The great foodie exchange

When Sangeeta Khanna of Healthy Food Desi Videshi told me that there was a pack of sun-dried tomatoes in the stash of goodies she was sending me, my mind threw up a dozen possibilities – foccacia with sun dried tomatoes and basil or a simple pasta with cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs or should I just put it on a pizza? Gosh! What a whole load of choices, this is mind-boggling to say the least.
Now before I embark on a sun-dried tomato saga, let me tell you about The Great Food Exchange (I know there are some of you reading this and feeling a little lost!). This is the brainchild of Charis from CulinaryStorm and she invited food bloggers from across the country to participate in the activity. It was really simple – all the bloggers were divided into pairs, you needed to get to know your fellow-blogger and then put together a goodie basket and send it across. Sounds like fun, right? Well it surely was.
I was paired with Sangeeta and what struck me about her blog is the focus on healthy food, fresh ingredients (some times from her lovely garden!) and the emphasis on nutrition. I’ve bookmarked a recipe for this pineapple and celery drink that she has and I’m going to make that real soon! She’s also got some other blogs that make for really interesting reading and I’m still trying to figure out how she manages to maintain all of them with equal enthusiasm!
Anyway, during our regular chats on Facebook and e-mail exchanges we’d talk about what we’d like to have from each other’s part of the country. (You can see all about what I sent her over here)
 The hamper was fun to put together except that a little mishap happened; the parcel Sangeeta sent me took more than a week to get here! I know! And then we have something else called snail mail. Sigh. That apart it was totally worth the wait. Yes, totally and absolutely. See, here’s what I got. 
Isn’t that like Christmas? Just that it came a bit early this year!
In the letter she sent me with the parcel, Sangeeta mentioned that the green gram can be sprouted and used in a salad. For a salad person like me, that’s the only form of motivation I need. Sprouts salad, coming up soon! 
And these sun-dried apples from Leh, don’t get fooled by the way they look, I was struggling hard to keep myself from tearing open the packet and snacking on a few. The patience lasted only till these photos were clicked and then I was biting into these sweet somethings. Ah! Bliss. *closes eyes and dreams of lazing around in an apple orchard curled up with a book*
I’ve had the Kashmiri tea, Kahwa only a couple of times and I’m big on tea so any form of tea is always welcome. 
These sun-dried cherry tomatoes are from Sangeeta’s gardens and by the looks of it, they’ll have the honour of being the first ones from this hamper to make it into any dish. Maybe along with the rosemary.
I absolutely dig the tablemats and the apron she’s sent me, one can never have too many aprons, can they? *big grin* Both these are going into storage for the time being and I intend using them when I move into the new house later this year. *does a little jig*
That paperweight almost missed my attention, maybe because I was so excited about the foodstuff in the parcel, but when I saw it I couldn’t stop smiling. It was such a sweet, personal touch to the hamper and in some ways it sort of completed the entire package.
Oh! And as for the cherry tomatoes I’m still debating – pasta, pizza, foccacia…  Sigh. Confessions of a food-obsessed mind. 
Oh! Oh! And Charis, when are we having the next round?! 😀

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