Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why didn't I do this before?

Any of you foodies out there have to admit that being a foodie is great. Especially when your friends and family know about it. You're easy to buy for! Find a little gourmet goodie for us and we're through the roof with happiness and dreaming, cooking and sampling. Who needs diamonds and silks, when you can have artisanal cheeses or delicately flower-flavoured candies from afar? And those same family and friends are happy if you make a request of them--"find a local specialty for me please?". Or relieved if they know that the local candy they bring back from holidays afar will thrill you! It's probably the easiest interest/hobby I've ever offered the people in my life.

I have come to realize the truth to the above thoughts in the last month. Two friends have gone afar, leaving me in care of pet and/or homes for a time while they were away. One I made a request of, the other gave me an unexpected gift.

The first, Fair Funky Friend, went off to Mexico for a week and brought me back, at my request, the possibility to make REAL Mexican hot chocolate-two kinds of Mexican chocolate and a molinillo. One of the chocolates makes me shudder in delight at it's intense cocoa smell. When you smell it , it reaches into the tips of your toes and the ends of your hair. I can't wait to taste it. The other brings a smile, so lovingly perfumed with cinnamon that it haunts the recesses of your mind for some time after. The molinillo is just too funky and I can't wait to try it out. Frothy hot chocolate here I come!

The second, the unexpected present from Beloved Friend, was both charming and did reach into the local specialities as well. Some fair-trade dark chocolate with almonds (which is SO yummy, btw) by Cocoa Camino. Apparently the one I have (not for long!) won awards two years ago. In every bite I know why! Full-bodied and intense, it just lingers lovingly on the tongue with no weird aftertaste that poor chocolate can leave you. Another, more locally produced sweet from her trip was Ontario-produced maple syrup. The bouquet is delicate and not overly sweet. Apparently this kind won awards many times. It is quite obvious this is the real thing and not some cheap imitation. I think it is quite charming too in its little metal tin with its kitschy art and little rust spots. Any suggestions for use? And last, but not least, the collection of little plates decorated with wine label reproductions added some quirky and elegant fun to my growing plate collection. All this was overwhelmingly thrilling and touching.

Now I am thrilled by new foods to try, dishes to make, dishes to own... so why on EARTH didn't I do this before? Oh well... I'm doing it now ;-)


michelle said...

Oh, lucky, lucky you - what great friends you have! I love the molinillo! And especially the kitschy container! You should consider signing up for Blogging by Mail - a foodie exchange! There's a link on my site to the last one if you want to check it out (just a few days ago).

Robyn said...

I love getting foody presents! :D Yup, no one should have any problem buying presents for us. People can just get me chocolate.

I want a molinillo! Kinda! Not enough to actually buy one but I wouldn't object to getting one as a gift. It would give me an excuse to make hot chocolate. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh! My absolute favorite kind of maple syrup! *drool*

I use it: to make maple-pecan muffins, maple-pecan pie, poured over steel-cut oats (with cream, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey), flavoring for pancake batter (and on top of course), maple butter, basting sauce (with honey, coriander, apricot preserves and a wee bit of chipotle pepper) for duck and white-meat chicken, etc...

Yum, maple syrup. Yummmm, Mexican Hot Chocolate!


Nerissa said...

Hiya, Michelle. Yes, they are wonderful friends to have... and not just because they give me food ;-) I think I talked to you before about Blogging by Mail but never did end up taking part. I look at the link :) Thanks!

Hi Robyn! Food is always welcome, eh? Especially chocolate :) And you don't need an excuse to make hot chocolate do you? ;-)

taylorville~ thanks for all the tips for using the maple syrup. I'm sure I'll put some to the test.

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Nerissa, what a great experience! The chocolate looks wonderful :)