I guessed Annie was my partner, but boy was I still surprised!!

robinkatebAugust 30, 2005

First of all I must tell you all that I had figured out that Annie was my Swap partner from the thread that said e-mails had gone out. Annie posted something about being delighted with her choice and that her swap partner should be afraid. Don't tell me why I knew this but I was darn sure. So today I was all in a tizzy waiting to see if I really was correct and my goodies would be here to tear into. I called and IM'd DH often throughout the day to see if it had arrived. I also made him drive to work so he could bring home my box. At 3:30 there was still no package as the mail was not at the post office yet. Argh!! I began to think maybe I was wrong. But DH called as he was leaving the office to tell me he was struggling under the weight of my box.

Sebastian, my 3 year old, and I waited expectantly on the porch for Lewis to appear with the box. Julian, my 5 month old seemed unconcerned. And oh such Goodies. So my box contained:

On the very top were gifts for Sebastian and Julian. For Sebastian there was a pad of assorted papers (construction, tracing, doodle) and really cool paint pens. The paint is in the handle and comes out of the brush. After opening it Boo happily painted as I dived deeper into the box.

For Julian a stuffed Robin bird, which was apparently chosen because it is the Michigan state bird, and not for his mother's name. I gave it to him and he promptly showed his approval by tasting the bird. Yes I have a second child who explores the world with his mouth.

Two, yup two, sampling packs and one lonely bottle of Boyajian Oils. One pack contains Basil, Lemon Pepper, Roasted Chile, Garlic, Lemon, Lime and Orange, and then a small bottle of Wasabi Oil. Last night I put some of the basil oil on beets. Yum!! btw, the serving dish is from Debbie814 and my first ever swap. It gets used often. I also drizzled some on a sliced tomato at lunch today. Wow, I have a feeling I will be using this up fast and it becoming a staple in my kitchen.

There was also culinary treasures from Michigan. Honeycup mustard, delicious on the roast beef sandwhich I had for lunch. Seafood sauce which looks yummy and I really should have tried on last nights salmon burgers. Hey, I was proud I used what I did in dinner. And then dried tart cherries. I actually usually have these in the house as Sebastian eats them first thing in the morning while he is waiting for me to make breakfast. However I had just run out so this really saved the day.

But wait there is beautiful cracker plate made by a friend of Nancy's (Wizardnm), and vanilla from Penzey's.

Then there where more items from Penzey's Rogan Josh, Bangkok Blend, Rogan Josh, Adobo because I love to cook food from other countries. Vietnamese Cinnamon, Four Peppercorn Blend, and Fleur de Sel because Annie loves them. Well the peppercorns went in my second pepper mill and where great on the beets as well as my tomatoes at lunch time. I also used the salt on both those items. I know I will love all of it. Of course there was also a Penzey's catalog and a copy of the first issue of Penzey's One.

Then for the canner in me there was also a wonderful book of jam and jelly recipes that are perfect for me. Annie knows from the Harvest Forum that I prefer no added pectin recipes, as well as adding alcohol or herbs to my jams. Well the Mes Confitures cookbook is filled with inspiring recipes like the kind I like to make (and eat). I am so excited by this cookbook!!

I already know how wonderful the recipes are as I made the "Seedless Raspberry Jam" from it on Saturday, Carol (readinglady) posted the recipe. Having some of the jam on bread seemed to improve Sebastian's mood when he woke up from his nap. I figure the other recipes will be as good. Of course Annie included special elite Ball canning jars to put the new recipes in. I will have to decide what recipe is deserving of these jars.

Lastly a Visitors Guide to Michigan. I will happily read this once I am done reading the jam and jelly book. Okay, maybe I need to make a few of the recipes as well. Now where to find some unripe apples so I can make the apple jelly that is used instead of pectin in many of the recipes.

Thanks so much Annie. I will think of you whenever I use my new treasures.


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Robin, I'm so glad you like everything, I started to worry when you didn't post, then thought maybe you just started reading the "Mes Confitures". I also thought the paint might keep Sebastian occupied long enough for you to open the box.

