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Wednesday
Aug112010

Big Summer Potluck

Big Summer Potluck - Photo by Erika @ The Ivory Hut What to share? What to share?

Clearly, there are a million thoughts buzzing my brain. It’s been that kind of week—busy and fun and social. I’ve spent it re-connecting with dear old friends and meeting new friends—some of whom I’ve talked to but never seen. I’ve relaxed, listened, talked, prepared and eaten food. I’m kind of exhausted. Pleasantly exhausted.

So, let me start at the beginning. I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version.

After spending a wonderful weekend with my sister—flea marketing and eating home-cooked seafood dinners on the beach—I headed back home to work, clean, bake, and pack. Two days later, with the little dogs bouncing in the back of the car, we hit the road again. Back to the beach where I handed over the dogs to a group of 20 & 30-somethingish adults and then headed south to Cape May to spend two days with friends at their beach house. Wow. It was a wonderful visit. I de-stressed the minute I got there. (Note that for a few minutes I was stress free.)

Back in the car for the two hour drive to our beach house. Say hello to little dogs bouncing off the walls, hubs and son just in from a week long business trip, 30-somethingish adults hanging out. Say goodbye to that “I feel like I just left the spa” feeling.

For the next day and a half I busied myself getting ready to attend the Big Summer Potluck hosted by the fabulous Anderson clan at their home in PA. Groceries were bought, scones made (and trashed), and hyperventilation calmed. (Hubs took me and the kid out to dinner.) I came home and made those scones again. Never say die! The second time they were marvelous.

Then I crashed. I lay in bed for a few hours thinking, “I have to get up at the crack of dawn.” And, just before the crack of dawn I finally fell asleep. One annoying alarm, two big cups of coffee and a scone later I was back in the car for the two hour drive to the Big Summer Potluck!

I was anxious to meet the organizers of this foodblogging event, Maggy (ThreeManyCooks) and Erika (Ivory Hut), and all my fellow bloggers. The place was buzzing like a hive when I got there. Let the day begin.

Maggy and Erika—energized, organized, and in-the-know—had put together something special. The house was beautifully appointed and perfect for this kind of get-together. It had the right flow and when you walked in it felt like they’d done this about a thousand times before. They pulled together a wonderful forum of foodblog content for a handful of brand new to sage foodbloggers and food industry mavens. They fed us the food of foodies—incorporating their own recipes, sponsors’ fare (coffee, cheese, wine, yogurt), and all manner of treats beautifully crafted by the ladies and gentleman who attended. It was a foodbloganza on an intimate scale.

We mingled, we ate, we listened, we learned. Our heads were filled with everything from how to create and write a recipe (Pam Anderson) to a cooking demo (Abby Dodge), food styling (Melissa DeMayo) and food photography (Erika Pinead) to how to foodblog from the heart (Alice Currah). We even had a peek into the world of public relations courtesy of Auritt Communications. The sisters Anderson—Maggy & Sharon—kept us moving along with the perfect amount of time allowed for chatting among ourselves.

The energy level was high all day and about four PM we fired up that coffemaker to get our second wind. It was time for the big giveaway—let me tell you the sponsors were very, very generous. Kitchen Aid in particular stole the show with stand mixers, food processors, blenders and hand mixers for a few lucky folks. There was also a very special knife, spices, a coffee maker, and some amazing goat cheese as giveaways.

Next cue the wine and cheese. Mingle, mingle, mingle. Goodbyes were said. Hugs and promises to keep in touch and see each other next year (or sooner) were exchanged. I headed out the door with goodies in hand—the most cherished of which is Pam’s latest cookbook, the soon-to-be-released Perfect One-Dish Dinners.

I left the lovely Anderson house in the woods and headed back to my beach retreat. The two quiet hours in the car was what I needed to let the day sink in and to regain energy for the next day.

Nope, the fun wasn’t over yet. Jeanne (Four Chickens), Amber (Bluebonnets and Brownies) and Amber’s hubs joined us for a day at the Jersey Shore! More food, more talking, more getting to know each other. We got to communicate in more than 140 characters at a time. We got to relate. We laughed, calmed the bouncing dogs, and chatted about life and….food. We barely got to the beach but did take a quick stroll to the boardwalk and gazed across the sand and people to the surf beyond. After all, it would be embarrassing to be a block from the ocean and not even see the water.

And, that my friends, is the end. Well, almost. Because this week is my vacation (yay!) and I plan to decompress totally before getting back to the real world. A girl can dream.

FYI - Doughnut Muffins by Jen of How to Simplify were the hit of the day. So, I thought I’d de-glutenize them and join the rest of the group in oohing and ahhing over them. But that’s a post for another day.

To be continued…

Big Summer Potluck

Attendees

Abby Dodge

Add A Pinch

Bluebonnets & Brownies

Bon Apetit Hon

Bread and Putter

Bucks County Courier Times (Food Blog)

Dine & Dish

Fine Cooking

Four Chickens

How To Simplify

Modern Wench

My Kitchen Addiction

She Wears Many Hats

Sugarcrafter

Smells Like Home

Smith Bites

Souffle Bombay

Three Many Cooks

The Coquettish Cook

The Dinky Kitchen

Tickled Red

The Ivory Hut

The Peche

Wenderly

What’s Kookin’ In Kara’s Kitchen

 

Click the links to see:

Sponsors

Photos by Erika of Ivory Hut

Photos by Jen of Forgotten Foodies and My Kitchen Addiction


« Doughnut Muffins (Gluten-Free & Vegan) | Main | Breakfast, Tea, Anytime Jumbles »

Reader Comments (6)

Nancy, great recap. And I love that a bunch of you were able to spend time together the next day. I could have spent days and days with everyone and still not have been ready to leave.

Hi Nancy ... you are making the most of the summer! So enjoyed your post and, as always, your writing. What a treat to be surrounded by men and women with a like passion for food!

-Lexie

Aug 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLexie

Loved reading your recap of the day! It was so nice to meet you, although I wish we could have talked more. I'm looking forward to seeing your de-glutenized version of the donut muffins! :-)

Aug 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

Nancy, I have a new favorite word: Foodbloganza. You are such a wordsmith!

We really did have a wonderful time, didn't we? I can't think of a better way to have spent my weekend. You and Andy were wonderful hosts on Sunday. I just love you guys. I'll never quit being grateful for twitter. How else would we have ever found each other? xx

Aug 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

That sounds like such a great event! What fun. Glad everything turned out so well! And hope your vacation was stellar. :)

Aug 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Thanks for sharing the experience. Sounds like it was a great time. Sorry I missed it. Now, to try those doughnut muffins....

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