Beginner’s Luck – Big Summer Potluck 2012

by bicoastaldiy

Big Summer Potluck. I had no idea what to expect, but the entire weekend was just right.

It was inspiring. It was humbling. It was affirming. It fun. It was perfect timing.

Being surrounded by food bloggers was not dissimilar from major knitting events, but with more delicious food and maybe more fancy cameras. I wondered how many of these pro bloggers were live Tweeting the weekend. Answer: fewer than I thought, based on the #bsp3 feed.

Outdoors at BSP3

It felt like I was in the right place at the right time. The very first night, I won a KitchenAid mixer. What?! I was floored. I will never, ever say “I never win anything.” I can’t wait to break in my amazing appliance and whip up treats that I was too hesitant to try with my beloved hand mixer.

KitchenAids as centerpieces

Being new to blogging for what could grow into a wider readership than my mom and a handful of friends, the program of speakers was stellar. Joy the Baker, Brooke of Food Woolf, Molly of Cooknscribble, and the wonderful 3 Many Cooks organizers facilitated conversations that spoke to my concerns with blogging and really seemed to jumpstart thoughtful dialogue among all the participants. I’m not alone in my fears or insecurities as I head out into the internet, sharing my point of view and amateur photos. It’s ok to start and be where I am! And it’s ok for you too, but maybe you already know that.

The food demonstrations were informative and so fun to see happening right in front of us, rather than through a tv or computer screen. Beyond the eating, the demos, and even the gorgeous countryside scenery, the highlights of the weekend were making connections with people that will make my blogging, Tweeting, interneting more personal. I’m not just writing into a void, and I’m excited to see where it could go.

Since it was a potluck and all, I brought Lavender Shortbread Cookies, for which I tried out my mini food processor and broke out my rolling pin. They turned out great and now I’m excited to pulverize even more stuff with my kitchen gadgetry! I didn’t make any changes to the recipe aside from using regular granulated sugar and cutting the dough into squares.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

They got eaten

Brooke’s talks on mindfulness and recognizing the moments that sparked your Big Idea really resonated with me. It’s something that applies to everyone, anyone who feels stress, or has a full or busy life. It made me think about where I’m going next and how my choices fit into my bigger picture.

One of the highlights was definitely presenting Joy and Tracy of Homefries renown with “boom boom pow” tshirts. It was kind of a project, but so much fun (tutorial to follow now that I have a blog for this sort of thing…) and even better seeing their faces. I was so relieved they weren’t creeped out! Listen to their podcasts to get in on the joke. They keep me company on my morning commute.

Boom Boom Pow

Boom Boom. Pow!

I made matching shirts for me and Emily too – quadruplets (Joy’s was in the car)! It’s not weird, it’s the magic of the internet.

It's real

Boom Boom Pow for everyone

Important next questions:

1. What to make with my KitchenAid mixer? I can’t decide! Something that’s too hard/intimidating to do with my beloved handmixer… Cinnamon rolls? Bread? A fancy-pants meringue? So many options!

2. How am I integrating mindfulness into everything I do? It’s one of those things that can truly reflect in any aspect of life, from writing emails, to saying hello, to deciding how much cookie butter to consume in one sitting.

3. How am I staying connected with my new internet community? What’s next for my internet life?