Friday, April 27, 2012

One Kitchen, Many Hearts - Round Two

You always know when certain groups of people are good friends.  They have inside jokes, finish each others' sentences, and offer support regardless of the time of day.
In the case of this group of blogging friends, it's clear that we also are almost too tuned in to each other's style and food tastes, and we've been discussing how we all really need a compound or at least addresses on the same street, whereby we can share recipes and cooking duties from a closer locale.  I'm pretty sure the Girls' Nights Out would have to be classified as Epic, too.

Clockwise, from top left:
Mads, Kirsten, Megan, Kat, me, Jeanne -
don't we look like we could take a town by storm?
Damn, we're a good looking bunch of broads.
But until our actual One Kitchen can be a reality, we've been taking turns sending one another gift boxes. This is our second month of doing it, and I'm quite certain that none of us can decide whether we prefer buying the gifts or receiving them, screaming like Ellen's audience when they had to get a gift rather than see Josh Duhamel take his pants off (this actually applies to both sides of the gift-giving; I may have made a scene at the local bookstore when I found Something Perfect for Kat where I wasn't looking this month).
I confess that I had a few ideas for Kat's gift box, but I really felt like I was going to let The Shopping Gods guide me, and guide me they did.  To find out what I sent her, make sure to head over to Tenaciously Yours, at some point today.
I was the lucky recipient of Kirsten's box, and I was all a-twitter to see what my girl from the 45th parallel was going to ship out.  Having lived in Michigan as well, I could only imagine the bounty to which Kirsten is privy year round.  But still I was not prepared for the Awesomeness in a Box that arrived a few Mondays ago.
When Kirsten tweeted that my box would arrive Monday, that basically meant that I wouldn't be able to get any work done once the mail truck came.  Fortunately for work, the truck came later than it usually does, so I was able to make the most of my day.  But once our intrepid United States Postal worker rolled away, HRH and I ran across the street, obtained our little package, and it was on.  Clearly this called for a refreshing beverage.

Nothing finer than a bottle of Shiner.
I plunked HRH down in her booster seat with a snack as I tried to carefully open rather than rip with reckless abandon (setting a good example for patience or some parent thing like that).
I knew that this message written on the side of the package was, in fact, The Truth.

I made out like a BANDIT.

Probably The Best Thing Inside was actually the card.  It's going to become my motto the next time I make macaroni and cheese and then hear HRH tell me she doesn't like macaroni and cheese (there is only one explanation for her not liking the M&C - CHANGELING!!!!!).

Would that my fridge were so full.
I'll be honest.  The cherries were dispatched of in short order.  Michigan cherries are worth horking down straight from the bag.  But they are not worth sharing when you really don't want to.  Which I didn't.  If you've ever had Michigan cherries, you'll understand. 

I allowed myself 24 hours to eat the chocolate, which is about the limits of my will power.  First of all, hello, Star Wars fan - Dagoba! ("Luke, you will go the Dagoba system.")  And how dark is that chocolate?  You know that dark chocolate has health benefits, right?  Logic says that the darker the chocolate, then, the better it is for you.  This, clearly, is extremely healthy.  Doctors should start prescribing this stuff like they're on Diagon Alley.  Yeah, that was a Harry Potter reference right after a Star Wars one.  Try not to be jealous of how cool I am.  Can you imagine how impressed my students are?

I did allow The Husband to have some of the lemon ginger.
Because I'm nice like that.
I'll also be a nice wife and let The Husband in on the tea situation.  His allergies are worse than mine (much, MUCH worse), so he likes to drink tea sometimes, and this will certainly clear his sinuses.  Just make sure the Wife of the Year Committee knows of my benevolence, OK?

I am absolutely wild about sweetening my foods with honey, and Michigan honey beats Costco honey any day of the week.  With steel cut oats and peanut butter, it's a Winner.  The Husband has his beady little eyes on this bottle, so I may have to hide it.
The relish, though, I had to text The Husband about: "We need to have brats.  Soon."  I've never had ramps, and I figured that having them over grilled bratwursts would be The Perfect Way to try them out.  Even if it meant sharing with the man who grilled the brats for me.  What can I say - I'm a giver.
Turns out I'm pretty smart.  The relish was sweet and kind of garlicky (that's the ramps) but at the same time had a nice little kick, thanks to the chile flakes in the mix.  The Husband said he would have loved it to be a bit spicier (we're big fans of The Spicy here), but overall we both loved the relish.  I am thinking of getting more brats this weekend to have it again.  I might be obsessed.

