Whoa! This box is amazing!

riverrat1November 2, 2006

Im going crazy with excitement! This is an incredible swap package from Barbra (coronabarb). DH keeps laughing at me because IÂm jumping from computer to camera trying to get the perfect shots of the gifts! This package deserves the very best of descriptions and pictures! I can tell (and so will you) how much time, love ;-) and patience went into putting this together for me. I am so appreciative and grateful.

After being out most of the day I arrived home to my swap box!

It was so nice to open it and see nice fall colors instead of peanuts!

Barb has separated my gifts into 3 categories but I have lots to show you!

This olive oil is from a wonderful company based in ÂOld Town" Temecula. She says this basil infused olive oil is one of her favorites that she has tried from this company. I can just taste it now on a wonderful homegrown tomato next summer. I don't think I'll wait until next summer to try this. The cookbook has some wonderful recipes that I canÂt wait to try. One being the Tattooed Potatoes that both Barb and I will be trying soon. IÂll post pics and the recipe later in the week when I Âdo them. This makes for a nice set of one category!

Now, yaÂll are not gonna believe my handmade item category! Some handmade soap (top of picture in the cellophane) from somebodyÂs garden ;-), tangerine marmalade from California State Citrus Historic Park in Riverside (this is going to be a yummy favorite), 2 chile ristas and loose chilies that Barb grew in her own garden, dried citrus slices (Valencia orange, young grapefruit and lime) in a beautiful decorative ring and dried powdered whole lemons, limes and oranges to sprinkle on foods or in drinks. Barb grew, dried and powdered all of these things. I will use all of this and love it! The loose peppers and the jar of dried crushed pepper are from her friend who literally wrote the book on heirloom tomatoes. The original seeds came from Calabria, Italy! I will save my seeds from the dried peppers so I can grow my own next year. IÂm very very excited about this.

IÂm not sure I can write in words what I almost did when I saw the next item. Needless to say I had to take a break, sit down, and read these seed packets. IÂm unbelievably stunned by this. I will be able to grow a rare French heirloom lettuce (I will start these now), a Beaver Dam pepper that was brought over from Hungary around 1929, PrudenÂs Purple tomato that is a favorite of Barbs, Jaune Flammee French tomato and Noire Charbonneuse tomato (black Russian). The picture only has 4 seed packets but I have 5 packets. I found a packet after I had taken pictures and read Barbs letter.

Barbs letter to me was extremely informative of everything she sent me which I am very grateful for. Barb, IÂm sure IÂll be e-mailing you when itÂs time to start these seeds.

I can tell you took care and time preparing my package for me and IÂm so grateful. This package will continue to give back to me for many years.

Thank you Barb. IÂm touched beyond words.


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A delicious package! Love the dried chilies. DH and I visited Temecula quite a few years ago when hardly anyone outside of California had ever heard of it. Some great small wineries.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Whoa indeed Karen! I'm getting farklempt! Barb that is a special, special package.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 6:59PM
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Wow...that's a lot of zesty fun!
Lucky you on those special seeds!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:05PM
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I just love the colors of everything. Those dried citrus slices are beautiful. Oooh, what you can do with the dried citrus powders. I never saw that before! Very creative package.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:05PM
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Whew! I'm so glad it made it. I've been checking the forum all day long!

Karen, don't wait until next summer! Open that bottle right now and take a whiff! It is heavenly. I need to go buy a bottle for myself. (yes, I forgot to buy some for me) It should be great on pasta.

I grew the Joe's Long Pepper myself but the seeds came from Carolyn Male, who named the variety. This cayenne pepper gets up to 12" long and dries easily. It's great for adding a kick to anything.



    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:13PM
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Karen your excitment is absolutely palpable over the 'net!! I am happy you love your swap, it is very creative! Way to go Barb.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:21PM
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Okay, I'm envious, wonderful swap box. I especially love the powdered citrus fruits and the peppers. Karen, I know that you are going to love the heirloom seeds as well as everything else.

BUT, BUT someone has to say it so it might as well be me. Barb if there was a prize for the person who cheated the most you would win hands down.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:40PM
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Ha ha, Ann. Gotta get the math challenged...