Smart Julian, he knows birds are actually food. LOL

The only thing I can't see is the plate, your photo says "internal error". I packed that as well as I could, as did the lovely shopkeeper, I hope it didn't arrive broken.

I have to admit, Jessica and I sat and went through that book before I sent it to you. The original plan was for me to make some recipe from that book and send you the finished product along with everything else. Then, I realized you were leaving on vacation and I needed to really rush it.....

I really was delighted when I got you as a swap partner, a fellow "canner" and I had such fun shopping for you.


P.S. Those boys are getting more handsome every time I see them.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 10:28PM
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That's funny Annie, when I click on the link I see the plate, in 1 happy piece. Sorry it took me so long to post. I was making your salsa last night and DH was emptying the photos from the camera. We have a new camera with a 1 gig card and it was having problems. I guess just because you have the space doesn't mean you should put off emptying the camera.

Also I wanted to do the box justice. Happily the boys mostly slept at the same time at nap time so I typed away. Oh I just noticed that i omited some of my treasures. I will have to add to the count tomorrow.

If you want copies of any of the recipes I can xerox or post them. Although some of them could cause a fist fight on the Harvest Forum. I may try some of the jams with chocolate to go in the fridge. Fruit and chocolate, what could be bad about that.

Poor Julian probably does recognize that the bird is food and wants some. Because of his dairy protein allergy his pediatrician wants us to wait until he is 6 months to give him solids. Every time we give him tylenol his little face lights up. I think he likes the change of pace. Not that he is wasting away, last Friday he weighed 17 lbs 2 ozs.

The paint kept Sebastian very happily occupied. This is the first type of paint I have found that works for him. He just has not taken to finger paints or water color. The great thing is the tubes can be refilled.

Sebastian is such a little busy body and it bought me breathing room when opening the box. One day we were shopping for my swap buddy and I explained to Sebastian that the items he was holding were not for us. I told him mommy was making up a package for someone else. He declared, "I want someone to send us a package." I told him that they were and then i said I think it is from my friend Annie.

No question about it, I love my package. Had lemon pepper oil on our zucchini tonight. I plan on taking the oils with me on vacation as they will be very useful when my cooking resources are limited.

So I am curious, what was backordered?


    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 10:59PM
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I'm glad that plate arrived intact. I don't know what it was about it, the colors were so "peaceful" I guess.

I'm glad the paint was a hit with Sebastian, I was racking my brain to remember when the girls were that age. It was a while ago, remember.

Yes, I know that not all of those recipes are "approved", but I also know that you are an experienced enough canner to be able to pick out something truly dangerous and something merely "different". LOL It was the "different" aspect that drew me to that book.

Poor Julian, even though he clearly isn't starving (nearly 18 pounds? Wow) he probably is bored as heck. I'll bet when he can have solids he'll eat everything in sight.

The backordered item? Champagne vinegar. You mentioned on the vinegar thread that you wanted to try that. I figured I'd rather get the box to you before you left on vacation than wait for a single item. You'll get it when it comes anyway, but I'll wait until you return. :-) Have a wonderful vacation.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 11:25PM
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Robin, What a great swap package! I would love those oils. Annie, You made some excellent choices! Nice going.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 12:20AM
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heh heh

I just LOVED being a swap spy (as well as staying with Annie!)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 8:32AM
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Annie what a put together box! You chose some wonderful things for Robin.

Robin, it looks like your boys are enjoying the box as much as you are. Good looking kids!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:19AM
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What a wonderful box of items! I love the cracker dish, the cute little canning jars, the canning recipe book, all the spices. Wow.

Great job Annie. Robin, keep us posted on new canning recipes. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 12:19PM
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The items I forgot to mention are the silicone spoon/spatula (spoonalu), fresh lines sachet and the scented soap. Because of the last 2 items everything in the box smells wonderful. I was having trouble with Shutterfly yesterday when I was composing my message so these things got lost in the shuffle.

