I arrived back from holiday yesterday afternoon feeling rather glum. I'd had a great time - more on that later - but descending through the thick cloud and rain into Gatwick was enough to make anyone want to leap on the very next plain back to the sunshine. Everything just looked so grey. Everyone looked so... miserable. Unlike all the smiling, sun-kissed faces I'd met round every corner in Madeira. Having staggered home on the train with bags galore (plus a cumbersome bunch of strelizia which I insisted on bringing back with me), I wearily put my key in the door. What should be sitting outside on the doormat but a great big parcel from Washington. The lovely Lisa Rene had sent me a wonderful blogging by mail box of gourmet gifts. Hooray!
I just about managed to get my case through the door when excitement got the better of me and I just HAD to rip the parcel open, before even taking my coat off. Fortunately, my camera was at the top of my bag so I managed to capture the beautifully packaged gift. It felt just like Christmas - Lisa had wrapped each gift in brightly coloured tissue paper which added to the excitement. So, what did I get? All sorts of wonderful goodies. Lisa had taken great care to study my blog and work out some of my favourite kinds of foods and wrote a lovely note explaining her choices...
Want to take a look at the goodies? Here you go...
Lisa sent me some of her favourite seasonings - she explained how sea salt was her 'essential' seasoning and I couldn't agree more. But she didn't just send me ordinary sea salt. Oh no. She sent three very wonderful flavoured salts that I just can't wait to use.
I'm particularly excited about trying out the truffle salt which she suggested using in pasta or risotto dishes. Sounds wonderful...
Also included were saffron salt and porcini salt. I think these will really liven up my pasta dishes and the porcini salt should be a great addition to a plainly grilled steak. I can't wait to experiment with these indulgent seasonings. Lisa was so thoughful that she decided that I would need a special something in which to serve these lovely salts, and so she sent this gorgeous pewter salt cellar, shaped like a leaf. I think it may actually be a vine leaf, making it all the more appropriate. It will make a lovely addition to the dining table - thank you Lisa!
But it didn't end there. Oh no. Lisa had read my post on freshly-caught mackerel and was reminded of some gorgeous chocolate fish that she'd spotted in her local store - they are supposed to be salmon but Lisa and I have decided to pretend that they are mackerel. Either way, they look almost too good to eat, but I'm sure I'll be trying one later today!
Finally, having spotted my love of all things sweet and 'naughty', Lisa included a typical American campfire treat - a S'more. I've heard about this delicious treat and always wanted to try it as I just adore toasted marshmallows. This version may not have been toasted over a campfire, but it was delicious - I opened it straight away and finished it before I'd even opened my suitcase!
Lisa, I can't thank you enough for these great goodies. It really brightened up my home-coming. What a thoughtful package! For those of you who haven't discovered Lisa's blog, please do so. She cooks up wonderfully tempting yet healthy vegetarian food and great-looking cocktails (though, be warned, she likes them strong!). I'd also like to thank Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness for organising this fantastic event - it has been such fun to participate and your work in pairing everyone off is hugely appreciated! Do visit her blog too - lots of deliciousness over there!
For those who are interested in what I sent in my package, do hop over to Cave Cibum, where you'll discover the contents of my very British parcel.