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Foodie PenPals: Goodies and a Laugh from Mebane, NC

The Lean Green Bean
It's that time of the month: the time when the Foodie PenPals from around the country singlehandedly keep the US Postal Service in business. As much as I love the immediacy of email, I love getting mail. And I especially love getting packages! Click here to see what goodies went flying around the country with the PenPals this month.

Cherie of Cherie Runs This, my penpal for the month, emailed: I just checked out your blog and see that you're quite the foodie! Do you have any special dietary needs/preferences? Any particular likes or dislikes? Would you prefer healthy snacks or treats?

I replied that I am allergic to fava beans and oysters, prefer savory to sweet, and gravitate towards healthy snacks versus treats. That was all I wrote. And when I opened my box, I was delighted...and got quite a chuckle.

All the way from Mebane, North Carolina...

Besides a lovely note, the first thing I saw was oysters. Well, it was a reusable bag with the word 'oysters' written on it. So adorable that she sent me oysters. But oysters that wouldn't make me break out in hives and have the worst stomach cramps ever. Funny. I love a gal with a sense of humor.

Next up: a box of black tea blended with cardamom. Could she possibly have known that that is one of my favorite spices ever? Well, I do have more than a few recipes on my blog that use cardamom. Cardamom-Scented Cream Shortcakes with Blackberries. Honey-Cardamom Broiled Grapefruit. Dreikonigskuchen, a German Epiphany bread. Or Truffles made with Date Liqueur and Cardamom. I might be just a little bit cardamom-obsessed. So, this was a perfect pick.
I love olives even more than I love to cook with cardamom. Green olives, black olives, purple olives. Olive oil. Olive paste. I've even made olive pies from Cyrus. But I have never had an olive crumble. These were like savory cookies. Not a cracker, but a cookie. Crackers are flat and dense. These were airy and crisp. Wow. I have to figure out where I can get my hands on more of these.
Talk about a savory delight. These didn't make it past dinner. I gave the boys a handful of these to crumble into their minestrone soup. They had seen the bunch of kale sticking out of my High Ground Organics CSA box and begged to have soup with kale in it for dinner. And in their thermoses for lunch the following day. You don't argue with kids who are clamboring for kale! That's one of my rules.
And another funny gift was the small bottle of Cackalacky Spice Sauce. "Funny name. Serious zest." Too true. I stirred a few dashes of that into our  soup. It has a totally unique flavor. Yummy.

Cherie, thank you so much! What a fun box of goodies. I appreciate all your efforts and with your good karma, I'm positive that your Foodie PenPals box was as fantastic as mine was.
All best, Camilla

And because the gal to whom I sent a package this month isn't a blogger, I thought I'd share a quick note from her: "Oh. My. Word. I just opened my package and it was epic. I shall have a proper thank you coming your way but had to let you know it arrived and was much loved." Hooray!


  1. I had no idea about the cardamom or olive love, as I somehow totally missed it! I'm glad you like these items so much!! It was fun shopping for you {and including that oyster bag, lol} so it's great to see that you appreciate and love everything! :-D


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