Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! I’m still recovering from Holy Week, but I thought I better at least share my Vegan Box Swap unboxing with you before we’re out of the 40 day festal period 🙂 I was lucky enough to snag Maria for my first official Vegan Box Swap just in time to fill my Pascha basket with all kinds of treats from Greece! There was so much stuff, I couldn’t fit it all in my basket – and it’s a big picnic basket.
(I’ve done a couple unofficial swaps, I’ll share those later!)
People always ask what I do for Pascha since I’m vegan all year. Usually I splurge on a few special foods, and have a nice glass of Scotch. The swap took care of my special foods this year.
These items all made it into the basket to be blessed (except the mastic which I used to make Artoklasia Cake for our Pascha celebration)
-Chocolate Covered Orange Marzipan
-Orange Spoon Sweets
-Mastic/Mastika/Mastiha, aka Submarine
-Nut Butter Cups
-Chocolate Covered Cherries – with booze inside!
Here we have three kinds of cookies, a little orange pie that got thoroughly crushed (and it was near the expiration date, so I split it with my dad before Pascha ((he loved it)), a big round loaf of sweet chocolate bread, halva with cocoa swirls, and baklava with kataifi.
Gigantes, some kind of puffed snack thing, rusks for making one of my favorite Greek salads, Greek coffee, and tons of herbs including the stuff used to make Greek mountain tea – I love that tea!
Also included was this lovely postcard with the sweetest turtle ever in the whole world, and when you move the postcard the turtle moves and the fish move!!!!
Here’s my little unboxing video. I’m so awful at these, but they’re really fun to make. However this one is extra embarrassing because I didn’t recognize one of the items in the box AT ALL. I made a special request for it, then forgot about it, and then…I couldn’t get it open, and I thought it was just one of those potpourri satchels. Nope.
It was a precious bag of oil-soaked cotton balls from the myrrh-streaming relics of St. Demetrios.
I visited Agios Demetrios, the church built over his crypt, in Thessaloniki in 2013.
But although I was able to venerate his relics, it wasn’t until I got home that someone pointed out I could’ve asked for the myrrh. WHAT?! So I asked Maria if she could get some, since she’s in Thessaloniki, and she did! It smells wonderful. We can talk about myrrh-streaming saints and myrrh oil in another post.
I hope you all appreciate what I’ve had to go through since Pascha. I’m trying so hard not to eat a ton of sweets, which is always hard for me anyway, but now I had no choice because I wanted to be able to tell you about at least a few of them.
I think these are maybe not peanut butter because the flavor isn’t very strong – maybe they’re almond butter? Anyway, they’re great. And it’s not just the nut butter covered in chocolate, there’s a thin layer of wafer on the bottom and sides. **Found out they’re hazelnut!
The grape must cookies, or moustokouloura, are basically a soft molasses cookie made with grape molasses.
The vegan baklava and kataifi were completely drenched in syrup, so much so that the inner packaging was already sticky on the outside. I almost forgot what baklava is like…it is good 🙂
The boozy chocolate covered cherries and chocolate covered orange marzipan taste just like you’d expect, like you want to eat them all at once in 3 minutes.
The rest I haven’t gotten into yet. Maybe next week I’ll make dakos (bread salad) with the rusks.
Do you have any suggestions for using my Greek treats? Wanna share a link to your own unboxing? Comment below!