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The First Hamper

Over the weekend, Rosemary and Pork Belly delivered my prize for winning their festive photo competition (you can view a slideshow of all the entries here). They are an absolutely lovely couple, and it was so much fun to get to meet some fellow food bloggers in person, rather than “virtually” as we usually do. We stood by the back door chatting for over an hour. Time well spent!

Jams, Drinks, and Marmalades GaloreRosemary and Pork Belly were relieved that they were able to deliver the prize to me in person, rather than having to post it; and as they carried in one package after another, I could easily see why. It would have been a “logistical nightmare” to find a way to pack up all the bottles and jars and cakes in a way that would have made it safely through the mail!

The 12 Gifts of ChristmasI had read the list of items that were included in the prize hamper, of course, but it wasn’t until the contents were spread out over the dining room table that I truly grasped how much I had won.

The Weighty HamperRosemary and Pork Belly had asked twelve of the local producers that they visited over the course of the year to donate items for the hamper, and all I can say is that they were extremely generous.

Chocolates and Mulled Wine SpicesI mean, look at all of these gorgeous products! I am the luckiest girl in the world, am I not? What a wonderful Christmas surprise.

The Christmas CakeSo here’s the plan: on each of the twelve days of Christmas I will try the gift (or gifts) each producer donated and write up a review of it on the blog, including recipes where appropriate. (Pinch Seasonings, I’m looking at you.) For those of you not up on the traditional Christmas calendar, the twelve days run from Christmas Day to January 6th, the celebration of Epiphany. Although technically twelve days would really only reach to the 5th of January (hence the name Twelfth Night), but as most of the contributors gave more than one item, it’s quite easy to stretch the reviews out over thirteen days instead. I already have the one for Epiphany in mind.

Generous Gifts

So I hope to see you back here on Christmas Day, for the first review of the “Twelve Gifts of Christmas!” And I here take the opportunity of expressing my deepest thanks to Rosemary and Pork Belly for organizing the competition, to all the producers for their generous contributions, and to John Whaite, our judge, for selecting my Tuscan Panforte Biscotti as the winning photograph.

Merry Christmas!

Tuscan-Inspired Panforte Biscotti