apple crumble - something of a speciality of mine, as various well-fed friends will testify. 

And now, the two 'mystery' items: the first I think is a yoghurt dip, perfect for the girly gatherings I regularly enjoy with my lovely mates, so that'll be something we can all enjoy. And the second I'm fairly sure is some kind of soup, but again, I'll need to get meself on Google to be sure!

And finally - there's no way a parcel could come from Turkey without this one. As I've said before, I'm not the world's biggest fan of Turkish Delight, but both FPPs that have sent it to me have got it bang on. The first one contained whole hazelnuts and was coated in coconut; and it was truly amazing. Vildan's version contains pistachios - my favourite nuts - and the covering is absolutely delicious, a perfect balance between nutty and sweet without the sometimes over-perfumed taste TD can have. Fabulous, am doing my best to resist the temptation to eat the whole box in one go, but it isn't easy. Oh no. Just look at it.Imagine it sitting in front of you. Can you hear it? I can. It's going 'Joaaaaaaann... Jooooaaaaaannnn... dive iiiiiiinnnnn...' I mean, it would almost be rude not to!

In summary, thanks Vildan, this was a great box - I think I can say without fear of contradiction that the whole thing was a total delight!

Foodie Pen Pals is operated in Europe by Rock Salt. It's based on an idea from The Lean Green Bean, which set up the scheme for the US and Canada. There are around 1600 participants all over the world. Get involved! 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Choc chips to the rescue! An October FPP update

COMPLETELY forgot to mention that Helen's lovely parcel also included a pack of chocolate chips, which came admirably to the rescue of my baking efforts for that day. Was making coconut and almond macaroons for Girls' Night. (Have I mentioned Girls' Night before? It is, as it sounds, a gathering of friends for the purposes of chat, wine, cheese, wine, generalised munchies, wine, home baking, wine, therapy and wine.) Anyway, I'd made the macaroons especially for those ladies who can't eat wheat or dairy, and intended to top each one with a professional-looking drizzle of chocolate.

Now. It so happens that I had a particularly busy day that day, and by the time I got home from running all my errands I'd completely forgotten to buy the chocolate. Quel dommage! Macaroons without the chocolate drizzling?? Perish the thought! What I HAD remembered, though, was to pick up my FPP parcel. 'Sod it,' I thought. 'I'm opening this before I do anything else today.' And to my joy, therein was a little packet of chocolate chips, ideal for melting down and drizzling delicately over the lovely plump, juicy, nutty macaroons.

It's a shame, really, that I goofed the melting process and ended up with chocolate drizzling that looked more like slugs crawling over the surface of the cakes, but still. The principle is sound.

Ooh, also, IndrÄ—, who was my pen pal for this month, has posted all about her parcel on her blog. Now, the blog is written in IndrÄ—'s native Lithuanian, however there is a Google translate button for those of you not fluent in the language. She says nice things about me, it's ever so lovely! See it at

That is all!