I met Cat from The Verdant Life last August when she came to Vida Vegan Con. She is rad, and recently started a vegan food swap thingy, which basically means that vegan bloggers (and non-bloggers are allowed, too!) sign up with her, she works magic with a spreadsheet, and pretty soon, you’ve got a blogger to send a box of vegan goodies to and you’re the recipient of someone else sending YOU a package of vegan goodies.
Sounds great, right? It is. Totally great.
The price limit is $20, which I thought was no problem, but then I went a little over. I was so excited, I couldn’t help it.
It’s super well organized, and though I was tempted to join when Cat started it back in April, I hesitated because I’m not very good with deadlines and was concerned it would start to feel like an obligation to shop and then package and then send and then blog…. ¡Ay, caramba! The mental tricks we play on ourselves. In reality, it was so much fun it never felt like an obligation, and I ended up meeting all of the deadlines with ease.
Once I got matched up with my recipient, Jennifer, I emailed her to find out about any allergies/preferences. Jen is a blogger in New Jersey who writes Suburban Vegan Meal Group, and is participating with her son. They wrote back telling me they didn’t have any allergies, but preferred to stay away from bananas and pineapple. Easy. And fun. After a mid-July VVC meeting at The Portland Art Museum and a business lunch with Jess and Michele at Veggie Grill, I headed to The Spice and Tea Exchange in downtown Portland and then to Whole Foods and Powell’s to pick up goodies for Jen and her son. Head over to her blog to see what I sent.
The blogger that got me, Heather from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes, emailed me the same day to ask about my food allergies and preferences. I’m not allergic to anything, but can’t stand fruit and cream together (think orange creamsicles, key lime pie…. Ugh. I had a bad experience in high school involving a strawberry white chocolate popsicle and bugs that won’t leave my memory). Other than that, I have a particular palate, but am open to trying most things at least once.
Just a few days later (some people are really on it! *ahem, not me*), I came home from bicycle and champagne shenanigans to find this package on my doorstep….
Oh wait, I was right about to post a picture of the box she sent me, then realized that splaying our addresses on the interwebs probably isn’t a good idea. I don’t know the first thing about photo editing, so won’t be posting a box with artfully smudged-out addresses. Instead, here’s a blurry aerial photo of all the goods she sent me.
The box was jam backed with goodies. So. Much. Good. Stuff.
Some of my pictures are blurry, due to the extreme excitement of getting a box of vegan goodies in the mail from an internet friend. I’m an excitable nerd with shaky hands. Now you know.
So much good stuff! I immediately tore into the Inka corn, because I’m a normal girl with a normal obsession with Inka corn.
I’m super excited about the bruschetta topping (Heather says she uses it for a pizza topping, which I may have to try) and one can never have too much hot chocolate. My roomie and I blow through hot cocoa in the wintertime, so I’m super stoked to have this. Coconut Water is one of my most favoritest things (so hydrating! so refreshing!). I’ve never had Barney Butter, but I saw it all over East Coast blogs a few years ago, so am looking forward to finally trying it. The granola and the plantain chips packages have already been opened and snacked on, and the little snack bar is in my purse, just waiting for the day I’m starving and have nothing to feed my face.
Basically, this food swap was super fun—both the shopping for someone across the country and the receiving of a box of custom picked vegan goodies—and I’m totally doing it again in August. For the first one, I thought mainly of food stuffs, but realized after I got my package and read a few other blog post recaps that any sort of vegan goodie is game (chapstick! soap! toothpaste! whatever, the sky’s the limit!). This opens up the playing field.
If you want to participate, head over to Cat’s page with all the info, expressed a lot more concise and sensical than I conveyed here.