Shipping to Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by Norcalbaker59, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    My nephew is in Afghanistan. A couple weeks ago he sent a text to my brother requesting coffee beans (my brother is a roaster). So he shipped about 11 pounds of coffee and I included a batch of biscotti.

    My nephew has shared the coffee with some of the guys. They’ve sent thank you’s and pic of themselves holding up the bags of coffee. The phots of these young men made me realize how important it is for them to have some connections to home. That food is a common bond.

    With the holidays coming up I want to send a much larger care package this time. I would like to include a variety of baked goods. But I really don’t have any experience shipping over that distance and in the desert conditions.

    If anyone has any experience shipping baked goods to soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, any suggestions on types of baked goods you have shipped their successfully would be appreciated. I’d like to send somethings in addition to cookies. But I don’t know if somethings like a pound cake or mini bundt cake will survive. We were told the package could be exposed to high temperatures.

    I placed each one of the biscotti in a cellophane bag marketed for wrapping large chocolate dipped pretzels. I then heat sealed the end.

    If I ship a pound cake, it would need to be in a box or tin. But my concern is a metal tin might hold heat, causing rapid deterioration of the cake.

    Any tips on shipping cake— or even if cake is a good choice.

    They cannot tell us specifically where my nephew is, but the package my brother shipped took about 12 days to reach him.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 24, 2018
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  2. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    What a great idea! I bet they'd love to receive such a thoughtful gift. Here in the UK the Post Office gives guidance on what can be sent - broadly speaking you can't send perishable goods or alcohol. Might be worth checking to see if there's similar rules in the US - here are the UK rules if you're interested:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/british-forces-post-office-services

    I think cake is a lovely idea, but I'm not sure whether it would survive the journey. Biscotti and other dry, long-lasting things would be better. If you want to avoid too many biscuit-type-things, how about some home-roasted nuts? You could do a couple of varieties - some sweet, some savoury. Cereal bars could work well too. Or if you did really want to send a cake, how about an iced fruitcake? Should survive the journey ok, and certainly has better longevity than other types of cake.

    How long has he been in Afghanistan for? Hope he's doing ok.
     
    Becky, Oct 24, 2018
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  3. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Great I’ll check with the post office I live in a really small town so I know the postmaster.

    I know I’m worried the cake won’t survive. Or worse it gets moldy and they opened the tin to a disgusting mess.

    They roasted nuts is actually a very good idea. And maybe I can do somethings with some dipped pretzels and dried fruit. I don’t hesitate to ship a couple states over. But shipping out of the country is a whole different matter.

    Now that you mention bars, I actually have a copycat recipes for Kind bars. I’ve never used it so maybe this is the perfect opportunity to make them up.

    My nephew said he had contacted a few of the large coffee companies in the US to see if they would send the guys some coffee. Not one of them responded.:(That’s when he asked my brother (his uncle). So I want to make sure the guys get coffee and treats for the upcoming holidays.

    All this is helpful, thank you.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 24, 2018
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  4. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    It's a shame that none of those companies responded to him! You'd think that at the very least sending coffee to soldiers is a good PR exercise :rolleyes:

    I had another thought on the cake front - how about sending them the measured dry ingredients? Something that they only need to add oil and egg to maybe, and you could also include a disposable container to bake them in? I'm thinking something like brownies might work well. It would be a great way for them to have a taste of home, something that isn't just dry snacks. All they'd need is access to some basic ingredients and something to bake it in.
     
    Becky, Oct 25, 2018
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  5. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I’m not sure what their cooking set up is like. There in a camp. My nephew asked for whole beans explaining that ground coffee dries out so quickly in the heat it makes it undrinkable. So they must have generators for electricity to use a grinder. I don’t know if they have restrictions on electricity use. He said they don’t have coffee pots, that they use the aeropress.

    I started poking around on military family websites. Apparently a lot of families bake cake in canning jars using box cake mix. Something about baking it in the jars, sealing it up along with the use of the box mix with the preservatives keeps it fresh. It sounds kinda strange. But I’m going to experiment with one batch. Use my family as taste testers. If the cake still taste good after three weeks in the jar I might give that.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 25, 2018
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  6. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Administrator

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    Ah ok, that sounds like a good idea! Let us know how it goes :)
     
    Becky, Oct 26, 2018
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  7. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Will do
     
    Norcalbaker59, Oct 26, 2018
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  8. Norcalbaker59

    BakingThunder New Member

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    If that doesn't work might want to think about experimenting with vegan ingredients, goes bad a lot slower than something with milk and eggs in them. Could do Scones or something else dry.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
    BakingThunder, Jan 24, 2019
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