February 12, 2011

To Lancaster, With Love

Have you ever seen a more beautiful chocolate bar? I sure haven’t. Months ago, I saw a bunch of these at Surdyk’s—probably about 10 or so in an array of equally beautiful colors and flavors. They are stunning to me. So stunning that I really don’t care how they taste (although my mom tells me they’re quite good, this one with a subtle violet flavor).

This was one of a handful of items that got packed up this week in Minneapolis and sent off to Lancaster to my mom (my first Valentine J) and dad.

I love putting care packages together. I don’t do it very often. But I should. It’s fun to brainstorm the stuff. Collect the stuff. Pack up the stuff. Hear when recipient gets the stuff.

My first stop was Rustica, which I’ve mentioned before. We bought a pound of this Dogwood El Limoncillo coffee and took it to Lancaster when we visited for Christmas, and it was a big hit. So, pound of that for mom and dad: check. (And a beautiful brioche bun and latte for me to consume at a window-side table while I was there: check.).

Also included was a trip to Paper Source, which I like again, now that my wedding is over and the trips there aren’t loaded with obligation. I am a sucker for their papers. I never do a whole lot with them because I’m not crafty, but they draw me in, and I buy them. I’m always convinced that they’ll come to good use. On this trip, I left with this pretty heart paper (which DID get used, obvi) and a sheet of sweet donut-patterned paper. Because I’ve been obsessed with the idea of making homemade donuts for a good year now.

And of course, no Valentine’s Day package would be complete without candy, right? To Sugar-Sugar, where this beautiful chocolate bar was purchased. Along with my mom’s favorite from there: malted milk balls. My dad is a gummy fruit candy lover, like me. He got gummy hearts that I picked out solely because of the vintage Valentine attached to them that read: “Don’t be Chicken Hearted.” I made sure to tell my mom to look at it, because I’m pretty sure such detail is lost on my dad (no offense meant, of course).

And then to top it all off: a perfect blue canister of La Baleine sea salt. Odd, you say? Yea, probably. But, I love this blue canister of sea salt, and I know my mom does too (and can’t find it easily now that she’s in Lancaster). When she still lived in Minnesota, she always had it on her kitchen counter, and it’s been adopted into my kitchen as well. For some crazy reason, it brings me a lot of joy, that little canister. I realized how much so a few weeks ago when I bought the Trader Joe’s version in a pinch. It is most definitely not as pretty. And every time I reach for it, I feel a tinge of sadness. 

So, odd? Yes. But perfect for a Valentine's Day care package that my mom will be getting? Also, yes.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mom and Dad!

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