Blogging By Mail

I had heard about Blogging By Mail, or at least seen previous posts about these wonderful care packages people were receiving from similar bloggers paired up from across the globe. Naturally when I saw the call to join, I pounced!

Hosted by Stephanie, our perfect matchmaker extraordinare did what she does best, Dispensing Happiness to 60 willing postal crashers.
I was given a match and went off to fill my basket with a collection of my most favourite things. Returning from the post office, I was a little upset upon being told I couldn’t include the string along with my brown paper package but only for a short while as I was greeted with a package of my very own.
All the way from Holland it was! I ran from the door to the table to open my transatlantic treasure like a giddy little girl the paper flew until I remembered my manners, caught my breath and grabbed my camera.

Sent from the lovely and generous Arden from Uit De Keuken Van Arden (The Kitchen of Arden), I first saw a lovely card and note, pasta and a small jar… that could be anything, until I lifted it. I was intrigued. The jar was lighter than air, labeled Cepes, it needed a closer investigation.
Mushrooms! How could she have known?? Once translated, I was elated since this little jar of eekhoorntjesbrood was filled with Porcinis, my favourite!
Digging deeper, wrapped in tiny plastic bubbles, my children and I began to jump for joy – not only for the bubble wrap but for the two enormous bars of DUTCH chocolate that was nestled inside. Now you see, up until now there has only been one day in our house in which chocolate may be consumed before or as breakfast, so imagine my kids faces when they both got a little square and it wasn’t even snowing outside! Next was bottle of orange balsamic vinegar. I could practically smell the strawberries I was about to macerate with a drop of this lovely stuff.
The unwrapping didn’t end there. I found two envelopes, one of an Australian Bruschetta mix of dried bush tomatoes, forest anise, pepper, garlic and paprika that Arden said would be great it sauces or as a grill rub for vegetables and the like. The other contained dried peppers. Even the scent through the packaging was intoxicating. Super concentrated, smoky and sweet, one of the package suggestions was to serve them as an hors d’oeuvres with parsley, garlic, capers and a dousing of extra virgin olive oil. Yum!

Next was delicious homemade Strawberry Raspberry Jam made by Arden herself.
Yes, I tried it already, right after the chocolate, and this lovely woman could have a side business on her hands selling this stuff on line it is perfect. Not to sweet – capturing the summer fruit in its perfection.
And last, I save the best, was the surprisingly delightful treat of Kruidkoek. At first glance it looked like a packaged pumpernickle. I was a little hesitant to try, in fact I gave it a day or two and then I followed her instructions. She said that it was typically eaten as breakfast or like an in-between snack during the day with a cup of tea or coffee. Doing just that, I tore in and what I found was a complete surprise. The Kruidkoek was sugary, a bit sticky, sweet and spiced with clove. It tasted like Europe all in one bite. It was pure, sweet, rustic, natural and so “not from around here refined” delicious.
Certainly one of my new favourite things.

Thank you so much Arden! Your package was an absolute delight to open! I appreciate the work you put into it, all of your efforts assuring the contents were vegan is so thoughtful.

And thanks again to Stephanie, for coordinating this amazing event. I feel so thankful to have been able to take part. I can’t express enough how fantastic it is to write within such a talented blogging community that spans the globe and to truly experience how small the world can be made just by opening a package full of food created so thoughtfully for me.

Can I be the officially the first signed up for the next round? Ah, I can’t wait!

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

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