Tuesday, March 4, 2008

London Comes to Boston

My Blogging By Mail package arrived yesterday from the wonderful Antonia at Food, Glorious Food! She packed a box full of great stuff from London, and I couldn't be more excited to make my through all the items. All the pieces were very thoughtful and, for the most part, evocative of Britain. She also paid great attention to the kinds of things I post, and none of these gifts could have been more perfect for me.

In the box were:
  • a butterfly cookie cutter (a very intricate cutter to match the butterfly wrapping paper that I tore off all too quickly)
  • a teapot cookie cutter, which she deemed "very British"
  • crystalized rose and violet petals (I don't think I've mentioned how much I love rose, but she picked up on it anyway)
  • a Green and Blacks Maya Gold chocolate bar - I might use her suggestion of making brownies with this chocolate...
  • Shortbread (yum!)
  • Jaffa Cakes, plus a whole explaination of the "are Jaffa cakes a cake or a biscuit/cookie" question (reminded me of the "are burritos sandwiches" argument from last year).
  • Bouquet Garni sachets for red meat and for white meat (this is awesome because I'm not always the best at seasoning dishes correctly)
  • Freeze-dried Kaffir lime leaves (ideal for Thai food, but I had a great martini with a lime leaf as a garnish the other day, so I might have to try that at home as well)
  • Cadbury Caramel Egg (British Cadbury is so different than what you can get in the states, so I'm eager to eat this one)
  • "The Little Book of Chefs Tips" (every cook can use more tips, or at the very least, a refresher)
  • a mini grater (possibly the smallest one I've ever seen)
  • a french bean slicer, Antonia's favorite little gadget (I might have to go buy some beans just to give it a try!)
  • a rose-scented melt for the bath (because you need to relax a little after standing over a hot stove)
  • some food and wine pairing notes (so helpful, because I know close to nothing about wine)
  • BBC Good Food "101 Cakes and Bakes" (the recipes look awesome, and I'm sure you'll see some of my attempts soon)

Making the recipe book even better, Antonia stuck some post-it notes on some particularly interesting or typical recipes. It was great fun to flip through the book, looking for the next one.

As for the Jaffa Cakes, they have a very odd consistancy, but just from eating that small package, I can understand why people get so addicted to them. The cake is weirdly dense, and the combination of the orange jelly and the chocolate with the cake is fantastic. Definitely a unique snack. I won't be calling that number yet, but that's because there were only three in the package ;)

So thanks again to Antonia for all the thoughtful gifts and to Stephanie for putting together the whole Blogging By Mail event!


Cakelaw said...

This looks like a great package. I am a huge fan of Jaffa Cakes (from my time living in the UK).

Anonymous said...

Oh my word, Jaffa Cakes were my favorite when I lived in London. Every time my brother comes back to the States to visit (he and his family live there) I always request them. And the orange ones only - I'm sure the other flavors are good, but the orange is the original!

Plus only 1 gram of fat each!

LisaRene said...

What a phenomenal package! So many good things. The seasoning sachets are a great idea!

Abitofafoodie said...

So pleased that you enjoyed the package and that it arrived safely! I hadn't noticed the 'Jaffacakes annonymous' note on the side - very amusing. They are kind of strange yet addictive though!
A martini with lime leaves? Now that does sound good! Enjoy...

Pixie said...

Gorgeous Package- Antonia did a wonderful job at choosing the best from England. Enjoy!

Morven said...

A great package with a wonderful selection. My bean slicer is one of my most used kitchen utensils in the summer months. You're gonna love it.

Pam said...

Oooh, what other flavors do Jaffa Cakes come in?

Antonia, the restaurant I went to doesn't post their drinks menu online, so I don't know what was it in specifically, but there was a pronounced lychee flavor. I didn't taste much from the lime leaf until I got to the bottom of the glass, where it had mingled longer with the liquid and really imparted it's flavor.

And thanks, everyone, for stopping by and taking a look!

Shaheen said...

You have such a wondeful package there! What I especially like are the Bouquet Garni and Kaffir lime leaves. I'm so excited about my package! Wonder what it has in store for me...

Angel said...

Your package looks super cool!!! The cakes definitely sounds eccentric.