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Last week I got a package in the mail. It travelled a long way to get to us, all the way from Singapore. My friend Farhan, from the blog Happygrub, found a few things a little while ago that she thought I might like, and thought she’d send them off to me. How sweet and generous is that? She sent Balinese vanilla, a bag of mixed spice (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise… amazing! I can’t wait to try it in a curry.), some pretty mini muffin cups (they’ve already made an appearance here), and tea.

One kind I haven’t tried yet– “Taj Mahal” tea (which I assume is Indian-style, and Farhan advised me to serve with milk). The other I have tried, and immediately started rationing. Two tea bags in and I’m worrying about when I’ll run out! This tea is “teh Prendjak,” an Indonesian tea. It has a mild rose-y flavour and a warm aroma, and what I love is that it has no bitterness to it at all, unlike regular black teas.

One thing that didn’t make it into the package (Farhan said the post office said it wasn’t allowed) was a tin of cardamom milk. But the cardamom milk is still a gift, because the idea is one I’ve never encountered before. Farhan tells me it’s possible to make at home and that the tinned stuff is just a shortcut. So I’m going to give it a try this week, combined with strong tea and condensed milk, which is how she drinks it. Seriously. This is why we write this blog. Without this venue, I might never have heard of cardamom milk, and I certainly never would have met my friend from Singapore. I love the package, don’t get me wrong, but the ideas are just as much a treasure. That’s what I love about happygrub. Almost every post, Farhan mentions something I’ve never heard of before. I’ve got a whole library of things to discover thanks to her: prata, sugee cake, rempeyek, etc. etc. etc….

Thanks so much, happygrub! I can’t wait to send you a housewarming gift in return!