Foodie Penpals

What is it about getting a package in the mail that makes me squeal with excitement?  Just the sight of a box on my doorstep makes a Cheshire cat smile spread across my face.  As I carry the box inside I start playing the guessing game.  I wonder what’s inside?  Who’s it from?  I know I ordered a book on Amazon four days ago, and since this is an Amazon box that’s probably what’s inside… but maybe it isn’t?!  (p.s. it was.)

I think this package induced excitement is a large part of the allure and success of online shopping because deep down we’re all little kids dying to tear through that brown mailing paper.  Occasionally (when I find a free shipping promotion) I’ll partake in an online shopping spree and buy hundreds of dollars of clothes only to return each and every piece at my local mall the following weekend.  When will I learn that nothing I buy online fits?  Even if I buy one of every size available, one size will inevitably be too small and the next size up is absurdly large.  And since they don’t make clothes in half sizes…  Yes, it all goes back.  (My sincere apologies to both Banana Republic and the Limited for the large deficits I’ve created in your sales figures over the years.)

I recently realized this obsession with packages was a little pathetic (and neurotic), so I starting seeking other more respectable means of receiving packages in the mail.  I considered Cravebox and my local CSA, but decided both of those required too much commitment.  Then I found my answer:  Foodie Penpals.  The concept is simple—you send a package full of foodie goodies to your assigned foodie penpal, and then a different foodie sends you a package too.

Kim, who blogs at This Healthy Endeavor, was my foodie penpal, and she sent me a TON of goodies from a store in Cincinnati called Jungle Jim’s.


Jungle Jim’s is new to me.  Have you heard of it?

Included in the box were lots of items of the chocolate, peanut butter, and coconut variety.  So far I’ve tried the coffee (love), stuck a finger or two in the Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams (blisssssss), and have spent a bit of time pondering how to best use the coconut curd.  I’ve got a few ideas–but I’m still searching for something AMAZING.  I’ve never had spoon bread before, so I’m hoping to try that and the Dark Chocolate Lavish oats this weekend.  YUM!  Thanks to Kim, who just made the pledge to run her first ever full marathon.  You go girl!!

The package I mailed went to Kelsay, who blogs at Chi Non Va Non Vede.  I selected things that were born and made in NC:  some Cloister honey (extracted atop a high-rise building in Uptown Charlotte), Big Spoon Roasters Peanut Pecan Nut Butter from Durham, NC (never tried this stuff, but I’ve been obsessing over it since I bought it — perhaps I’ll ship some to myself this weekend???), and a little sample of North Carolina barbecue sauce from Mac’s Speedshop.

And that brings us back to the coconut curd–how would you use it?


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  1. So glad that you liked the package of goodies!! I use my coconut curd in my oatmeal super easy and a great little pick me up in the morning. And if you don’t like the spoon bread I have no hard’s a Kentucky staple..well Eastern Kentucky where I went to college staple! And honestly one of those foods where you love it or hate it…