HAVE: Great box from Gellchom!!

coconut_njJune 17, 2011

Oh Gellchom, I hope you didn't fret too much about getting this great box sent. You weren't the last by any stretch, I'm sure. I love everything in my box, including the cute message on the outside. Smiles.

Well people, I hope I do the contents justice in describing. We pick our mail up from the post office once a week these days so when Christy said there were two packages for me and I already knew Rita said my garlic was due to arrive today, boy did I get excited. All she saw was Sue on the box. Sue,,, Sue...hmm.. I had to go check the list of participants and ... voila, I figured out it had to be Gellchom. Correct deduction. Ok, fast forward to the arrival home. Since Gellchom made herself wait to open her cool magenta salad bowl and tongs until she sent my package I waited and opened her package second...heh.. On the outside of the box she had drawn some cute fireworks and said "Hi Coconut, this is your swap box". I tried to include it in the pictures but most got cut out.

Open the box, there is a card inside. I open the card. The front of card is this really cool picture a child had drawn, complete with castle and princess with cape and flowing hair. I turned the card over and started to cry. The card was drawn by Alona Frankel. It's one of a number of her childhood drawings used by the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C.. She's a children's book illustrator and wrote the Once Upon a Potty books and many other childhood learning books. A few years ago she also wrote a memoir of her childhood entitled, "A Girl". Check her out. An amazing woman. I'm so honored Susan that you would send me that particular card. You had no way of knowing but I collect children's literature.

Ok, after bawling my eyes out for five minutes I was ready to open the rest of the package. The first gift was this set of four really nice, incredibly soft, colorful napkins with neat napkin rings. We use cloth napkins a lot, especially with our summer corn and this will be well used. Nice. Second was a pretty handmade watermelon bowl. I love handcrafted items and the painting on it is nice. Rats, should have taken a pic of the back of it. Last but not least was a cookbook she got from her Alaska trip recently. Very cool! Has lots of Salmon recipes, bunch of sourdough recipes, all kinds of seafood recipes and as it says on front of it, a pictorial guide of the Inside Passage. Gellchom, I love the cookbook and we found a number of things to try soon, one of which happens to be an apple crisp recipe. LOL. They have a crab quesadilla, which sounds good and I can't remember making crab quesadillas, even though I'm a major crab lover. A blackberry polenta cobbler sounds interesting too. Many of the salmon recipes look great including a nice cioppino recipe. The bear tenderloin and elk nuggets do say you can sub beef. ...heh.. Ya did so good Susan. I love everything and will use it all this summer and long afterward. Thanks so very much for such a thoughtful swap box. What a great first swap for me.

The card. Can you imagine a child who spent so many years hidden, producing such beautiful fanciful drawings. One person who she was given to stay with sent drawings to her parents to prove she was alive. Her Father pulled her Mothers gold teeth to pay the woman to keep her.

My lovely presents. I love 100% cotton napkins. They absorb all that butter from the corn sooo good. lol.. Isn't the bowl cute? Really like the napkin rings that are part of the napkin set. 3 items.

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Heart wrenching story. Great and colorful package - very interesting to see an Alaskan cookbook! Enjoy! maria

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:27AM
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Lovely package. We'll be in Alaska in a few weeks and I plan on checking out that cookbook. WAIT!! Gellchom, are you in Alaska? Maybe we can have a CF get together? We're cruising the inner passage so will be in all the big towns.

Love the napkins and rings too. They look Mexican inspired.

And the bowl. LOVE it.

What a lovely story with the packaging - all so meaningful.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:02PM
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The watermelon bowl is very nice and I like how well the napkins go with it.

Be sure to try making sourdough pancakes from that cookbook. They have a unique flavor all their own...and no cheating on the syrup, it must be pure maple. I brought home an Alaskan cookbook years ago and still use it.

Nice swap box!!!!!!!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Well done Gellchom. What a beautiful package you put together for Coconut. And no cheating either.

I especially love your colour scheme. As Loves2cook mentioned it really does have a Mexican feel. I'm sure there are some amazing recipes in that cookbook. Coconut, can't wait to see what recipes you try first.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 9:49PM
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Yes, I do love everything. Don't worry Nancy, it's pretty easy to get real maple syrup around here and I always have one or two bottles. It's a fairly common Xmas gift and I tend to receive my fair share. Rarely have to buy it, come to think of it. Now I just need to get some starter going. I have some I never did start. Did I mention there is a recipe for crab cakes with pesto? They're calling me too. We had corn tonight for supper and my beautiful new napkins got a good workout. So soft on buttery lips...lol.

