Friday, November 25, 2005
BBM3 - My package from Ann is here!
Actually, it arrived a couple of days ago, but with the holiday bustle and all I'm just getting around to posting about it. Ann of let me eat bread (aka starchmouse) sent me a really wonderful package filled with things that she and her family have enjoyed over the holidays or anytime they're together.
As I sifted through the contents of the package I saw teabags of every shape and loose tea as well. Ann explained in her letter that her family loves tea and that when she visits her parents, who live nearby, they always catch up over a pot of tea. I love tea too, though for me tea drinking is usually a solitary activity. It's a pleasure for the senses and it's a comfort from the cold. I recognized the round bags immediately - they're my favorite: Typhoo. The square bags are Jasmine green tea, which I just tried tonight. I'm not much good at describing flavors, but this was really nice - floral and delicate and very good. I haven't tried the pyramid shaped bags yet. They contain PG Tips. The last of the teas is Ann's own version of chai tea. I tried this right away, as I'm becoming something of a chai fiend. It was very good, though next time I must remember to follow the directions that Ann included!
Ann also enclosed a bag of chestnuts. She explained that her parents always roast chestnuts in the fireplace at home, but when they went to Korea for Christmas last year they missed out on this tradition. In Seoul they found these bagged roasted and shelled chestnuts and bought a box. I have a fondness for chestnuts as well. Chuck first introduced me to chestnuts one Christmas a few years back when I was visiting him and Bob in New York. Later I enjoyed the best ones I've ever had in Rome with Bob and Chuck. So, I think I will save these and bring them with me to Vermont to share with Bob and Chuck this Christmas.
I also got not one, but two jars of Ann's homemade cranberry sauce and the recipe! I'm used to the plain-Jane-back-of-the-cranberry-bag sauce (i.e. cranberries, sugar and water). Ann's has vanilla, citrus, spices, and golden raisins and it is so good! Not nearly as sweet as the one I'm used to, it is tart and spicy. I'm done with plain-Jane cranberry sauce!
The other recipe Ann gave me is one for her family's favorite Thanksgiving dessert: Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce. Wow. This thing sounds incredible! I really, really want to try this - maybe this Christmas. It's incredibly rich, but I love bread pudding, and I love pumpkin, and then there's that caramel sauce...
Finally, Ann enclosed the food and wine sections from the San Francisco Chronicle, a Trader Joe fearless flyer, a chocolate bar and some "Airwaves" gum. Ann didn't mention the gum, so I'm not sure if it's something she picked up in San Francisco or elsewhere (most of the labelling is not English). It is powerfully minty gum. After I tried a piece I had an inkling where the name came from - it feels like there's a breeze coming out your nose! I've enjoyed sharing this gum with other people and just watching their reaction!
Ann - thank you so very much! I am really enjoying everything you sent me and especially enjoyed your letter and recipes!!
UPDATE: Ann has posted her Cranberry Sauce Recipe - yum!