Blogging by Mail is a care package/secret Santa-type event that Nic (of The Baking Sheet) and I created after serendipituous exchanges of homemade marshmallows and Nutella.
This month, Cathy (of My Little Kitchen) hosted a “Home for the Holidays” BBM. I received my package yesterday from Jennifer (of The Fallen Souffle) in North Carolina, complete with:
- Five-flavor pound cake, from a secret recipe passed down through three generations
- Lemon poppy seed pound cake
- Cranberry biscotti
- Hazelnut coffee
- Homemade strawberry and hot pepper jams
She also gave me a flavor (no pun intended) of her home by packing her paper’s food section, a grocery store classified ad (it’s a miracle that I pay about the same amount for groceries as she does in the South), a handwritten letter detailing her family traditions, and recipes for her famous poppy seed pound cake and biscotti (check the comments section for the recipe). I felt like I had just received a family heirloom.
No offense to Jennifer, but my favorite part was her grandmother’s five-flavor pound cake. It was deliciously moist after two weeks in transit, yet the top had a crispy crust. I was so stricken by the double textures. Upon further investigation, I could see that a sugar syrup must have been poured over the top, as the top half of the loaf was moister and slightly darker than the rest. I think the sugar might have crystalized on top, which is how it got crunchy.
I wolfed down the first slice, not even bothering to analyze the five flavors. I just knew it was good. After a second slice, I definitely tasted coconut, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what the other four flavors were. I did not detect citrus, nut extract, anise extract or spices.
I can’t wait to dig into the jams, but right now I’m just trying to stretch out the five-flavor pound cake as much as I can.
Don’t forget to sign up for BBM4: Music Edition, hosted by Food Ninja, by Jan. 10!