Friday, March 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals - Indian Style

When I was younger I had a pen pal that lived in Nova Scotia. This was back in the day when pen and paper were king. I loved the whole process of being a pen pal - picking out fun stationary and seeing the words move across the page, buying stickers (OK, if you've received a card or a letter from me in the past few years, you know I still get really into stickers!) It was such a comfort to write my pen pal about what was going on in my world and reading her responses to me. Fast forward some 15-20 years and once again I have a pen pal though not in the traditional sense.

Foodie Pen Pals - who wouldn't want to get a gift like this in the mail?!
Foodie Pen Pals was started a mere 6 months ago by fellow food blogger Lindsay. To date there are over 350 participants across the US, Canada, and now the UK too. Impressive, right? "Pen pals" change every month, and you don't write/buy gifts for the same person that has you as a pen pal (though I think this would be a fun way to do things, you might foster a stronger relationship if you're focusing on one another.) There's a $15 spending limit and items are geared towards food related products your pen pal would be interested in. I sent a box of chocolate and peanut butter themed treats to pen pal Cinnamon in Washington state. I had a great time putting the box together for was just like my old pen palling days as a preteen!
I was spoiled by all the delicious Indian treats!
I came home about a week ago to see that I had received a large box. Huge. I knew it was my pen pal gift. Aurvi did a wonderful job creating an authentic Indian gift basket of goodies for me complete with homemade treats and mixes galore - chai masala, daal lentils and spices (I made a lovely stew for dinner and even sent my friends home with leftovers), cardamon cookies, biscuits, spicy snack mix (with rice krispies and chickpeas), tandoori spice mix, an addictive snack mix that I need to keep my little hands out of (it has shoestring potatoes, nuts and dried fruits - LOVE IT!) and homemade cupcakes. Wow, right? It was impressive and so lovingly assembled. I felt like it was my birthday! I made a delicious feast for two of my lucky friends and even had enough of the daal leftover for them to take home as leftovers.

Aurvi made this special blend of tea - brewed with milk & sugar it's fantastic!
I am a huge fan of this Foodie Pen Pal program as you can tell. It gives us food bloggers and opportunity to get to know one another and promote one another. It fosters a community that being digital can sometimes manipulate. It helps us to foster relationships.


  1. What a thoughtful parcel you received - full of lovely and unusual treats!

  2. Interestingly enough, Cinnamon has cravings for food from Dion's which is my "older sister's" husband's chain! Small world!

  3. Definitely one of the nicest basket of treats I've ever received - I hope that everyone is able to get such a nice goodie bag in the mail!

    Ms. T - that is SUCH a small world!

  4. This is such a great way to connect!