Hello Southern Living Yankee blog readers! I am Taryn and I was Deneene's foodie pen pal this month. I have a blog but I've kept it as a private journal so I thought I'd share my pen pal package that Deneene sent me with all of you! First I'd like to share with you a little about me. I live in Central NY, just outside of Syracuse. I am a mommy to a little boy who is 5 and he is a little chef in the making. I have lived in NY my entire life and the crazy thing is that I feel more at home in the South when I visit my family in Tampa, Fl, Richmond, Virginia, and Coastal North Carolina than I do here in NY. I have felt this way ever since I was an early teen. I have often said that I felt the stork messed up and flew north the day I was born instead of south ;). I have said on many occasions I'm a southern girl trapped in a northern girl's body! So imagine my complete surprise when I got my Foodie Pen Pal match up that my pen pal had a blog named "Southern Living Yankee"!! What a perfect match! I couldn't believe it. Too funny!! I am, for the most part, Gluten Free. I have been sick for years with various issues. I have been tested for Celiac but my results were negative. It may have to do with the fact that I had already removed gluten in my diet and then when told I was going to be tested I just couldn't get myself eating it like I should have because it was making me so sick. Either way I don't ever plan on eating enough gluten for it to register if I am full blown Celiac. So I treat myself as if I am Celiac because either way I know there is a serious issue with gluten and I.
When I shared with Deneene that I was GF I told her not to worry about going crazy with trying to meet that restriction 100% because my son and husband also love the foodie pen pal packages and I share with them so if there was something I could not enjoy they would definitely enjoy it. Deneene shared with me that this wasn't something she had encountered before but wanted me to enjoy my package and was going to do her research on meeting my needs. She was so sweet!
The package arrived the Saturday before Father's Day and my little guy was ecstatic that the postman brought it! He helped me open it.
Here is my little guy showing his excitement for the package. Ha ha ha... he's a funny child. He wanted to dive right in as you can see!
What a fun package! I really loved that Deneene not only took time to research GF but that she also went one step further and made me some homemade goodies. How sweet!!! I hadn't made either before so they were a real treat! The box package was full of goodness. Homemade Trail Mix Bars and Fruity Pebble treats, Mike & Ike, Fruit Roll ups, Dove Chocolate, some fun flavors of gum, Reese's Pieces, a Balance Bar (yogurt honey nut which is only1 of 2 that are certified GF- awesome Deneene- Thank You!), and my favorite Nut Thins! Deneene did an awesome job and I was able to enjoy everything and that's exactly what I did! Here is my little guy with the chocolate. He was so excited!
A few months back we had a family dinner where one of our guests was Vegan. She stressed it wasn't a big deal to meet her needs etc. but of course I wanted to because she was coming to my home for dinner and I wanted her to enjoy it. Someone who was throwing the dinner with me (a grandma of mine) felt we shouldn't have to accommodate her and since she already offered to bring her own meal that was good enough and she was sure "some" of what we were serving would meet her needs. But that wasn't good enough for me. I wanted her to enjoy all of it. It means the world to someone with a food restriction if you take the time out to learn about their needs. It is more appreciated than one could even verbalize. Thank you Deneene for learning about my special needs and nailing it. You are too sweet and it's been a true pleasure getting to know you and reading your blog as well!!
If any of you are thinking of joining the Foodie Pen Pal program I highly recommend it. You will love it too!