But... it is an incredible package. Lovely, lovely, Barb. So thoughtful. You'll really enjoy it, River.

Hey Linda, hardly anyone IN California has heard of Temecula... but they make some nice wines out there. I used to live close to it... it has grown so much!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:45PM
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It is an exquisitely "math-challenged" package. Enjoy your goodies, Karen.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 7:58PM
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Wow, Karen, super special package. Nice going, Barb!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:12PM
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I wanted to say she cheated..but...when my sent box is revealed..I cheated a bit too... But not that much..
Mine was a $amount thing..I wanted the box to be of some value. ;)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:13PM
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Great job, Barb. You are a very talented person. I only think about some day drying peppers and such. Karen, You're one lucky person to get all that wonderful stuff.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:21PM
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Woo Hoo!!!! Special!!!!!
Wonderful box - you lucky gal!!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:29PM
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Verrrrry Nice Barb!!!

That's a very nice, unique, well thought out box and I can tell Karen's going to enjoy it for a long time.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:38PM
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Terri, the dollar amount isn't cheating. You can spend as much as you want. It was the "number of items" that was important in this swap.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 8:38PM
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Great package for Karen, it looks like Barb did her homework on this one! I'll be Bubbe Karen and Maggie will be planting quite a garden next spring!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 9:30PM
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"It was the "number of items" that was important in this swap."

In my defense! :-) I defer to the following exception:

"How about if the canners are allowed to send up to one quart of canned items. So if your jams are in 1/2 pint jars then you could send four."

Cookbook category - Olive Oil Cookbook
Regional category - Basil Olive Oil
Handmade category - Garden Pack - and these items could fit into a quart jar!

Seriously, the powdered citrus/peppers are in tiny baby food jars that hold about 3 Tbls...the rista chiles are about 1" long so they look bigger in the pic than they are.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 9:45PM
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I love peeking in..This is a wondeful wonderful boxed gift set:)

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 10:08PM
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Gosh those peppers are pretty. I thought it was a necklace at first. What a nifty package. The seeds are a gift that wil last a long long time. The dried citrus, the spicy stuff. Wow -- this was a mini-swap?? I wonder what Barbara sends for a maxi-swap??

    Bookmark   November 2, 2006 at 10:18PM
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I love the seed packs, now that's a gift that you'll see growing long into next year (no pun intended)! What a beautiful assortment of goodies in rich fall colours.

Nice job Barb (and I accept your rationalization re: categories ;)


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 12:26AM
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Really a nice job on the swap package--and the item justification. Definitely a gift that will keep on giving.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 1:19AM
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Karen, the olive oil & accompanying book are great. I had no idea they grew olives in Temecula. I, of course, knew they were grown extensively around Lindsay in the San Joaquin but never thought of the high desert as olive country. Learn something new every day around here. I'm sure you'll enjoy that basil-infused oil but don't wait until summer. Anxious to see the recipe for the "tattooed" potatoes...just the name fascinated me.

Tangerine marmalade soap! It must smell heavenly. How wonderful it will be either on a hot, muggy summer day or as a "wake-up" on a dreary winter morning. I've never seen that "flavor". Enjoy!

The chilies & citrus rings are great! I used to dry lots of citrus & grind it in my Cuisinart when I needed it. I'd put about a teaspoon (or less) in quickbreads. The flavor is intense & yummy. You'll enjoy those for sure. I love the packaging Barb put together for the powders...very nice.

The heirloom seeds are my favorite part of your gift! Those seeds will keep on giving for years & years. The black Russian tomato is the most intriquing, to me. I'll be watching for your posts & pictures next August!

Well, I'm homesick now after looking at your swap presents. The diversity of California never ceases to amaze me! What a great swap present.

Enjoy Karen & wonderful, thoughtful package Barb!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 4:42AM
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What a great package, and since I only grow a few things in pots, I'm amazed by the garden pack part of your package. Can't even imagine a foot long cayenne - that's a lot of heat! I know you'll have those seeds started when we still have a lot of snow here.

I thought Barb's math was a little fuzzy at first too, but I like her rationale that it would all fit in a quart jar.

