Doin' the Happy Dance at 40N, 82.53W!

alisonSeptember 12, 2005

Why? Because, because, because, because!!!

Because my package from Adele arrived over

the weekend and I finally rescued it this morning!

It will be a day or so before I can post pictures, but I just had to post this morning because it is so wonderful, and so well-researched!

Adele had themes that we can all relate to: "because you need it", "because you might like it", "because you will like it". And just in case it wasn't clear, each package justified itself, right on the wrapping!

"Why? Because." Four heavy weight placemats with really cute stylized sunflowers. I love sunflowers, Adele, and the colors go perfectly with the light wood and blue and green accents in the room.

"Why? Because it's cool!" A stainless steel "Misto" olive oil sprayer, for laying down a fine film of oil on food or pans. This is a solid, heavy-duty job, with a nice little pump action when you pull the top off. (And it doesn't dribble!)

"Why? Because it's North Dakota!" A palm-sized chocolate map of North Dakota! Okay; maybe it's just a chocolate bar, but it does say "North Dakota" right on it.....

"Why? Because everyone should try them." Chippers! At long last, bringing together those fine North Dakotan mainstays -- chocolate and potato chips! (Who knew Fargo was such a hotbed of fine chocolate?) These are waaay beyond the limp chips I've had before. The chip itself is a effervesant spine, an excuse for some really fine milk chocolate. I've got them in the freezer so I won't eat them all at once.

"Why? Because it spoke to me." And I have no doubt that fine Belgian chocolate with orange and crisped rice speaks very convincinly, too! Plus, in nice reassuring letters right on the front of the bar it says: "Rejoice (relax)"

"Why? Because I can do this." A wine mouse! Who knew there was such a thing? Shaped like a computer mouse, it had a sharp cutting blade on the underside, and will neatly cut the foil and remove the wax on a nice bottle of wine. I've got it hanging on the wall already.

"Why? Because I love mine." The Garlic Twist. This is so funky; I can't wait to try it out. It's two plexiglass halves, the size and shape of a hockey puck. Each side has a row of teeth that mesh together. Once you mash the clove of garlic with you hand and peel off the paper, you drop it inside, and twist the halves back and forth, to mince the garlic between the teeth. This looks really cool, Adele!

"Why? Because you wanted one and 2 are okay." Adele read the thread where I confessed to coveting the new bamboo cutting boards, but felt I couldn't get one because I already have a perfectly serviceable one. So she got me a good sized bamboo board from "The Gourmet Panda". This is so pretty.

"Why? Because who doesn't love bread." I do!! And I love The Tassajara Bread Book! I lost my copy years ago, when I lent it to a friend and it never returned. I really love this book.

And, needing no justification at all, pints of Elderberry Jelly and Wild Chokecherry Jelly. I happened to set them on the kitchen table, and the sun came thru them like glowing jewels. I know these will be fabulous Sunday morning snacks.

Thank you so much, Adele. You really picked some fantastic things, and I feel like you know me well! Good job!

(I will post some pictures as soon as possible. Now -- back to the chocolate!)

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I am sooooo happy it made it there! The bar of chocolate is really shaped like ND. It looks square because the state is square--but one side shows the river:) Adele

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 4:56PM
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Fun to read about this super gift. I love the image of the jellies (wow, what color's wild chokecherry?!) glowing like jewels. Gives me a nice feeling.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 6:28PM
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WOW! That sounds like a very intesting box of goodies. I hope you can let us know what bread recipes you try. The jellies are truely special, one has to compete with the birds to try and harvest enough for a batch, how lucky to get some.


    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 6:58PM
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What a great package. I was hoping she miscalculated my longitude by 2 degrees.

It sounds like a clever theme to put so many different items in related categories.



    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 7:31PM
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Great stuff Alison. I now want an olive oil mister and a garlic twister, I'm keeping a list from all the swaps. Great theme too. Adele you put together a super swap box!!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 7:37PM
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Talk about an "imaginative" theme ! What a great selection--yummy too---you'll have to tell us what wild chokecherry jelly tastes like when you can bring yourself to break into those "jewels"

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:23PM
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Alison, wow, some very cool gifts. I saw that garlic twist in a store and almost bought it...guess I'll go back and get it.
Adele, wonderful choices you made. Good job!