Loves2, she's not still there. It was a trip. Hmmm. do we know anyone in Alaska? Hmmm...

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 10:51PM
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Those napkins and napkin rings are gorgeous! The colors are very rich. I love the watermelon bowl, from what I can see of it. Can you post more pictures of it?

I also love Alaskan food; i.e. salmon and king crab - two of my most very favorites! I'm always happy when salmon is in season, which is now, and so this package fits in perfectly with the theme.

I love children's art as well and collect folk tales from different cultures. That drawing looks like it could be Polish or Russian, perhaps. I'm intrigued by what appear to be octopi flying in the sky!


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:02PM
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I agree, Lars, I love the colors in those napkins. As for the cookbook, what could be bad about salmon or crab or any other Alaskan seafood for that matter, yummy.

Very nice box, Gellchom, and the drawing was the crowning piece, I think.


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:28PM
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I know those Alona Frankel books and they are well worn around my house from years ago. I didn't know she was a Holocaust survivor, I have a bunch of cards from that museum and this one isn't included. What a treasure.

The rest of the items are PERFECT. Nice package and it looks like everything will be used and enjoyed!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 11:29PM
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I love learning abour Alona Frankel, so thank you both for sharing.

This is a BEAUTIFUL swap box! The napkins/napkin rings are so bright and fun! And can I borrow your watermelon bowl tonight? I'm making a fruit salad and it would look so pretty in it! LOL...

Enjoy Coconut! I'm sure you will!!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 11:59AM
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What a wonderful and touching story about the card. And the napkins and rings are great - I love the colors. More pics of the watermelon bowl please - it looks perfect for fruit salad in the summer

And you will have to share a recipe from the cookbook. I have very fond memories of our trip through the inside passage :-)

Nicely done!


    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 3:46PM
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Yes, I do love everything and that bowl is very cute. I'll take more pics of it this evening. Just finished 'riding' the grass, now I have to nap. LOL. The bowl is for serving dry items since it seems to be made of papier-mache. I'll post recipes from the book too. Maybe I'll scan one of the recipes so you can see the beautiful pictures they use as the background.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Oh, I'm so glad you like it!

Yes, I'd stick to dry items for the bowl. It didn't seem terribly practical, but it's so cute, I really wanted you to have it. And it fairly screams "Summer!"


    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 5:13PM
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The whole package is so bright and cheery! Summer for sure. You'll have to post what you make from the cookbook, it looks great from the outside! The watermelon bowl would be full of tortilla chips here!

Good job gellchom.


    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 11:17PM
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Gellchom! What a beautiful package for coconut! I'm loving everthing in the package.

I really enjoy children's art, folk art, and anything that has a meaning behind it. This is a beautiful card that you will be able to remember Gellchom for many years. I love that!

Nice package!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:28AM
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I sure never anticipated the response that little card would get. I will have to tell Thing Two about it; she is studying for a career in Holocaust education, and this summer she's at Yad VaShem (the Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem) working on developing curricula for English-speaking countries. I'll have to tell her what an impact the Frankel story had.

Coconut, I knew you liked cloth napkins from one of your posts. I had a lot of fun choosing the right ones for you; there were so many pretty choices. I considered getting non-matching rings, which is what we use so that we can keep using the same napkin for a few meals, but these went so well with the napkins I just couldn't.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:42AM
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A great swapbox, Gellchom! Love those bright napkins especially! Enjoy, coconut-nj!


    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Sorry it took me so long to get back with further pictures. Christy's Mama passed away this weekend. I had to stay up all night Sunday dealing with that and getting Christy packed and ready to go to New Orleans. Took her to the airport yesterday. She'll be gone till end of next week. I'm very sad I couldn't go with her to support her and her sister. Two of my cats are on medication right now, one of which is a hypothyroid cat who gets meds twice a day, so I'm here on animal detail. My hands might fall off before she gets home. Keeping 8 cats and a dog filled up with petting is strenuous! Her Mama wanted to go now and it's a very long story, but it was basically her choice and she did it exactly as she wanted, so we're glad that at least we all supported her in that.

Ok, the adorable watermelon bowl. Not that easy to photograph because it has a very shiny clear coat. I really have to go look at Sharons photo tutorials and make myself a designated light box or area for food pics.

We got some small and a bit beat up peaches so it was perfect for them. They're a bit rough but man are they sweet!!

One of it empty. It measures 9.5" long by 5" wide.

And one of the back. Wow was that hard to get a pic of the signature..lol. This was the best pic of it by far.

