This month, I participated in the Foodie Penpals program for the first time. Foodie Penpals is an adorable idea dreamed up by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean where foodie-minded bloggers and readers from different regions are paired up to send one another boxes filled with fun foodie things, local food items, or even homemade treats. Really, who doesn’t love getting a package full of interesting goodies in the mail?
One of my favorite “rules” of the program is that each penpal box must contain something handwritten. As someone who spends nearly every waking hour within arm’s length of an electronic device, it was really refreshing to receive a thoughtful note from a new friend with a shared interest. Pam, my May foodie penpal (who happens to be a reader, not a blogger) lives in Blacksburg, VA, and filled my penpal package with a slew of interesting and delicious items grown and manufactured in Virginia. Pam has great Blacksburg pride, and her love for her town was evident in the 2-page heartfelt note that accompanied my goodies.
As for the goodies, they were impressive:
Here’s a rundown of what she sent:
- Blacksburg backdraft coffee with a conscience. Fun fact: Pam’s brother is the dapper Fire Captain pictured on the coffee’s packaging
- Handcrafted soap from the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market with a tagline of: “snooty soap for people with discriminating taste.” I love that.
- Fiery peri-peri dark cherry salsa. Perfect to pair with veggie sticks. Or better yet, with Hint of Lime Tostidos (my vice!) Is too much delicious on 1 bite a thing?
- Loose tea, also from the Farmer’s Market. I love that the tea’s flavor ingredients are hand written on the package and am excited to make some iced tea out of this asap.
- Chocolate bar sweetened with Stevia. SO good. Not too sweet, just really rich and chocolatey.
- 2 bags of potato chips: Route 11 Dill Pickle flavored and Mama Zuma’s Revenge habanero flavored (I opened the bag of spicy habanero chips almost immediately, just meaning to try one. Oops, ate em all. Not sorry; they were worth it.)
Participating in the foodie penpal program was a great move for me, and I’ve already gone ahead and put my hand up for the June pairings. It’s a great way to connect with people who you otherwise never would have the opportunity to “meet.” Plus, it adds a personal touch to the otherwise digital life we tend to lead.
My only bone to pick at the present time is with USPS, who has had the gall to return the foodie penpals package I sent out back to me, and then allow it to be lost in mail-land at the present time. Anna, I PROMISE that box will get to you- even if I have to Pony Express it over. (Thank you for being so understanding of the debacle even though I’m totally mortified that you did not get your package in time for reveal day!) In the meantime, check out Anna’s Adventure’s in Health for a great read from a truly good-natured blogger who knows her stuff.
If you’d like to join in on the Foodie Penpals fun next month, here are the details:
- On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It is your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
- You have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal.
- The spending limit is $15, and the box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
- Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.