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Jan 7, 2015

First time for everything...

Recently over the holidays, I participated in a country wide blogger gift exchange called Christmas in the Country. I enjoyed it last year and thought it would be fun to do again this year. Ag bloggers are matched up with a "secret santa" and mail a package of goodies for Christmas. We are given a list of our match's hobbies and favorite things. Everyone tries to find things that not only represent the area where they are from but items their match would enjoy.

I was paired up as Jenn from The South Dakota Cowgirl's secret santa. I sent her a candle and tarts locally poured by a good friend, an antique mason jar found on our farm, some Albanese  gummy worms, Amish popcorn and caramel corn along with a set of my famous Rustic Christmas Ornaments. I am sad to say I also bought her some chocolate from the South Bend Chocolate Factory but found those in my vehicle after the package went out. Sorry, Jenn!

I anxiously waited as many of many of my blog friends posted pictures of their packages. It was kind of fun coming home from work every night to see if I could find out who my secret Santa was! Then one Saturday afternoon, after a long day of work, I pull up the drive....... and there sits on my front porch, a package from.............. HAWAII.

I had a hunch who the blogger may be as I don't know too many ag faces from Hawaii.

Sure enough, it was Rhonda at Iowa Meets Maui. Rhonda is a California native turned mid-westerner in college and now resides in Hawaii. Personally, I love the mid-west but this girl is smart. Especially this time of year when it's you know, -1 outside not including the windchill.

Surprisingly, but not surprisingly because I LOVE coffee, Rhonda sent me a coffee-themed package complete with two bags of MauiGrown beans, a bag of MauiGrown sugar, a coffee mug and a scoop along with some other fun goodies! I was surprised because I had NO IDEA that coffee was grown in Hawaii. I have NO IDEA how I had NO IDEA. It's all starting to make sense now considering I love Kona blends. Anyways, I sort of feel like jerk who only reads up on corn and soybeans 75 percent of the time I read about agriculture.

Did you know that Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow coffee commercially? 


But I love that I know that now.

Rhonda's package has inspired one of my new year's resolutions and that's to add variety into my US crop knowledge.

I also learned something else from Rhonda's package.

Coffee is a bean.

Okay, just kidding. I always knew coffee came from a coffee bean. However, I grew up watching dad shovel Folgers grounds into his mug and then later in college I always bought the little cans of Folgers grounds as well, using them in my first little coffee maker. Eventually I moved on to a Keurig and K-Cups.

I've just always been a pre-grounded kind of girl. For no particular reason other than never branching out. And being slightly sheltered.

After opening up the bag in shock to find beans, I was extremely excited to try something new!

I paced back and forth in my kitchen.

Beans. Beans. Beans. How do I turn the beans into coffee........................

I didn't own a functional coffee grinder. Just the antique one sitting on a shelf serving as decor. I wasn't even going to attempt that. Nope. Wasn't going there.

I texted my friend who is sort of old fashioned and kind of a coffee connoisseur. I knew she'd completely understand my inexperience in bean grinding.

SOS! I received some coffee beans Do I need to buy a grinder or can I use something else in my kitchen?

She replied back.

Use your food processor.

DUH! I forgot I had one of those. Well, technically I don't. It's a Ninja blender but it also works as a food processor.

I know, you are probably thinking this girl is beyond sheltered.

It worked. It worked like a charm! I know the coffee snobs of the world are probably screaming inside right now.

I plan on getting a grinder if I find myself spoiled with these fresh beans!

Rhonda may or may not have created a monster. Only time will tell!

I will say, she has spoiled me with this sugar. It's so cute. And delicious.

Heck, she spoiled me with her entire package and obviously did her homework. Would you just take a look at these cups?

I am glad she sent four because I love cups. Lots of cups. I'm always leaving them all over. I think that's the one thing my husband and I fight about the most. My cup habit. I think my mom can vouch for my cup habit as well for she never left my bedroom growing up without taking an empty cup with her.

Everything was carefully wrapped and put together. I was completely smitten.

Thank you so much Rhonda for making my Christmas special and sharing an important part of your home with you! I won't be able to grind a coffee bean without thinking of you. :)


  1. Kelly,
    Either I didn't know or I forgot you love coffee! What a great gift from Rhonda.

    The Husband always gives me a funny look when I say I would love to go to Hawaii to tour plantations and learn about their agriculture. He is a sit on the beach and take in the water type of guy. I would also like to tour northern California.

    I got a bag of coffee beans and have no way of grinding them. I do now, thanks for the idea!

  2. Great blog post Kelly! You had me laughing, inspired and even a little misty eyed. What a fun gift and so very thoughtful of Rhonda. I love getting to know new bloggers/ag folks. Thank you for being a part of this exchange!

  3. Rhonda Rocks as does your post, great pics and welcome to the joys of Coffee and Hawaii agriculture!

  4. LOVING THESE POSTS!!!! My list of blogs to read is growing!!!!!!!!!

  5. This made me smile - great post ... and a great gift, too! The gift exchange was so much fun and I feel like I know a few people better now. Happy New Year!

    - Lara
    My Other More Exciting Self

  6. Oh, this made me laugh. Only a true coffee lover knows the desperation of beans without a grinder. Perfect solution. So glad you enjoyed the package - I had a blast shopping for you. Come to Maui and we'll share a cup of joe on the beach sometime! Aloha, Rhonda

  7. I think you and my daughter must have been separated at birth, since she has the same stray cup problem. We have apologized repeatedly to our son-in-law. Fun post about a fun project!

  8. How cute! I too love coffee - and have a grinder, compliments of my parents for my birthday many moons ago. It's amazing. I'd have never thought to use a food processor. How brilliant! I loved your gifts to me! thank you so much!

  9. I love this post! (like I do most of yours) So ingenious about the coffee beans! I think I did know Hawaii had those - but only because of the Faces of Ag blog. I got some coffee in my package too, but all I have is my kuerig now and not a real coffee pot - I need to get one of those special cups so I can use what I was sent!

  10. A great collection for a coffee lover like you! Happy new year!

  11. I love the part about using your Ninja... I wouldn't have thought of that either!

  12. How fun! Loved coffee in Hawaii when we were there.....dang! It's been four years! ;-) Gonna have to start working on my hubby to plan a return trip! So fun to read your posts!

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