Foodie Penpals September: Viennese Fanicies
This months box of joy came all the way from Vienna, Austria. Maria like me is 32 and is married with 2 cats. However, she is also a masseuse which sounds like a much more useful career than mine – I could be in need of a good massage after tomorrow (marathon day – argh!). She is also part Japanese. This made for a really interesting mix of austrian and oriental goodies.
1. Half cooked potato dumpling mix. This is what I imagine Austrian food to be like. It looks like you boil them. I reckon they’d be really good with sausages and a load of gravy! I have a feeling Mr B might like these.
2. Mushroom risotto mix. Hurrah – we LOVE mushroom risotto in our house. In fact this got us out of a hole last week as we;d had a crazy week and had people coming for dinner so we used the risotto mix and added some sherry, extra mushrooms, beans from the neighbour, prawns and tadaa – dinner for four (though it could have done with a bit more bouillon to boost the flavour).
3. Salted pumpkin seeds. Good to sprinkle on salads but also perfect snacking food. Really good with a glass of wine!
4. Blaschke Kokoskuppel – A coconut macaroon cake with cocoa cream (like the kind in a bourbon) at the bottom sat on a chocolate covered wafer. Yum.
5. Weihnachts sugar – sugar with a christmas mix of spices for baking: cinnamon, cloves, star anise, nutmeg, coriander and allspice. I like this idea – it’s time saving and stops you having loads of spice jars that rarely get used.
6. Auer Tortenecken nach Sacher – If pink wafers got together with a Sacher Torte, this would be the result. I used these to put on the side of a chocolate lava pudding which I served after the above mentioned risotto.
7. White chocolate with puffed rice – ace! Like crunch bars! Again this got me out of a hole as when I came to make pudding for our friends I realised I didn’t have enough dark chocolate. I made up the chocolate quota with this white chocolate, put less butter in to allow for the fat content of white choc and added some cocoa powder….and it worked! Who’d have thought. It turns out I have learned something from this blogging malarky.
8. Last but no means least…a bottle of wine! I don’t know much about wine but I do enjoy it and want to do it justice, so I’m saving this for a nice evening in with some good food. Anyone know what this is like?
Now, let’s look at the Japanese section:
1. The pink and green packets are apparently common japanese sweets. The packets are the size of juicy fruit chewing gum packs but contain a sweet bean paste. One is matcha (green) and the other is pink. There is no clear flavour to them but I think it’s similar to the aduki bean paste used in mochi cakes.
2. Peanuts covered in a soy flavour rice cracker. I have bought the English version of these before. The portian sized packets were good for taking to work
3. The disc in the translucent packet are thin rice crackers – they tast a bit like nori or prawn crackers. I really liked the savoury hit that these gave and isn’t the packaging lovely? So classy looking!
4. Maria had told me that the block inside the silver packet was a dried fish soup mix but I forgot when I opened it and tried to nibble a bit. Big mistake! I will try it the proper way soon though.
This was Maria’s first time taking part and she was incredibly generous with her parcel so I hope she enjoyed the experience. Though she did tell me that she was sent some japanese things…oops! I sent a parcel to Anna who is also new to FPP. Fingers crossed she liked it enough to carry on.
More about Foodie Penpals
Started by The Lean Green Bean, Foodie penpals is a way for food bloggers and blog readers to get to know each other, via a lovely parcel in the mail every month. This is Rock Salt has brought it to the UK and Europe. Here’s the rough outline of how it works:
- All interested parties in the UK and Europe – bloggers and blog readers alike – sign up by the form available at the bottom of the Terms and Conditions post
- Participants are matched on the 5th of the month
- Penpals send thoughtful, food related parcels, on or before the 20th of the month. The parcels can include home baked treats, shop bought treats (especially local or unusual things), cake cases or decorations – use your imagination. The parcel must include something hand written – a note explaining the box’s contents, a recipe card, whatever you like. The price limit for the boxes is £10 – this is a limit, the point is not the cost, but the thought (no, really!)
- Penpals open their boxes and rejoice!
- At the end of the month, everyone blogs about their box, or writes a guest blog post if they are usually a blog reader and not writer. Everyone reads one another’s posts and rejoices some more. Posts are made available on Lindsay’s blog so we can all find each other easily