GUEST POST by Verity Burke – Foodie Penpals – May 2012

It’s my first month as a foodie penpal, and I was lucky enough to be paired up with the lovely Kay Tea’s Cakes. As a penpal virgin, I was hoping for someone who would be gentle with me 😉 I needn’t have worried as Kay was new too. Judging from her friendliness and her wonderful parcel, I think she’s going to become a coveted penpal!

On to the goods!

I came back home to find that Kay’s parcel had arrived, and I was beyond excited. Luckily, I had someone to share the excitement…

Boz on the Sofa

 I was worried I’d be a pain in the buttus to buy for, as I have coeliac disease and I’m also a vegetarian. However Kay was totally amazing, and somehow knew not only which foods were “safe” for me to eat, but which were some of my faves too.

Veggie crisps: they probably count to one of your five-a-day, right? And a splendid nod towards a vegetarian diet ;D

Tyrell’s Veg Crisps

I’d tried various brands of veggie crisps before, but I hadn’t tried Tyrells. I can safely say they’re now my numero uno brand; lots of curled up beet crisps, which are my favourites! Do other people have a favourite vegetable crisp? Or is that just me?

We’d been discussing via email our various loves, and one of the cuisines I’d mentioned was Mexican. Kay remembered what we’d chatted about, and tried to track down the new Wahacas sauce; when she couldn’t get it, she put in this amazing Yogi Tea instead J Everyone loves a good cuppa, and it was great to try a new brew.

Also in the box was a beautiful white chocolate cube lolly, scattered with sparkles. Despite the prettiness of the chocolate, I eventually decided it would be an affront to Kay if I preserved it for all of time. Selflessly, I ate it.

Helpful dogs

Once again there were selfless helpers standing by. They were sadly disappointed.

Truffles, whisk and M&M’s

Kay also sent some jubilee-coloured goods – M&Ms of the peanut variety, along with Charbonnel and Walker truffles in a union jack box. These were pounced on with such embarrassing eagerness that I didn’t even take a photograph.

The little whisk was a beautiful touch! It’s a red miniamo whisk, which is microwave safe and dishwasher safe. This pleased my Pa, who has a horror of any new item being brought into the house that might be handwash only.

There were more miniamo goods in the form of some adorable pastel-coloured silicone cupcake cases. Sunday was devoted to teaching Pa how to make a cherry bakewell, his favourite of all the baked goods. We made a massive log of a bakewell, and because I couldn’t be bothered to make gluten free pastry, I sneaked some of the filling and baked it up in my adorable new liners!

Bakewell Log and Miniamo Tart

One of the loveliest touches was the continuance of the Mexican theme. Kay had found a few recipes and included them in the parcel, and we made the sweetcorn salsa to go with our dinner of refried bean and queso pupusas. It was a hit!

Sweetcorn Salsa

My first Foodie Penpals has been a wonderful experience, and I was glad to start my penpallery with Kay. Her parcel showed the phenomenal amount of care and attention that had been put into it, she understood my allergy, and she was huge fun to get to know.


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