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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Foodie Exchange - The Italian Job

I have a secret admirer. An Italian secret admirer. An Italian secret admirer who sends me kisses.

So, perhaps this person is more of a friend than an admirer, more female than I prefer my admirers to be, and not so much secret as openly talking about sending me things, but she is definitely Italian. And she definitely sent me kisses.

Elga from Semi di Papavero is a talented photographer, and her food posting skills are apparently as good as her blog posting skills if my latest Foodie Exchange is anything to go by. It's still as cool to receive a box of treats from far away as it was when I got goodies from Montreal and Arizona, New York and Toronto, and I was barely inside my front door before the parcel was greedily torn open.

In addition to the kisses (Baci), she also sent a selection of Torroncini (coated almond nougat), Feletti Notte e Di chocolates, two packets of Lo Zafferano - saffron which Elga suggests I use to make "a risotto flavoured and coloured". Elga, I loved reading your friendly note (written on the back of a Blueberry Pastry recipe card) almost as much as I loved what you sent me, as your Italian English is just like that of my friends from Torino whom I haven't seen for too long. Reading your note made me hear their voices in my head, talking of making pasta with "spinaches" and asking if I would like a "biskwit" with my cup of tea.

Sadly I won't be able to enjoy the "spices ideal for spaghetti" that your note teased me with, as Australian Customs thinks I should eat my spaghetti plain.

I learnt Italian in primary school for many years, but it is largely forgotten - my strongest memory of that time is the day that one of the boys in my class turned 10, and his Mum made a birthday cake in the shape of a cricket bat and ball. The cake sat up the front of the class all day, torturing us until it would be time to eat it for afternoon tea following our Italian lesson. Sadly the cake met an untimely demise from the bum of our Italian teacher as he sat on the front bench, and given how concerned everyone was at that age with boy germs and girl germs, the thought of bum germs meant the cake was mostly written off.

So, while I would love to give you a proper Italian response to your parcel Elga, I will just wish you a bum-free cake future and say grazie mille!


OohLookBel April 25, 2010 at 8:19 PM  

Oh dear, I imagine that Signore Italian Teacher would have suffered the most with that cake bum... Hope you enjoy your parcel of goodies.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite April 25, 2010 at 8:59 PM  

I, too learned Italian in Primary school and still remember a whole poem about La Befana. Useful, huh? Great package - I need to get back into the foodie exchange once my life settles down a little.

Amy @ cookbookmaniac April 25, 2010 at 10:03 PM  

Conor, you must've been a comedian in your past life. The story of your teacher had me laughing until I choked! I would've gone looking for a real cricket bat and chased after him with it. hahahhaa :D

The Foodie Exchange sounds like a great idea. I'm going to check it out.

Pam April 26, 2010 at 3:45 AM  

You always crack me up! What a tasty care package... lucky girl!

Kitchen Butterfly April 26, 2010 at 3:48 AM  

Serious, Conor, one day I will get my act together and join the foodie exchangers. Promise.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 26, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

What a fabulous package! Australian customs said that I shouldn't try baconnaise because they wanted to! Looks like you're going to have lots of fun with this package! :D

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz April 26, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

Too funny. And I also had an exchange with Elga...those nougat candies are to die for, no?

The Curious Baker April 26, 2010 at 9:23 AM  

Foodie exchange! What a fantastic idea! I'm off to sign up....

Hannah April 26, 2010 at 9:52 AM  

Customs = the devil. They decided I shouldn't be a tea drinker, simply because one of the kinds I sent home had orange peel listed amongst its twenty-three ingredients.

The funny thing is, I could have got it through airport customs for sure...

Also - bum cake! Teehee. That must have been a sad day for you kiddlywinks.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 26, 2010 at 10:05 AM  

OohLookBel - yes, true, though we had no sympathy for his cakey bum as we were too busy being forlorn :(

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite - Oooh I remember the Italian version of "Heads, shoulders, knees and toes".. we could start an Italian performance group with your poetry and my singing!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac - haha, thank you! Sorry for the choking :D We probably wouldn't have done much damage chasing him with a cricket bat, the only ones we were allowed to use back then were those plastic Kanga cricket ones.

Pam - good! :D Yes I've been very lucky with all my packages so far!

Kitchen Butterfly - cross your heart and hope to die? Stick a needle in your eye? Actually, nevermind, that is a little morbid, your promise will do just nicely.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - damn them! Sitting around playing with their cute dogs, eating our baconnaise and spicy spaghetti.

Evelyne @ CheapEthnicEatz - oh yes, yes they are! Have you used your Zafferano yet? I'm thinking our cooler weather now will make for a good risotto night :)

The Curious Baker - Yes! Do it! It's the best!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 26, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

Hannah - orange peel not allowed in processed tea? Weird. Yes, I am sure you'd be fine getting it through at the airport. Damn. Hehe, bum cake :D

MaryMoh April 26, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

Lovely post. That's so fun to receive and eat all those goodies :D

penny aka jeroxie April 26, 2010 at 8:32 PM  

How fun!! I would love an Italian package too.

NikiTheo April 26, 2010 at 8:38 PM  

I really need to get on top of getting involved in this foodie exchange!!! Everything always looks good!

5 Star Foodie April 27, 2010 at 1:31 AM  

How fun to receive this nice package! Too bad about customs taking out the spices but those candies look great!

Cakelaw April 27, 2010 at 5:49 AM  

What a great parcel It's always nice to have admirers.

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) April 27, 2010 at 7:12 AM  

Have fun is it to receive parcel from admirer abroad! Look at the goodies.... Envy!

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge April 27, 2010 at 12:05 PM  

lol, I couldnt think of a more hilarious way for a cake to meet its end.....heheheh bum germs!

Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 27, 2010 at 9:38 PM  

MaryMoh - thanks! I agree, lots o' fun :)

penny aka jeroxie - there seem to be a few Italians on the exchange now!

NikiTheo - You definitely should!

5 Star Foodie - yes, damn them! Nice to console myself with chocolate though. Phew.

Cakelaw - I wouldn't mind a few more if they are all like this :)

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - I would share, but... um, I might have already eaten them all. Maybe.

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge - I seriously think that's the strongest memory I have of that whole school year. Oh, bum germs, so so sad..

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My love of cooking is surpassed only by my love of eating, though I never quite recovered from the beef I was served at college. I'll try almost anything once, but it takes a very special piece of offal or beef to get me to try it again.

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