Last weekend was an absolute treasure, filled with wonderful events revolving around food. Inspired by the Blogher food conference in San Francisco, which several local Seattle food bloggers were attending, we created #Bloghere. Why? What better way to foster community through sharing experiences. Actually #Bloghere started as a joke on Twitter, @Bonnevivante noted she was not attending #BlogHer but would be attending #BlogHere as in blogging from here, then Jeanne of Four Chickens jokingly suggested absurd sessions, quickly a few real ones developed. The absolutely lovely Viv of Seattle Bon Vivante graciously organized several events. The weekend kicked off with the pie contest at the Queen Anne Farmer’s Market. Our first official session took place on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning at the University District Farmer’s Market, like the QA one, it is a non-profit, community led market. We gathered to stroll the market, take pictures and talk to the chef in resident Matthew Amster-Burton, author of Hungry Monkey. My mission, bacon from Skagit River Ranch. I’m smitten with farmers markets this summer, sad to see a few end for the season. The amazing bounty of the earth so much more than what we find in conventional markets, however it’s not just the food, rather, the community and relationships they build. Watching farmers interact directly with their customers, sharing recipes and most of all appreciation for the food we eat. This particular morning I started to play with my new camera, taking in the beauty of the market.
Following my morning at the farmers market I continued onto the next #Bloghere session, canning with the Shibaguyz who were absolutely hilarious, kept us entertained while educating us on the art of canning. Plums, the fruit of the day, quickly transformed into beautifully rich chutney, spicy sauce and jelly. My second canning experience of the summer made me wish I had jumped on the band wagon a bit earlier.
I’m saving my delicious chutney & spicy plum sauce for this winter, when I’ll enjoy it over a slowly roasted pork loin or served with a creamy brie perfect for having friends over. What I love about canning, the connection, how quickly food is transformed to be shared. Jars stowed away for gifts. Canning is a lost art, much like knitting that gained a revival in the early 2000′s. I’m happy to see people take an interest in finding another way to connect with our food. This past summer, Canvolution swept across America. I’m fortunate to know the ladies who founded Canning Across America, they inspired people to host canning parties and share their personal canning stories/journeys. Mine has yet to begin, it’s just the beginning. This particular Saturday afternoon, over several bottles of wine, food and steaming pots of plums we shared a common experience, some of us learning a new skill/craft, most of us new friends, quickly building a community that is incredible. Food connecting our lives becoming more and more entwined each day. The common bond for most of us, Twitter. Twitter is like match.com for foodies, slowly finding each other, planning dates (dinner parties), movie nights and book clubs. #Bloghere all started on Twitter. The social media device some argue alienate us from our communities brought this group together. #Bloghere was not the first or last event for us, rather just part of the inception of so many big things to come. Later that evening I hosted a bacon themed party (another post to follow), all because of Twitter. In a few weeks, Mac N Chesse & Fried Chicken night and in November Jewish & Chinese Foods.
#Bloghere ended with pie because all good things in life should end with pie. We are lucky to have an expert in our community. Kate McDermott kindly baked us a grape pie using local concord grapes from a garden in Queen Anne. Each #Bloghere participant left with but of course a cookbook. Oh and a remote session with Matthew Amster-Burton and the adorable Iris, sharing their thoughts on the state of food blogging and of course eating.