August (2015) Foodie Penpal Reveal (albeit late!)

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Another post – another excuse for being late.  What haven’t I used yet?  Escaped Puma from Chessington Zoo?  Ball took a bad bounce?  The sun got in my eyes?  I’ll come up with something creative . . . maybe . . .

My August penpal, Margaud, sent me the most beautiful box, all the way from France.  When it first arrived, I thought someone had sent me a hat.

A new hat!

A new hat!

I immediately started to figure out where I could go that would warrant wearing a hat.  Wedding?  The races? Shopping at Sainsburys?  Options starting wizzing through my brain while I was prying the top off.  What colour will be be?  Will it fit?  Who could have sent this to me?  And still – all the time in the back of my head, I was thinking, “Who in the world would send me a hat?  I NEVER wear hats.”

So you can imagine my delight when I managed to break through the tough security measures and find it was my food parcel from Margaud.  I was first relieved that I didn’t have to lie to someone and tell them I really liked the hat they sent me (even though I probably wouldn’t have), but then delighted to realise what it actually was.

Phew! Not a new hat!

Phew! Not a new hat!

And it was full of wonderful, wonderful treats.

Full of treats

Full of treats

Firstly, I always like a gift that contains a bottle of alcohol.

A good brown ale

A good brown ale

You really can’t go wrong with that, and this month, I got a bottle of dark brown Ale, which I can’t wait to use.  I will probably use it in a recipe rather than drink it, but I’m still uncertain about this.  As the weather is starting to cool down a bit, I think a cassoulet might be in order.

At this point, I’d also like to point out that most, if not all, of my items are from the area that Marguad or her husband are from, which makes it all the more special.

The next thing my eyes went for was the package of Speculoos.

A French delicacy! Speculoos!

A French delicacy! Speculoos!

I LOVE THESE.  You will often find them on the side of your morning coffee in the local café in France. They are a gingerbread cookie that go perfectly with coffee.  Or tea.  Or milk.  Or just on their own  Those won’t last long here.

Next I pulled out some pate, also made with beer from the north of France.

Pate made with beer - yum!

Pate made with beer – yum!

I can’t wait to try this.  I will toast some French bread and make a nice lunch out of this.

I next saw a package of Palet Bretons, which I have had before.

Buttery goodness

Buttery goodness

They are wonderfully buttery and delicious.  These also won’t last long here!

You can't go wrong with pretzels

You can’t go wrong with pretzels

Margaud then sent me a bag of pretzels from her husband’s neck of the woods, and we go through pretzels here like wildfire, so they were really welcome.  I was going to use them in a recipe that I make every couple of weeks, but I opened the bag – just for quality testing, of course – and decided they were too good, and they needed to be eaten in their purest form.

The perfect marriage of chicken and garlic

The perfect marriage of chicken and garlic

And lastly, she sent me a cooking bag, seasoned with spices and garlic for seasoning and cooking chicken in. (yes – I realise the error of that sentence structure, but it’s what I wanted to say).  This will make for a quick and easy dinner sometime very soon.

Margaud – you chose so well, and packaged everything up so beautifully.  Thank you so much for my parcel.  I absolutely loved it.  Cétait chouette!

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