It says "wild leek" but that means
wild ramps.  Yum.
But, if my taste buds were not enough, Kirsten must know that I needed something to girl-i-fy myself, since most of what I buy falls under one of three categories: 1) groceries/things for the house, 2) things for HRH, 3) running gear - none of these really help when The Husband and I have a rare date night.  So she went above and beyond with this beautiful necklace and earrings, which are not only beautiful, but they help poverty-stricken people make a living in other parts of the world.  11/10 situation if I've ever seen one.  I wore them the other night to a volunteer meeting, and I cant wait to doll myself up once again.

LOVE the beadwork.
And, since I could adjust the length, it is perfect
for my "very small" (according to the doctor) neck.
Thanks so much, Kirsten!  You rock!
This project has been so much fun to get to know my bloggie sisters better, even though it's clear that we all have a connection regardless of the actual miles between us.  The Internet really has taken down so many barriers; without it, I would not have had the opportunity to meet these five wonderful women (as well as so many other great bloggers and Twitter-ers, etc.).
Make sure that you check out what everyone else got (and notice how crazy-basically-eerie-all-the-same-practically-Miss-Cleo we are to one another!):

Once you do that, it's time for you to round of some of your best buddies and create a gift-giving schedule that will be as fun as ours has been  You won't regret it!


  1. Hooray! You like really like it! I felt kind of bad using a dried cherries box to ship your gear because I didn't want you to be disappointed that I hadn't shipped 5 pounds of dried cherries. Sorry, that's how I buy them around here. They go fast. Very nice of you to share with the Husband, though. You are a better wife than I. ;)

    1. While an entire box filled with cherries would have been, in fact, utterly exciting, I probably would have eaten myself sick on them in one sitting and been unable to blog for like a week, so I think it worked out in the end. :)

  2. Holy cow! What a spectacular variety of goods. I love that Kirsten included a little bit of everything. As for the cherries - I'm with you 100%. I wouldn't share them, either. Those puppies rock. You also solved my mystery of 'what the heck are ramps and why is everyone talking about them this spring?' Thanks for that! Loved your box AND your enthusiasm. These are so much fun.

    1. I'm glad Scooby and the gang could help out, and yes, I am very blessed. Kirsten sent me the mother lode of goods. This is really too much fun to be legal in some countries.

  3. How funny, I call my daughter HRH sometimes too! I've seen that card before, and it's one of my favorites. I used to have a fridge magnet that was very similar. It said, "You'll eat it. You'll eat it and like it."

    1. Hahahaha - I am quite certain that if I told HRH that, I would be met by an incredulous stare, followed by a tantrum!

  4. I cracked up at the Changeling comment. haha No child of mine will refuse mac n' cheese either. In fact, I'm making a batch of mac n' cheese tonight! What are the odds? Well, considering that today is karma day, the odds were pretty good.

    1. Seriously, it's the weirdest thing. Throughout my pregnancy I ate tons of pasta, especially alfredo and mac & cheese, and she barely touches the stuff, so a changeling is truly the only explanation that seems logical. Yummmm, mac and cheese - always a good dinner bet! And for reals - today is TOTALLY karma day!

  5. SUCH fun stuff!!! Wow...I loved the girlie touch w/ some jewelry--and for such a great cause, yes!
    Yummy all the way around!
    aloha friend!

    1. It was super fab; I can't lie. I can't wait to wear the goods again. :)

  6. 1. I've never had Michigan Cherries before (yes, I realize now what a travesty this is).

    2. I am intensely jealous of the leek butter.

    3. Apparently we're all honey-fiends or something because that's the only way I can explain our bizarre, mass-fixation with the stuff. On that note, it is SO good.

    Thank you again for my box! It was one of those YOU GET A CAR AND YOU GET A CAR AND YOU GET A CAR!-moments.

    1. I am so happy you like it! The "buy thing you would want and send them to someone" theory is pretty perfect.