It’s reveal time for Foodie Penpals! We had a blast putting together our package for my pal, Debra Ann at Granny’s Southern Cooking (GrannysSouthernCooking.Blogspot.com). You can see what we sent here.
I LOVE getting mail. Especially packages. It’s pathetic. I’d pay extra to have my groceries delivered by FedEx if I could afford to. Today I got a package that I’ve been watching for all week. It’s from my Foodie PenPal!!!!!!!!!!!!
Foodie Penpals was created by Lindsay, aka The Lean Green Bean.
She started it almost a year ago, and it’s become huge. Two participants are matched up, within the same country. You’re to send a box of food related items to the person who is assigned as your penpal that month. The gist is (from her site): “You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!” You can click on “the lean green bean” above for more info.
So my package arrived. My penpal this month is Mei-I of The Gastronomic Nomad (gastronomicnomad.blogstpot.com). The box was light (I wondered if she sent a box of just ghost poo- just kidding!). Instead, it was filled with really cool stuff. Very thoughtful stuff. And here it is: This is the box.
I took out the letter, but this is how it looked as I opened it otherwise (see there really was some ghost poo…I wasn’t totally wrong) But see what else is in the box? Mei-I, my penpal, sent a box of “Hello Panda” chocolate filled cookies. Those were snatched up quickly and shared by the two younger monsters. It kept them busy while I looked through the rest. There were some seeds for fall harvesting vegetables: Thai eggplant, snow peas and Shanghai Pai-Tsai, a form of Chinese cabbage. I’m not sure how my dog knew this was coming, but he kindly dug out a raised bed garden beside the garage (he’s been practicing that digging thing a lot in the summer heat). It’s now ready for planting. There is also a packet of gourmet dog bones. This must be the reward for his diligent digging. So far we have extremely happy kids and pups.
There are some fun dips, I’m saving those for the older girls. Then there are poprocks, a bag of herbs de Provence and a lemon. Confusing…until you get to the best part: Mei-I included 2 of her favorite recipes! The lemon and herb packet go to the (slightly altered) recipe for “The Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Chicken with Croutons “.
The other recipe is for “Pop Rock Cupcakes”. This is my kind of pen pal!!!
We got right down to business. My friend Jan was over, we were actually canning green beans (weird coincidence Lindsay). We tossed some onions and olive oil into a roasting dish. Then 2 quartered lemons were stuffed into the private parts of the chicken. Two Tblsp of soft butter were then mixed with 1 Tblsp herbes de Provence. This was rubbed under and on top of the chicken skin. The bird was then roasted for 1 1/2 hours at 425f. I was supposed to tie the legs together (didn’t feel like restraining the girl) and tuck the wing tips under (didn’t feel that today either). Instead, I sprinkled with salt and pepper before sending her into the tanning oven.
And you know what? It worked. Look how tan, lovely and delicious that is!!! Okay, you can’t taste it, but that’s some serious chicken/onion and lemon flavor sitting in that roasting dish. Next you saute some croutons (big chunks of Italian bread), arranged them on a platter with the chicken sliced on top. Spoon those pan juices over the chicken and croutons. Remove the lemons from the cavity and squeeze them over the whole dish.
Oh MY, Mei-I, you are a wonderful penpal! We loved the chicken. Tomorrow we’re planning to try making the Pop Rock Cupcakes. I can’t wait!