This past weekend, 35 food bloggers from next door and as far away as Seattle descended on our home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania for The Big Summer Potluck. The idea of the event started when my dear friend Erika from The Ivory Hut and I decided that East Coast food bloggers needed to connect. I think we were all a little nervous to meet. Sure, we “knew” each other online, but what would it be like in person? Not too sure what we were worried about. By day’s end we were all ready to go on vacation together.
My top ten memories of the day:
1) Sharon running around still un-showered and in her pajamas (an oversized Super Mario T-shirt and yoga pants) making scones when the first of our guests arrived. I’m sorry we don’t have a picture of that.
2) All 35 attendees arrived at our home early or on time (I lay awake the night before worrying that everyone would get lost in rural Pennsylvania, and it seemed a legitimate fret since even FedEx could not find us).
3) The amazing and abundant food bought by the attendees. Since we had so many people flying or driving from such a distance, we decided to ditch the “potluck” aspect of the event. I should have known better. Food bloggers? Come empty-handed? Never.
4) The breaks. We had a wonderfully packed agenda with fantastic talks and demos from some of the finest people in the business, cookbook author, Abby Dodge, and food stylist, Melissa DeMayo, to name a few. But the magic was in between the sessions. It was my job to round everyone up for the next session, and I was always delighted that people wanted to continue talking. And they weren’t small-talking either. They were already friends.
5) Jen’s Doughnut Muffins the star of the morning (and yes, this could easily have come under #3 but they were so good they needed a whole bullet point for themselves).
6) Mom and Abby joking about ‘perfuming’ the whipped cream with extra Grand Marnier. That made me belly laugh. Pam Anderson loves perfuming. (If you don’t know what ‘perfuming’ is, check out our video, Three Many Cooks Live for a detailed explanation.)
7) Alice Currah from the award-winning blog, SavorySweetLife, our keynote speaker. She is one of my blog heroes and her talk confirmed why. Alice shared her inspiring, honest story. She spoke about being a Mom, finding her way, blogging with an authentic voice and the importance of fostering a supportive food blogging community. And that she does.
8) The Meatless Muffalettas. Not to toot our own horn, but…”Toot, toot!” Recipe to come next week with Mom’s post.
9) All the food, wine and terrific raffle prizes. Big thanks for the sponsorship and support of KitchenAid, Green Mountain Coffee,Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (who provided Mom’s books), New West Knifeworks, The Spice House, Cypress Grove Chevre, Green Valley Organics Yogurt, Fine Cooking, Louis Latour Wine, Naturally Nora Cake Mixes, and Lindsay Olives.
I’m sure we should have talked more about increasing traffic, monetizing our sites or SEOs (to this day I’m really not sure what the heck that is), but the common thread and themes throughout the day were so much more important and uplifting: blogging from the heart, finding an authentic voice, supporting other bloggers in the community, paying it forward, information sharing, creating a non-competitive environment, and most importantly, making friends. And yes, I realize how cheezeball that sounds. But what can I say—it’s true.
Everyone had a great time, but we all had one criticism. The day was too short.
10) So, the final top moment of the day: the realization that we have to do this again soon! And we need to get together for a whole weekend. Details coming soon!
For now, I’ll leave you with this amazing recipe for Orange-Scented White Chocolate Raspberry Mousse that Abby Dodge demoed for us from her upcoming books, Desserts 4 Today. Over 100 desserts with just 4 ingredients. I literally cannot wait.
Photos by Erika from The IvoryHut