Yes, hi there! Remember me? It’s been a long, bitterly cold winter and our spring weather is still crazy. We grilled steaks outside on Easter Sunday and then 8″ of snow fell on Monday. So what is one to do when Traveling Tote blogs are due and our own firesides are more appealing than traveling? Send some regional goodies traveling instead! Luckily we’ve had enough clear days to be able to shop, assemble and send our swap packages, and I happily opened my door one snowy day to find the cutest gift package waiting for me filled with goodies from my fellow toter Debbie from Mountain Breaths who lives in beautiful upstate NY.
I know Deb’s weather is much colder and snowier than ours, because this Sunday while I was just shopping for a new car (the WORST thing ever…I’d actually rather do laundry!) and trying to see the NYBG Orchid Show (even though we are members we couldn’t even park!), Debbie was cross country skiing! But after opening this delightful little package and sampling the goodies inside I can see the advantages of living there.
Debbie knows my favorite color is Blue Box with White Ribbon 🙂 and she somehow found this delightful little hand made paper box.
It is folded so perfectly, and when I opened it I found this exquisite paper tote.
~~ a mini-me for Miss Rosie ~~
Both pieces came from a crafter with a booth at their public market at Union Station where they hop on Amtrak for NYC.
The special tea bags Debbie included made a brew which tasted somewhat like red zinger, ginger, almond and gingerbread all mixed together — so delicious and relaxing on a few cold afternoons! And the round tin you can see below held a very special seasoning from their local, authentic Greek restaurant. We used some as a rub on chicken and it was indeed very special. We love Greek food, and enjoyed a guessing game as to the herbs and spices in the mix. We guessed oregano, maybe cumin, even a cinnamon like spice, something hot like paprika, and a hundred other tastes which revealed their aroma and taste as we sampled. So delicious! I can see why their products are favorites of Debbie’s family. (plus a very clever little tin)
And speaking of yum, notice those humongous chocolate kisses. Plus these had little surprises inside. Yum.
They say special things come in small packages, and my goodies box had two teeny boxes!
Debbie knows my tablescaping soul is attracted to all things pottery, and these perfect tiny pots came from their local Clinton Pottery.
To give you a better idea of the size of these precious little pots I topped them with two kisses. (Kiss # 3 had already disappeared when I took this photo.)
I really love my little pots!!! I want to show you the beautiful glaze:
Debbie, thank you SO MUCH for this wonderful Taste of Utica. I love my gifts and have enjoyed learning of all your local spots. What a wonderful place to live!
Debbie has promised me her famous Chicken Riggies, Tomato Pie ( I love tomato pie!!), Utica Greens and Half Moon cookies when I make it to Utica. I checked, and it’s 19 hours by bike but only 4 by car (first I need a new one), so Debbie, keep the ingredients handy! And thank you so much for all this fun.
please be sure to visit the other toting swappers:
Patti at Pandora’s Box and Emily at The French Hutch
Ricki Jill at The Sketchy Reader and Jackie at Purple Chocolat Home
Rita at Panoply and Sarah at Hyacinths for the Soul
Linda P at Life and Linda and Jenna at The Painted Apron