I must have good Blogging by Mail karma. On Wednesday I was at the post office mailing my own package, and then the very next day I found a package slip in my own mailbox! I wasn’t positive that it was my BBM package, since I was also expecting a package from my mother. But as soon as the post office worker handed me a USPS flat rate box wrapped up in sushi-themed packing tape, I knew it was definitely not from my mother. It was from Stephanie— the very same one who organized this whole event!
How cute is this tape? I absolutely love it! Somehow J and I had the self-control to wait until after I had gotten home from work AND we had gone jogging to open it. The first thing we saw was an adorable puppy guarding the contents of the box. I don’t think I’ve ever even mentioned on my blog that I love dogs, but I do.🙂
And the stuff he was watching over for me was so fun! The first thing I pulled out (after the dog and Stephanie’s note) was a tin of chocolate chip tea! I can’t wait to try this. I drink a lot of tea during the winter here because it’s so cold, and I’m sure this one will be a delicious treat with milk. (A few years ago a friend of mine got me hooked on some sugar cookie tea. Do you think if I brewed the sugar cookie and chocolate chip teas together, I’d get… chocolate chip cookie tea??).
There was also a box of NEWTREE Belgian chocolates that Stephanie says are amazing! There are three kinds, each with a different benefit– Pleasure, which is 73% dark chocolate, Vigor, which is 73% dark chocolate with coffee, and Tranquility, which is milk chocolate with lavender.
Then there’s a bunch of ingredients to cook with. I was amazed by the giant bag (7 oz, I believe) of cardamom pods. Cardamom here is sold in tiny envelopes! There was also a bag of methi (fenugreek) seeds and a bag of amchur (raw mango) powder. I have no idea what the last two taste like or how to use them, but I intend to find out. Stephanie said they’re all used in Indian recipes, and of course cardamom is also used in Scandinavian baking. Another ingredient, which I am sooo excited about, is a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce!
I’m ashamed to admit that even though I’ve been intrigued about this stuff for years, I never sought it out to use it while I was living in the States. I plan to make the most of this can. My only concern is that I will fall in love with it and have to find a way to get more of it to Estonia.
Moving on (yes, there’s more, I can hardly believe it myself), there was also a bottle of vanilla syrup, which made it across the Atlantic safely due to a healthy dose of bubble wrap. :-) It certainly seems like a versatile addition to the kitchen.
Then there was a book— Strawberry Shortcake Murders by Joanne Fluke. Stephanie says it’s “nothing life-altering,” but it does include recipes! It seems like a fun read, and definitely not something I’d find in a bookstore here. And it has strawberries!🙂 And, as an added bonus, the pages smell of cardamom from being in the box with the spices.
Finally, there were sushi coasters that matched the packing tape. Once again, so very cute.
In conclusion, I’d like to thank Stephanie twice over– once for taking on the overwhelming job of organizing this fun exchange for so many bloggers, and a second time for sending me such a fun, multi-faceted package! I’m sure there will be future posts dedicated to using these things in the kitchen, so thanks for the inspiration as well!