November has been a pretty dark and grim month here in Vancouver. One of the brightest spots in my month was participating in the Foodie Penpal program. Receiving mail is always a good thing. Getting a parcel from your FPP is a great thing. It’s like getting a bouquet of flowers for no reason or seeing a a shaft of sun through the raindrops.
The Foodie Penpal program is a wonderful monthly event created by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean. You simply sign up through her site, then on the 5th of the month you get your penpal pairing via email. You send them a note, get all the information you might need (allergies, diet restrictions, address etc) and then put together a tasty package by the 15th of the month. Other than a $15 maximum what you put in the parcel is up to you. The best part is that you get to meet two new people – the person you mail to and the person who mails to you.
This month I sent a parcel to a woman named Gemma in Toronto. Stay tuned for more information about Gemma as she has a blog she’s getting ready to launch and I’ll tell you about it when it does. I was fortunate enough to be paired with Fiona from Montreal. Her parcel was amazing – you would never know that she was a first timer penpal!
She included some green tea, rye crisp crackers with black pepper, Quebec honey and yummy pancake mix. Delicious.
Fiona also included a lovely note with a recipe for guilt free hollandaise sauce. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s waiting for me (and some poached eggs!) in my recipe holder.
My favourite part of the parcel however was the gift that gave to more than just me. There was a package of mixed spiced nuts that were not only so good they were eaten too quickly to be photographed, but the purchase of them went to support a charity. The perfect gift. Thanks so much Fiona for such a wonderful and thoughtful parcel.
In that same spirit of giving, next month the Foodie Penpal program is taking a break from it’s usual format. It has been requested that everyone who would normally participate donate the money they would have spent on a package to their penpal and donate it to a charity. Lindsay has chosen to support people impacted by Hurricane Sandy through New York Cares. Even if you’re not a participant I encourage you to donate to any charity that aids and supports people in need. Because, no matter who you are, receiving an unexpected gift can not help but to brighten your day.