    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:26PM
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I hate to say it, but I LOVE my garlic twist.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 8:55PM
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It looks like it will be so much fun to use! How fine can you get the garlic?

I confess, I've gotten into the habit of buying those little jars of minced garlic, because it's so easy to keep them in the fridge and just scoop out what I need. No need to worry about whether my garlic has started sprouting, or chopping it and having my fingers smell like garlic.

It'll be fun -- I just have to find it an easily accessible home somewhere in the kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 9:13PM
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We just made some toasted garlic bread tonight. It is so easy. Just take out as many cloves as you want --whack them- pull the skin off and twist. They end up pretty fine and it is quick. I used to use powder, then jarred garlic, then I chopped finely. I admit I smell a bit. But it is pretty easy and quick. I use a lot of fresh garlic now. adele

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Great swap package! Now I'm wondering if I *need* a garlic twist and a bamboo cutting board?

Looks like you put a great deal of thought into Alison's package, Adele! Well done!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 10:36PM
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Wow cool gifts! I'd like to see how that garlic gizmo works!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 10:44PM
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Where are the cats? (DARFC)

    Bookmark   September 12, 2005 at 11:47PM
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Now that's a great swap box. I'm especially impressed by the elderberry jelly because I just spent four hours picking, cleaning, stemming elderberries. Those little buggers are a PIA, so that jelly is certainly a "labor of love" or at least a "labor of friendship".

The garlic twister thing sounds interesting.....


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 2:08AM
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Great package, Alison - sounds like you will definitely enjoy!

Adele, I LOVE the theme - LOL! 'because you wanted one and 2 are OK' - love it.

I'm looking forward to pics - the bamboo cutting board sounds great.


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 8:25AM
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Great Imagination!

Enjoy your box of goodies! I hope you get a picture of the jellies in the sun. Sounds like a nice picture.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 8:46AM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

What a great box of goodies! Great job, Adele! The garlic twister sounds good! Enjoy, all your gifts, Alison! Looking forward to the pictures!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 9:37AM
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Can't wait to see the garlic twister. My favorite Swiss garlic press bit the dust last year and I can't find one like it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 6:42PM
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Drat. My pictures aren't ready and I'm leaving on vacation in the morning.

But I didn't want to leave anyone hanging about the Garlic Twist, so I found this picture:

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 2:25PM
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What a fun creative box! The garlic twist looks cool. Never heard of a wine mouse - that sounds cute.

We'll be expecting pictures when you return from vacation. Stay safe and have fun!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 2:37PM
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Alison, that was a VERY creative and clever theme!

My favorite is also 'Why? Because you wanted one and 2 are okay." I personally have (ahem) 5 wood and 2 plastic. And yes, the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. Just make sure you're not cutting alone too often or people will start talking.

I too love The Tassajara Bread Book! What a great box!!

p.s. I have yet to get around to writing you a Thank You note. I can't seem to find the time when I'm home. I still have a White Elephant gift I have to send someone too. Shame on me. Please don't hate me.

p.p.s. All four cats are CRAZY about those catnip treats. I sure wish I could find them here! Yum-MEE! You are a Godess to my kitties.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 5:32PM
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Frankie sez...mmmmm... Kookamunga.....

(It's the only thing that brings him in when he's attempting his jail breaks!)

Doesn't do anything for my boy, but a friend says the catnip bubbles drive her cats into a frenzy!

Here is a link that might be useful: The fine line of Kookamunga products

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 2:01AM
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Wow, who would come up with an idea like catnip bubbles? I'll have to get some for my sister's kitties.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Sorry for posting so late to this thread.

Teresa I'm wondering the same thing. That garlic twist thingy looks like a fun gadget. Don't think I have seen anything like that before. Although it makes me think of a herb grinder that I saw at one of the artist boutiques at the Grandville market. Need to go and look a little more closely at that.

Great gift box you put together Adele. One would never know that this was your first swap.


    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 4:15PM
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