A great big thank you to my August Foodie Penpal, Ann at Harvest Moon By Hand, for my wonderful food package.
Not only did Ann send me some fun food, she also included a description of each item in the box. Because our states are neighbors, it was fun to have new insight into a place I have visited many times.
My August package included Minnesota Wild Ride for Wild Rice Soup (she included a recipe, too); Anna’s Ginger Thins from the Gammelgarden Museum; hot cider and hot cocoa (a must for those Minnesota winters); and Naranjo orange drink mix from El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul.
Ann also included foods with a personal connection for her and her family — Hello Panda Biscuits with Milk Cream and Botan Rice Candy. Her daughters are adopted from China, so this was included to honor their heritage. (My youngest sister is adopted from Vietnam, so I understand incorporating parts of another culture into your family.)
My favorite item, though, had to be the box of Ghirardelli Chocolate Brownie Mix. This made me laugh, given that I had returned from the Iowa State Fair and the Ghirardelli Chocolate baking competition a few days earlier. Ann included it because she used to live in San Francisco, where Ghirardelli chocolate was founded. You’d think I’d be tired of Ghirardelli Chocolate, but no! 🙂
Oh, I can’t forget the super cute cupcake liners! Ann wrote “There’s really no reason that I’m including them other than I thought they were cute and they were near the brownie mixes.” That totally sounds like something I’d do!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Ann! I love everything you sent me and hope I get the chance to be your foodie penpal sometime and send you fun foods from Iowa!
The package I made for my foodie pen pal in Georgia was a bit of a challenge. Haley is gluten-free, so I wanted to find items that said “Iowa” that she could enjoy. I didn’t take a picture, but I included:
- Apple butter from Kalona (a really cool town less than 30 miles from my house — the cinnamon rolls at the Kalona Bakery are to die for!)
- Tiny But Mighty Popcorn (heirloom popcorn from Shellsburg)
- A yummy marinade from a local restaurant
- A box of gluten-free Rice Chex
OK, the cereal isn’t from Iowa, but I saw the new Rice Check gluten-free commercial before I went to the grocery store, so I had to buy some. I hope Haley liked her package!
Have you heard of Foodie Penpals? It’s a great program started by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean. Here’s how it works:
Sign up here and on the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe. Use your imagination!
You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for September, CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.