I just wanted to brag about the lovely gift box I received the other day from my brother, in return for services rendered during his grad school application process.
He made a comment a few months ago about sending me a fruit basket when the process was all over. I declined. I prefer my fruit local and in-season (or at least what comes out of cold storage at the neighborhood orchard - apples are a year-round commodity at my farmers market). He had also been bugging me for weeks to email a friend of his who works at a natural food company, InterNatural Foods, to get some free samples of their products. Since I neglected to do this, and since I turned down his other suggestion, he arranged to have those samples sent as my thank you gift.
When the box came, I was intrigued, but still skeptical. I've really become anti-industrially processed foods, including organic stuff. I don't want super-processed, vitamin-fortified snack bars or organic mac-and-cheese mix or spelt and quinoa snack crackers. But when I opened the box, to my delight, I found no such things (well, perhaps the blueberry licorice falls into that category, but that's it). I was sent a box of ingredients, many of which I use all the time! And, even better, these "samples" were full size! As you can see above, I have a whole selection of new cooking oils, unrefined sugar, cocoa powder, yeast packets, bouillon cubes, delicious Swiss chocolate, and several other things to start using. I'm most excited about the roasted peanut oil (which I had tried finding in grocery stores, to no avail) and the full-sized container of fleur de sel.
The box, shown above, was just an assortment of food products in packing peanuts and some bubble wrap. There was no invoice, no information about the company, and no solicitation of any sort. I was not asked to tout their products on my blog. Given the generosity of the company in sending me these lovely things, however, I will at least try to mention when I am using their products from now on!