I am so glad you did include it Gellchom. It's so cute. I eat Utz sourdough extra dark pretzels as one of my regular snacks so this will be a great serving container for those too.

Gellchom, that's really great what your daughter is doing. You can tell her that having a lot of the material that is in only Hebrew translated into English would be wonderful. I'm having a hard time finding Frankels autobiography 'A Girl' in English. I'd love to read it. I've seen and read plenty of her childrens books but now really want to read her personal story.

Oh, don't worry at all about having the same napkin rings. There is just the two of us and we do use our napkins for more than one meal generally, so we just keep our napkins at our normal places at the table. Works fine and I love those napkin rings. It's funny, I have a thing for wrapped things, the way the wire is wrapped for the rings. Suits me perfectly. Smiles. You did great! Thanks again for a wonderful box. I've been reading the cookbook when I've had a chance and I will post some recipes and also post when I cook from it.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Coconut, my condolences to you and Christy.

Thanks for taking more pictures of your watermelon bowl. Very nice.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 1:02PM
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I'm so sorry about Christy's mom. My sympathies to the whole family. I wish I could bring you soup.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 5:21PM
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Thanks Ann and Susan. Soup is always my favorite!

I meant to tell Lars that yes indeed Alona Frankel is Polish born. Good eye, which is no surprise.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 8:44PM
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It occurs to me that in the spring Thing Two was working on a different project that would interest you. She was working on summarizing and indexing an archive of interviews of Holocaust "hidden children" -- the Hebrew Univ. professor in charge has asked her to bring a box of the transcripts back with her and continue when she is back at Boston Univ. this fall. There is a really interesting story behind this archive, which sat untouched for years until this professor learned of it and bought it. The original research had been psychological, but when they realized that the subjects were all suffering from PTSD, they abandoned the research and turned to treatment instead. So the interview transcripts were forgotten after the original researcher died, but fortunately not destroyed.

I wonder if Alona Frankel was one of the interviewees. The interviews were very carefully kept anonymous, though, so I'm not sure that Thing Two would be able to tell, at least not without some special permission to look at the names that correlate to the numbers, if such a list even exists.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 12:40PM
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That is an amazing swap package. I especially love those napkins and rings since I am a napkin ring collector extraordinaire, LOL. What an enjoyable summer you will spend with your new goodies. Have fun cooking up recipes with that great cookbook.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 9:13PM
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I thought I posted to this the other day. Hmm..

Gellchom, it certainly would be so interesting to read those interviews. I can only imagine. I'm sure they did all have PTSD. How could they not? The ways that children in particular dealt with their confinements has always interested me. Such long standing terror for those so young, and yet the ways they coped.

Thanks Sherry, I certainly am enjoying everything and those napkins are getting a good workout. Smiles.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 5:40PM
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beachlily z9a

I'm sorry I'm late to comment! Your package is wonderful! Love hand-mades so the napkins and the watermelon bowl really appeal to me.

Your future DIL's research is intriguing. Wonderful to get this information into the light of day and give it some attention. Those children went through a terrible ordeal, and it would be interesting now to see how they coped.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 3:27PM
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Thing Two isn't my FDIL, she's my daughter (I know, it's confusing). Some other time I'll tell you about Future Mrs. Thing One's research for her PhD in public health -- also fascinating. I am very proud of her, too. And of course I'm proud of Thing One, baseball broadcaster. I'm a very, very lucky mom!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 4:36PM
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Wonderful package! I just love that bowl and it screams Summer!
Great package, Gellchom

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 11:38AM
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I'm so sorry to read about Christy's Mama, even if it seems right and what she wanted, it must be hard to realize she's gone; sending hugs and peaceful thoughts to both of you.

Your package is summer from start to finish. I love all the bright colors. The cookbook sounds as though there are a lot of interesting recipes. We've had great Alaskan salmon here this year - I can only imagine how much better it must be in Alaska. I'd love to know more about the salmon cioppino.

The strength and resilience of children is amazing. Such a fanciful, colorful drawing done by someone living under such frightening circustances. It does look Russian, but it doesn't surprise me to hear that she is Polish because the borders of Russia and Poland have changed so much over time.

Can't wait to hear and see more about your gifts as you use them.

Sue, I think you picked wonderful things for Coconut.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2011 at 12:26AM
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Johnny Cash ruined the nickname "Sue" for me many years ago.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 3:18PM
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That bowl is great, as are the napkins. I will forewarn my partner that my box, as usual, will NOT be color coordinated, lol. Now you have to get some Alaska salmon. mmmmmmm.....

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 12:42AM
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