Foodie penpals February 2016 reveal

You may have noticed that I didn’t do a January reveal (but probably not). The reason for that was my penpal never actually sent me a package! It was okay though – I still had fun putting mine together. And I got an amazing one in February to make up for it! I’m a bit late with this reveal since I was waiting for the package I sent to arrive and then things got busy…

I was paired up with Gale, who is an American living in the UK. I basically told her to surprise me – and she didn’t disappoint. First of all, my item arrived in an absolutely gorgeous box that has now become home to some of my crafting supplies!


I then opened the lid to find that each item had been individually wrapped in its own piece of tissue paper.

Opening the little packages was so exciting – like Christmas or my birthday!

Here’s what I found inside all the tissue paper:

delicious foods

I also took individual photos of the foods (on the table for a change – such a nice package seemed too good for my usual floor photos 😉 )

Snacks in the form of cashew nuts and flavoured corn nuts. I had never heard of corn nuts before, but now I neeeeeed to get my hands on more! They were delicious. I ate them all by myself! Jan didn’t even get a look in.

Stuff to make chicken taste good. We love both garlic and spicy stuff in this household!

Cous cous and coffee (pictured together because alliteration!). I absolutely love Ainsley’s couscous, and the coffee sounds so interesting.


Various hot chocolates, including a Galaxy one!! Amazing! I love Galaxy!

And, finally, Gale included a non-food gift, so I have something that I can keep permanently. So thoughtful! Here it is:


A tea towel decorated with chillis! Love it!

And now, before I publish this overly exclamation marked post, here’s what I sent to my foodie pen pal. She told me she wasn’t keen on chocolate but other than that had no special requirements, which resulted in this:


Basler Mehlsuppe (flour soup) because it’s traditional for Fasnacht, which it was at the time. Zürcher Geschnetzeltes. A small bar of chocolate. Garlic sausage from Gruyeres, because she told me she loved garlic. Blevita crackers with Gruyere cheese. Jelly bunnies from the Easter selection and a Spitzbube (jammy biscuit). Fairly representative of Switzerland, I think.

I’m not doing foodie pen pals in March because of New Zealand, but I can’t wait to take part again in April.

If you too want to receive delicious foods from around the world each month, sign up for the April foodie pen pals now on the new foodie pen pals pen pals website! Everything you need to know is there.



Yesterday afternoon Jan and I decided that, for once, we wanted to do something with our weekend, so we (or rather he) booked a car from Stadtmobil and headed off to Mannheim.

On the way into town we spotted a planetarium. Neither of us had been to one for years so we parked the car and went into enquire. It turned out the next show was due to start an hour later, at 6pm. We figured we might as well go for it so we bought the tickets. With only and hour to wait there was no point in heading into the town centre, so instead we went to Luisenpark, which was just across the road. It cost 5 euros to get in, which seemed a bit much to go into a park,  so at first we weren’t going to bother, but there didn’t seem to be anything else in the area so we thought why not. So in we went and, as it turned out, the 5 euros was actually well worth it. It seems Luisenpark is not, in fact, just a park, but contains, among other things, a Chinese garden, an open air stage and a model farm. An hour was nowhere near enough to see everything, but we did go into the Pflanzenschauhaus, which literally means plant exhibition house. It’s basically a giant greenhouse divided into various rooms, including an aquarium, a butterfly house, a section for reptiles and, of course, lots and lots of plants. We saw an otter, a banana tree, a coffee plant and – my favourite part – giant tortoises! We couldn’t find the tortoises when we were at Karlsruhe zoo the other week so I was pleased to finally see some in Mannheim.

Giant tortoise
Giant tortoise

By the time we made it out of the huge greenhouse our hour was almost up and we had to rush back to the planetarium where we saw a show about the race to get to the moon. It was quite interesting, but Jan and I agreed that planetariums seemed so much more impressive when we were little.
After the show we were hungry, so off we went into town for some food. I had gnocchi which were basically swimming in a garlicy-oil. Delicous!

After dinner I showed Jan the building where I will soon be working then we went for a look around. We discovered a real English tea shop that looked so inviting that we just had to go in. We both treated ourselves to a small cream tea, consisting of a pot of tea each and a freshly baked scone with real clotted cream and homemade jam. Mmmm.

In The Tea Salon
In The Tea Salon

It was a lovely afternoon and the perfect way to spend my last Saturday as a 25 year old.