Have you ever eaten Marmite? It is a British product made from yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing, and it is enriched with B vitamins to make it a healthy product. It is a sticky, dark brown paste with a distinctive, powerful flavor, which is extremely salty and savoury with umami qualities, somewhat comparable to soy sauce. This distinctive taste is reflected in the British company's marketing slogan: "Love it or hate it."
I've been curious for a long tome about Marmite ever since I first heard about it, yet it is hard to find it here in the USA and when I did come upon it in a specialty store it would be very expensive. I decided my first taste of Marnite would have to wait until my first visit to the United Kingdom.
But yesterday a friend and I were shopping together in a discount store and she came upon this cute little box shaped like a suitcase on clearance that contained a miniature Paddington Bear and a squeezable jar of Marmite! It seems at one time Paddington bear was promoting Marmite in commercials but now has returned to his love for sweeter marmalade. Knowing of my Marmite curiosity, my friend bought the box and surprised me at my birthday lunch with it along with her other gifts! We had a lot of giggles squeezing a bit of it onto our fingers to try it. We decided the odor reminded us of liquid baby vitamins and the taste .... well it really is indescribable! Strong, piquant, definitely unusual. She did not like it but I think I did. I will have to try it as it is traditionally served as a condiment on a cheese sandwich before I make my decision.
Have you ever tried Marmite? Do you love it or hate it? What is your favorite way to serve it?
Today is my birthday, but the whole month has felt like a celebration for me! At my age I feel as if I could not ask for anything else in my life as I feel very blessed, but happy little surprises that make me smile are always welcome. It's the little things in life that count the most.
With that thought I would like to show some wonderful things I have won in blog give aways recently....
A very belated thank you is due to JoAnn, of the blog A Gathering Place, as I won these charmingly whimsical greeting cards by Mitchell Avenue Designs on her blog a few months ago. JoAnn is a third grade teacher, Mother of 6 and Grandmother of two, with another grandchild on the way. She has a warm welcoming and delightful blog and I'm sure you'd enjoy visiting her!
This fun trio of vintage kitchen items was a surprise package that came in the mail while I was away in Colorado from Lisa of Lisa RetroStyle blog. Lisa is an antique restorer and dealer, and was going to be a vendor at the Brimfield Antique Show. Lisa offered to buy something at the show as a give away on her facebook page, and I won! I had asked her to look for something made of copper or a vintage book. She found the cute copper coasters and salt and pepper shakers and added the vintage fabric apron. Thank you Lisa -- they are all such wonderful retro items that bring back memories! If you love middle 1900's vintage you'll love Lisa's blog and her ETSY stores where she sells her finds.
I won this beautiful hand crocheted table topper made by Marilyn of Our Victorian Cottage on a give away she had last week. Marilyn lives in a circa 1860's home in a beautiful town in Pennsylvania and has the most magnificent gardens. She is also a wonderful hobby crafter as you can see by her beautiful work! Marilyn just finished treatments for cancer and thankfully has a good prognosis. I'm sure she'd love if you came by her wonderful chatty blog full of cute graphics and fun photos and stop and say hello!
photo source: Alice In Paris Loves Art & Tea
Finally, here is a gift that you can give yourself that will make you smile! Shelagh, of the blog Alice In Paris Loves Art and Tea is having a second round of her special Artful Pen Pals blog. Hurry if you'd like to join, as registration ends midnight of June 14! Shelagh had over 50 participants last year and everyone received at least one penpal letter and some formed lasting pen pal relationships. If you'd like to receive something other than bills and ads in your mailbox and enjoy the almost lost art of letter writing, why not join in this year? Shelagh is a folk artist who lives in Nova Scotia and she is a photographer extraordinaire! I was sorry to miss her on her recent visit to NYC as she arrived the week I was away, but I hope to meet her someday as I've been reading her blog long before I began mine and I've always enjoy my visits to her.
Another thing that always makes me smile is my blog visitors and reading blog comments. You have all added so much to my life and being a part of the blogging community has been such a positive experience for me. Thank you all! You have helped to make this day the happiest of birthdays!