This is the first of three posts required of food bloggers who attended the 2014 IFBC conference in exchange for a lowered conference fee. I determine the content and receive no compensation or gifts for mentions of organizations or products.
Over Labor Day weekend we went camping with friends and the highlight had to be the second waterfall we hiked in to see. The water rushed down just beyond a curving hunk of rock that jutted up from the pool. As we waded and found good skipping rocks and squinted down at a tiny toad, a group of three dogs and four wetsuited adventurers appeared up at the top of the falls. They started making their way down, the humans working toward a ledge on the front of the rock and the dogs picking their way down the other side, like goats. They had done this before, you could tell. When the dogs made it to the bottom, they started frolicking in the water and soon they had convinced some of the kids in our group to play fetch with them. We watched the people jump and cheered them on. The kids were riveted. We all were. It was the perfect way for some of the more reluctant hikers to shake off the grumps.
When we got back home on Monday it was hot and sunny, the best kind of day to prep our gear for the next trip. I hung the sleeping bags on the line, wiped down the camping stove, and laid the wet tarps out on the front lawn to dry. Soon we tackled the house chores (laundry!) and went out to get the mail. In the stack was the current issue of Edible Seattle, one I’ve wanted to share about here for a long time.
I’m thrilled to have two articles in this issue, including my first feature for the magazine. I pitched the story for kiwi berries—and took the photos—a full year ago. I first ran across the miniature kiwifruits at our food co-op, packaged in half-pint clamshell containers. When I learned that I could buy them directly from the grower, Burnt Ridge Nursery, I went down to the farmers’ market and asked about them. Michael Dolan told me they grow like crazy in the Northwest, something I didn’t know (you mean, they’re not tropical?). Bonus: my hand makes its first magazine appearance!
To write my profile of Christian and Ria Kaelin of Provisions Mushroom Farm, I toured their lab and grow rooms and tried to wrap my head around the meticulous process of growing mushrooms. I’m used to pulling on my boots to walk out in a field or pasture while I talk with a farmer about water and pests and weather. I wasn’t quite prepared for pressure-cooked millet, petri dishes, and spawn. But what began as a weird and fantastic introduction soon looked so practical that I added an outdoor mushroom log to my backyard wish list.
To read these and the other stories, subscribe to Edible Seattle. Six beautiful issues full of food stories and recipes by some of Seattle’s best food writers and recipe developers is $21. I sound like a commercial but, really, that’s less than you’d pay for a single cookbook. Consider it. Or just pick up a copy. At least check out the updated website where you can browse articles from the archives by theme. By the way, the recipes I’ve tried from the magazine have worked out beautifully. They take this food stuff seriously.
On another note, next weekend I’m going to the International Food Blogger Conference, which has been a whirlwind, the best sort of way, the past two years. I appreciate the way I’m challenged to rethink this space each time I attend. In fact, I’m looking forward to sketching out some new ideas based on the workshops I’ll be attending while I’m there, many of which will focus on writing this year. I’m excited to learn from Dianne Jacob, Joe Yonan, Shauna James Ahern, and Kathleen Flinn. What a lineup!
Now, here’s something else that’s coming up for me. I’ve been posting here since 2011 and I’ve never sought any advertising. I began this blog as an extension of my writing platform and wanted it to operate under the radar, to be a low-key home base where I can share cooking experiences, local food discoveries, and photos of the few vegetables and herbs I grow, and work out thoughts that occur to me as I do these things.
Since I’m wrangling more assignments now, I haven’t had time to put up weekly posts like I used to. This means a change is coming and here’s where it’s leading me (so far). I’ve accepted a partnership with a company to write some sponsored posts and plan to do more as the opportunities arise. This means I’ll be able to find out about, and tell you about, new foods out there. It also means I’ll be paid for some of my time and work. There are some side benefits, too. Like a prod to post more often and inspiration to seek out ways I can pair local products with tasty foods on the market. I will always disclose my relationship with a client, of course. You won’t have to guess.
I hope you enjoy what you read, as always. And I hope you’ll come back and check in often.