Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Thrifty Swap!

We had a great Thrifty Week, just before Easter, hosted by Betty at Mrs Yappy Dog. Now it's time to post about the Thrifty Swaps that a lot of us exchanged as part of that week. I was both delighted and challenged to be swapping with the delightful Michela from A Garden Just Outside Venice. Delighted, because we've known each other for years and both suffer from swap paranoia, so there's no need to be worried when your co-swapper panics too... Challenged, because although she's a good blogging friend I am a vintage person and she (having parents who run brocante stalls) prefers to buy new!I concluded that food was the answer. Isn't it always? The two jars above are filled with thrifty hedgerow-gathered fruit. It wasn't all as difficult to gather as the plums photographed below! When she got the parcel, Michela emailed me to ask for more info about English jams and jellies. The basic answer is that jams have bits of fruit in, and jellies are strained so that only the juice is turned into the final product. She emailed back with the query about jellies being used with meat. Ahh, Michela, good question! This jelly is for your bread or toast. But some jellies, made in the same way, are indeed for eating with meat. Would any commenters be prepared to explain the difference, please?

I covered the thrifty hedgerow jellies, in their thrifty re-used jars, made by my thrifty husband, with thrifty fabric covers, held on by thrifty re-used rubber bands from our seasonal asparagus. Is that too much information?

I then added a thrifted Japanese hand-painted plate, which Michela and I agree is particularly pretty (glad you like it, Michela!). The idea is that she can have her bread and jam with the gifted plate and the knife, which actually belonged to my mum and is one I used in childhood for my own bread and jam!

Finally I wrapped all the presents in bubble wrap and then in thrifted napkins. I like wrapping things in fabric, which then becomes part of the gift itself. Pretty thrifty, I think. I bought a huge set of these cheery retro napkins in the charity shop the other day and kept half for myself and half for Michela. Now when we use them I'll think of her having her dejeuner sur l'herbe in her garden just outside Venice!


Thanks so much to Betty for organising the excellent Thrifty Week and Swap, and to everyone who took part with such interesting posts. Many thanks to Michela, whose blog is subtitled: 'A place where friends meet' - that's certainly what this swap has felt like!


Elizabethd said...

It was such a good swap, wasnt it. You had some very good ideas, but sending jellies could have been risky I guess....visions of a very wet and sticky parcel arriving!
We eat apple jelly with meat always. Apple jelly or Crabapple isnt as sweet as some jellies,
and really tastes good with pork, chicken or lamb.

Michela said...

You couldn't describe any better your beautiful parcel! ..and yes, I'm ashamed to admit that I prefer to buy new :)
Looking forward to reading the best tips for having your delicious thrifty hedgerow jellies, in their thrifty re-used jars, made by your thrifty husband, with thrifty fabric covers, held on by thrifty re-used rubber bands from your seasonal asparagus,LOL! ;-)
p.s. you forgot to add details about the classy British shoes box you gave me, another connection to you and your family!
Thank you once again!

Betty said...

How lovely to receive homemade produce, you really did take thrifty to new levels with the napkins and everything! I feel very inspired to try and make jam this year as I have never made it. Thanks for the lovely posts during thrifty week and for being a great blogging friend Floss. Betty

Pom Pom said...

How fun! Michela is so friendly and sweet! I shall have jam and toast for breakfast!

Serenata said...

A very thoughtful and fun thrifty swap and the plate is very special.

Juanita Tortilla said...

This was a thrifty swap indeed!
Now I wonder if Michela had a difficult finding vintage items - just for you - since as prefers to buy new :D
I am sure you will be delighted with her package.

Looks like a great swap partnership to me!

Catherine said...

What a wonderful gift for Michela and how lucky you can send food within Europe - Our customs in NZ is so strict that homemade food would have trouble getting through the borders, although it has been done before. I LOVE what you sent Michela and how much thought you put into it.

fee @ chipper nelly said...

hello, just found your (lovely) blog through coco...and thinking it might need a revisit with cup of tea (and cake, natch)
Bit worried it might take me down the frequent little daydream I have where we escape the suberbs and upsticks to live in France (only discovered Toulouse last did that take SO long?)...fee x