My kitchen has two main oils - olive and grapeseed so I'll be watching for you to share some recipes from the olive oil book.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:59AM
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"Math-challenged"!!! LOL (I think Barb has made her quota for the next couple of swaps!!) ;-)

The olive oil sounds wonderful. (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE great olives oils!!) And the cookbook is beautiful just from glancing at the cover. It's obvious Barb put a lot of thought into her package! Congrats to you, Karen!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:19AM
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Hmmm....Somebody flunked math! LOL

Seriously, what a creative and wonderful package! Well done! I am curious about "tattooed potatoes", too!


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Beautiful swap package! I have never heard of tattooed potatoes either -- is it a rebel variety? Enjoy!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 11:19AM
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Wow. Barb, I'm envious of your gardening and harvesting talents and incredible knowledge base. Lucky Karen! Hey my kid is looking for math tutoring jobs for you and Phyllis...

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Karen, you are so lucky -- sounds like the perfect swap package for you! Everything sounds so fragrant and delicious!! Have fun with the seeds!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Karen...what an exceptional swap package to receive! those peppers are beautiful! The oil is great, I'm sure! And I don't even pretend to understand any of the stuff about the seeds. I am so bad, beyond bad, about all that! It sounds wonderful, though!

Super job Barb!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 12:09PM
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What a perfect swap, package for Karen! As a person with a black thumb I am impressed with both of you.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 12:40PM
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Oh, I am definitely impressed with the seed packages, most of the old varieties taste much different than the stuff you get at today's grocery stores and nurseries. I'm sure Karen is going to love all of those.

Powdered citrus? I'd have never thought of that, but then again, there's not much citrus in Michigan. LOl

Yes, Barb definitely needs a math tutor. Didn't she sign the agreement not to cheat? LOL


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 4:38PM
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Another Wow! here. This box is amazing. Barb, you did a great job pulling it all together! Enjoy it, Karen! I know you will :)


    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 4:41PM
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I'm still drooling over my package! I'm steeping a cup of tea and will add one of the dried lime rounds to it. MMMMM, I can smell and taste it now!

Barb, I hope you received my e-mail. I didn't have your e-mail address so I mailed you through GW.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2006 at 9:09PM
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Barb--great job! Lucky Karen. Adele

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 5:48PM
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WOW, that is special!

Karen, you will enjoy this swap package for a long, long time.

Very creative and thoughtful, Barb.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Drying and powdering citrus...what a great idea, Barb. Karen, enjoy the gteat mix of goodies. I don't think I could wait... I'd be starting a couple of peppers in a flowerpot to grow indoors. Do post the Tattooed Potatoes recipe...sounds interseting.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 1:04PM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

Great package! Powdered citrus, very neat idea! What nice things to enjoy, Karen! Way to go, Barb!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 2:29PM
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What a terrific package you sent to Karen. It isn't apparent that she liked it at all......lol! Dried lime rounds sound wonderful. Great job, Barb. I can see Maggie and Bubbe in the garden now.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2006 at 2:45PM
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Very cool and creative swap box Barb! I know for sure that Karen will enjoy it all. Karen, I can't wait to see and hear about your gardening adventures.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 12:53AM
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What a beautiful package Barb. Karens going to enjoy this for a long time. I can't wait to hear about the garden.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 5:49AM
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Where we live, there is a question of soil contamination in the surrounding area, so we don't plant a garden. This package makes me extra jealous! Truly a gift that keeps on giving.

Karen, the fact that you can steep some tea and just drop one of those dried rounds into it - mmmmm, what a way to start the day.

Very creative and thoughtful package, Barb

    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 9:45AM
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OMG - it is amazing, all right.

What a great bunch of presents! I love the cookbook and saw the pics of those potatoes - they're gorgeous!

And the homemade items - all I can say is WOW.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2006 at 10:34AM
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Barb, I hope you see this message!

I just opened up my bottle of basil infused olive oil and all I can say is WOW! I may make myself sick on this stuff it is so good!

Thank you again for my wonderful package.

I have little lettuce startings in peat pots ready to plant outside next week.

Did you ever get my e-mail?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2006 at 4:44PM
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WOW! Barb, what a fabulous package you put together! The homemade category is amazing!! Enjoy, Karen!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2006 at 7:56AM
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