Month two of Bakin’ Friends and no disappointment to report here! This time I got paired with Christine from California. I was beyond excited. I know what you’re thinking. Christine? From California? Hmm…sounds a bit familiar. Well, Christine just happened to be the lovely lady that introduced me to Bakin’ Friends. She was my Foodie Penpal back in June (and wrote a wonderful guest post for me). When Christine mentioned she was also part of a baking penpal program, I pressed her for details immediately. What are the chances of getting paired with the same program in two different programs?! Plus, I knew all about Christine’s small bakery business. Secretly I was hoping I’d get the chance to taste some of her delicious treats. Can you guess the secret ingredient?
Generally I love writing my foodie penpal reveals, but this one’s a bit bittersweet. It’s a harsh reminder that August is over and summer’s coming to a close. This summer was far more stressful, yet productive, as compared to last year. Free time was limited and while I didn’t put up as much as I would have liked (yet…), it’s an improvement over last year’s “too much canning, what do I do with all of this?” panic. While I mourn summer’s close, I welcome fall’s beginnings. The air has been light with a slight crispness at night, signalling cooler weather is not far away.
Fall is my favorite season. It signals apple picking, soup worthy evenings, brilliantly colored leaves and of course, my birthday. Though as wonderful as it is, part of me always has a sour feeling in my gut, knowing that winter lurks nearby. Spring and fall. If I could design a climate with low humidity, convenient rainfalls, flurries, not blizzards and temperatures between 45-80 degrees year round, the world would be perfect. Oh well. Enough lamenting about the weather. You’re here for the reveal.
I know what you’re thinking, “Another Penpal Program?” Yes, another. Why? Well first off because (A) I love getting mail. These days, I can go days without seeing anything in my mailbox. The bills that used to clutter my box now go directly to email, my magazine subscriptions have been canceled, to save money and paper (really, I read it all online, anyway), so nowadays getting a La Salle Alumni magazine is probably the highlight of my week. And (B), I love to bake. Duh.
Last month, my Foodie Penpal, Christine, mentioned she was part of Bakin’ Friends. I immediately needed all the details. The program is similar to Foodie Penpals except instead of sending a box of good, you send a box of BAKED goods. Each month is pulled together with a secret ingredient. You bake for your assigned penpal (keeping in mind dietary restrictions of course), you receive from a different penpal and recipes and treats are shared all around.
This month I was paired with the very sweet Lisa from Michigan. Right off the bat I knew I was getting a great Foodie Penpal box. In addition to the normal dietary restrictions “I don’t want to poison you” questions, Lisa asked if I was interested in receiving local Michigan goods. YES! We emailed back and forth a bit and a few weeks later a package showed up on my doorstep. It was awesome timing. I had a little accident that week. Clumsy me managed to walk into a stand pipe and cut my leg. I could show you pictures, but it’s best you just use your imagination. Seven stitches and a bit of a bruised ego later I was doing fine, but needed to stay off my feet for a few days. Lisa’s penpal package was like the get well gift she didn’t even realize she was sending!
This month I was assigned to send to another reader, Christine from California. I knew right away I’d love Christine. She has her own little pastry biz going, works part-time at the Humane Society and in her spare time (not sure where she finds it!) is very involved in pitbull rescue advocacy. Then she started telling me about the other penpal program she participates in–a baking group! (Hmm, which I never did get those details on how to sign up. Christine…?)