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A big long post about the Big Summer Potluck!

August 11, 2010

On the morning of the Big Summer Potluck, I checked my purse for breath mints or anything else of the freshening variety.  All I found was a little pack of those Listerine breath strips and what was left inside was all stuck together in one coagulated chunk.  Great, I thought, I am finally meeting a group of awesome food bloggers in person and they will all recoil in fear as soon as I open my mouth.  I needn’t have worried.

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Beatiful setting, delicious scones!

I spent so much time ingesting delicious foods there was no time for my breath to smell like anything other than sugar, spice and everything nice!  What I should have been more concerned about, purse contents-wise, was the missing pen.  We had this whole wonderful day of fantastic cooking, writing and photography tips and I didn’t write any of it down.  I saw KillerCoconut taking notes on her iPhone though, so hopefully she will share. 

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Jennifer B (aka KillerCoconut) and me

Let me back up.  A couple months ago Maggy from ThreeManyCooks sent out a tweet asking if any East Coast food bloggers would be interested in a little get together this summer.  Maybe something like a simple meet-up and everyone could bring a dish.  I thought that sounded great and immediately tweeted back that I would be interested.  In what seemed like no time at all, Maggy joined forces with Erika from IvoryHut and masterminded what became this unbelievable all-day event with celebrity guests, awesome sponsors, and of course, lots and lots of food.

Wait, let me back up again!  Because I am a big fat wimp and not a big fan of driving over three hours anywhere by myself, I asked if I could bring a friend.  And who better to bring than the friend who not only got me into blogging, but who occasionally graces this blog with her guest posts.  I told KillerCoconut all about it and she was on board right away.  So, this past Friday afternoon it was road trip time!  We both skipped out of work a little early and made our way through the 4.5 hours to Bucks County, PA. 

On Saturday morning, we oooh-ed and ahhh-ed our way through the gorgeous farmlands and countryside and managed to get just slightly lost even with the help of Maggy’s detailed directions, my GPS and the iPhone.  At least it was a pretty place to get lost, and we made it to the event in plenty of time.  Good thing, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a minute!

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Pam Anderson gave presentations on developing and writing recipes

 The Anderson family was so generous to open their beautiful home to all of us, and all of the presentations were engaging and enlightening.  Jennifer B said, “the presentations were real people who gave real experience, strength and hope, rather than professional content providers for conferences.”

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Food Stylist Melissa DeMayo shows us how to make the prettiest picture while Maggy looks on

 I learned so much in such a short period of time.  I followed along with Erika during her photography presentation and learned things I had no idea my camera would do!

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My friend Erika - monkbots unite!

 I even managed to put it to use while distracted by all the goodies at tea time!

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I took this using my camera's aperture priority mode and got the nice focus on the cupcake and soft blur in the background

 Those cupcakes, by the way?  Seriously awesome.  They were Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes by Tara at Smells Like Home.  All the food was off the hook.  Jennifer B. said, “The food was ridiculous, all of it.  Those donut muffins were sick, although now that I know the secret (dip the entire muffin in butter), I’ll probably hold off on making them until I have some pants I don’t want to fit into anymore.  My favorite, by far, however, was the cheese plate. I was so happy everyone else was focused on the KitchenAid giveaway so I could vacuum up the cheese under the radar.”

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Look at all this food! Gaaah! Want. It. All. Now.

 Everything about the day was so well organized and we all felt so welcome and at ease.

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The Coquettish Cook is not going anywhere. Nope. Nuh-uh. Staying right there in this wonderful place!

 I think Jennifer B. summed it up best when she said, “You know how high my standards are when it comes to hostessing.  I have a problem.”  (Yes, I do.  See Cookie Swap, Post Modern Tea and.  She doesn’t have a problem.  She has a gift for entertaining.)  “I felt totally loved, welcomed and taken care of.  I feel like I need to start writing the best blog on the internet (in my own authentic voice, of course) just so I’ll be invited back next year.”  

Thanks to Alice of Savory Sweet Life and Everyday Alice, the keynote speaker, for that level of motivation!  In fact, Jennifer B was so inspired, she is already looking into domain names for her own new blog.  (I wonder if I can still get her to give scathing critiques of my vacation timing guest blog when I am on vacation?)

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Erika and her mother Celia in a sweet moment

I even had a chance to chat with Erika’s mother and talk about inspiration.  Celia, you were right, and the universe is already giving back one-hundred-fold.  I am so grateful for all the friends and connections I made at the Big Summer Potluck, and I just feel lucky to have been a part of it all.

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More glorious food!

Thank you again to Maggy, Erika, Sharon, Pam and everyone else who made this event such a resounding success!

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 11, 2010 3:07 am

    I don’t think it seemed long winded! Is that, er, because I’m long winded? No, that can’t be it… Uh, anyway, I am quite sorry now that I couldn’t go! I know I’m not a food blogger, but I think I could masquerade as one to be able to go with you if there is another one next year. (That is if Jennifer B. is willing to give me a spot in the car – I gave you a ride to Fenway that time, Ms. Killercoconut, so we’re good, right?) It looks like you had a fabulous time and ate some fabulous food and took some fabulous pictures!

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      August 11, 2010 12:22 pm

      Erika already said bring your sister next time! 🙂

      Okay, now that I look at this in the fresh light of day it’s not as long as it seemed while I was writing it! Maybe I’ll even write a part two. Hee hee.

  2. August 11, 2010 7:02 am

    What a great recap! I’m having so much fun going from blog to blog and reliving the day from each person’s point of view. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope our paths cross again soon!

    alice

    • Jennifer A (Bread and Putter) permalink*
      August 11, 2010 12:22 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Alice! You are truly an inspiration to all of us.

  3. August 11, 2010 12:23 pm

    I loved reading your summary of the day! I had a wonderful time meeting you, and hope we get to chat again soon! 🙂

    • August 12, 2010 1:11 am

      Thanks Tracy! It was so nice to meet you too. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. August 11, 2010 12:28 pm

    Great recap. It was such an interesting, inspirational, fun and tasty day!!!

  5. August 11, 2010 12:37 pm

    Oh, wow…what fun! Can I come next year and give a photography presentation? I’ll work for food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    Reading about photography is good but sometimes you just have to told and shown. I am sure a few light bulbs went off during the IH’s photo presentation for you.

    • August 12, 2010 1:13 am

      You’ll have to fight itout with Erika, although she’d probably be happy to give up the spotlight!

      Yes, there’s nothing like hands on training.

  6. August 11, 2010 12:46 pm

    Jennifer, the day was magically delicious. I’m so glad I was there and met all of the wonderfully generous and talented people who made it what it was. Great recap.

  7. patricia weldon permalink
    August 11, 2010 5:15 pm

    pictures are lovely! Looks like you all had such a nice time.

  8. August 11, 2010 5:26 pm

    It was such an amazing day. I can’t wait for 2011!

  9. August 16, 2010 11:52 pm

    it was quite the day wasn’t it? so many new faces that have turned into new friends – an amazing day and I think they’re already planning the next one; and when they do, we’ll get to know one another better!

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