Sunday, 3 March 2013

Brown paper packages, tied up with string ...

Getting mail.  By far - one of the best things ever.  I'm not talking about the over-priced Hydro bill (boo-hiss and what the heck is a 'debt retirement charge' anyways?), or the phone bill (why do we even HAVE a landline anymore?), or even what appears to be a genuine letter ... only to find out that it's a computer-generated-fake-signature letter from your local government representative (can you hear it hitting the side of the recycle bin?).

No friends, I'm talking about "real mail" ... "fun mail" ... like birthday cards from your grandma that have newspaper clippings stuffed inside ... like a postcard from your best friend who still sends you postcards when she's on holiday because she knows how much you love them ... and then ... there's the mother-load-of-awesome'ness ... a brown paper package ... too big to fit in the mailbox ... my heart skips a beat ...

In February, I signed up for a "Vegan Food Swap" - organized by the devilishly clever MeShell In Your CityShe's a Torontonian and a Vegan ... and in my opinion one of the coolest people in the universe for organizing this food swap.  Think "penpal that sends you food".  I know ... I know ... how did you exist so long without knowing about this?  While not a vegan (DH is the son of a butcher, so really, we're a meat-and-potatoes couple), I am a slave to veggies and totally curious about the vegan-lifestyle ... and one of my girlfriends has been a vegan for well over a year and this lady GLOWS, so there's gotta be something to it ... I digress ...

I signed-up for the food swap, not really knowing what to expect - but that was half-the fun ... the other half ... well to be perfectly honest, was panic.  What would I (the non-vegan) be able to send a REAL vegan that wasn't "done before"?  The last thing I wanted was for my new foodie-penpal to open their box and think "wow ... that sucks".   While I stewed about this potential disaster, I received my first email from MeShell ... my first vegan-foodie-penpal was Caroline - over at the Vegan Hammock.  I DASHED to my most fav. 100 mile market and began my hunt for 'vegan things' ...

A few days later, I arrived home to find THIS waiting for me on our messy kitchen table ...

I had been paired up to receive vegan-treats from Kelly (at Three & A Half Vegans) - and I could barely contain my excitement as I TORE into the package with reckless abandon!  I read her letter first, and it felt like I was reading a letter from a long-lost friend ... this package came at the perfect time as our house had fallen victim to the latest round of 'plague' and I for one needed a hit of happiness.  And oh, did this hit the spot :)

When, what to my wandering eyes should appear ... omg with only one or two emails previously sent between us, Kelly created the perfect box-o-treats ... I think she must be psychic ...
Pomona's Universal Pectin - perfect, perfect, perfect as the crab apple tree in our backyard is calling out for jelly this year!!!
Hemp Hearts - my new love.  Heaping tablespoons on my morning oatmeal.  More on my lunch salads and frankly I could sit down with a spoon, turn on Coronation Street and eat directly from the package ... run, don't walk to get these ... go now ... go quickly.
A bottle of liquid smoke - according to Kelly "this is how vegans make things taste like bacon".  She had me at 'bacon' :)  Can't wait to try this out!!!!!  DH has a smoker and I think he covets this bottle of liquid smoke ... I have since hidden in to ensure it doesn't disappear in to the garage or BBQ cupboard ...
French lentils - I am, a certified legume lover.  I think it's because I'm French Canadian and we are genetically predisposed to love beans ... how Kelly knew this, I will never know. 
And last, but certainly not least, a bag of extra-crispy-gluten-free batter mix ... say WHAT?!?!?!  Wheat free, sugar free, corn free ... (I set Kelly quite the challenge given all my allergies) ... I hear onion rings calling me ... stay tuned for updates on 'the batter' ...
Thank you so very much Kelly for an amazing package, thank you MeShell for organizing this and Caroline, I hope you're enjoying the things I sent out to you :)  If you're a vegan, or a meat-lover with a "green tooth", this food-swap is so much fun ... and a great way to connect with foodie-nerds across Canada.  Happy swapping - can't wait for my next foodie-match!



  1. Sounds like a fun introduction to veganism! I'm all for trying new foods lately!

    1. It really is too much fun :) Given your recent adventures in 'new foods' this might be JUST the thing ... I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere about "thinking outside the box" ... get it? get it? :)

  2. OOOOH! How do you find out about all this cool stuff??? And a box of food arriving in the mail? Priceless! Hemp Hearts, eh? I keep seeing them at the store, you've convinced me to buy some. Enjoy!

    1. The internet is a wonderful place isn't it? LOL It's like Grocery Gateway, only ... better :) Hemp hearts - totally go and get them - they are fab!

    2. What a wonderful idea, I have a cousin on the East Coast who is vegan and I am thinking this would fit perfectly into her lifestyle, I may be sharing this !!. No Eat Your Vegetables !!

      Sweetly Yours
      The Little Truffle Maker

    3. Oh Little Truffle Maker - share this, share this, share this! It is simply too much fun and as this is an across Canada 'postal-adventure' it would be great to see what (if any) differences/new things/etc. your cousin has out there! Going to go bust out some kale for dinner - vegans and non-vegans UNITE! :)

  3. My liquid smoke is a cornerstone in my pantry. Another good bacon/smokey flavour stand-in is smoked tofu.

    1. I just moved the little bottle around this morning in the pantry and thought "no little bottle of smokey goodness, today we move you to the counter to ensure I do something with you this week" :)