Yes Annie thanks to you and the other folks on the cooking forum I am an experienced canner and I can recognize the unsafe recipes. That does not mean I will not make them, I will just treat them like lemon curd. Don't seal it at all and put it right in the fridge for immediate consumption. I am not to worried about orange chocolate jam or raspberry chocolate jam being eaten fast enough.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 1:09PM
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Dang. I thought that box was headed my way. Oh well.

And what a box it is!! Great variety and wonderful taste! Those oils sound delightful. So much flavor in that box!! Enjoy yourself, Robin. p.s The kid pictures are a delight.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 2:39PM
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Wow, I just thought of my theme, which ties in with Imagination.

It would be (drumroll please) "Imagine that any woman with two boys under the age of three might still have time to make her own jam".


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 3:00PM
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What a terrific package! Annie, you did good.

Robin, your boys are so cute, I mean handsome. Enjoy all your Michigan goodies.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 3:53PM
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What a terrific package you received. Annie despite her protests is a great shopper! I love Annie's "theme"!

Sebastian looks so adorable with those glasses eating the bread and jam, and I can't believe how big Julian is at less than 6 months!

Btw, if that beautiful platter needs a new home, I have space available. It's a beauty!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 5:12PM
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What a great selection!! For someone who didn't think she had a theme Annie I'd say "pleasing Robin & her Boys" fit the bill---love all the stuff from Michigan & those Boyajian Oils are so nice--I have just a little of them left from Jessy's swap--I really enjoy using them >

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:44PM
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Wow, that must have been one big box. Annie, What a wonderful selection of goodies you chose for Robin and her boys. Enjoy Robin.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:48PM
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Great great swap package. I always love the local things. I hope one of these days we can have a local swap. Very nice box Annie!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 8:02PM
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Robin, I've been wanting to order some of the oils. Basil oil on beets sounds delish. Glad to see you are getting use out of the serving dish that I gave you on your first swap. I remember picking out that item, and had a feeling that you would really enjoy it because it was your color.

Great swap package from Annie!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:24PM
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Annie, you did good girl! Nice box of wonderful stuff...

Robin, I'll be watching for some of the new canning recipes, even if they turn out to be refrigerator canning.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:29PM
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Robin - what a great swap box! Annie, You did good girl! I particularly loved the pic of Sebastian eating the bread with jam! hahaha!! Adorable!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:49PM
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Annie, that is a fabulous package! Great things for the kiddies - and I love the plate.

RobinKate - you did a great job describing and the photos of Sebastian and Julian are priceless!!!



    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 9:10AM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

Great going, Annie! I love the platter and all the goodies! Great pictures of the boys, Robin, they're handsome guys! I love the picture of Sebastian painting! He sure is having fun! Enjoy all the goodies, Robin! It's a terrific "box of stuff"


    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 5:09PM
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Oooh, I love the platter and I can only imagine how much you are going to enjoy all those flavorful oils.

Annie you sent a great package for the whole family.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 1:40AM
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Robin, I loved seeing these terrific gifts. Great items.

Annie, You did an awesome job!


    Bookmark   September 10, 2005 at 10:25PM
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Annie, I took all the oils and the penzey's spices on vacation and they were great. We have been on a bit of a from scratch pasta sauce kick and the basil oil meant we never had to buy fresh basil for just a tiny amount. I have also been quickly depleting the garlic oil, so good over broccoli with butter and a splash of soy sauce. I used the lemon oil in Tomato Basil butter the other day and it was a real time saver. I think I will be ordering oils soon :-) Although I did find the garlic oil in Trader Joe's on the cape.

I look forward to the champagne vinegar as well, this whole package is so wonderful. I even found a source for unripe apples next year so I can try a greater selection of the recipes from my new cookbook. Good friends who are always happy to eat my jam have an apple tree on their property.

Ann, you are right the box was huge, I used it to send out my swap package. So my swap partner will be receiving a well traveled box.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 2:08PM
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