You know that feeling when you’re so excited that you want to squeal out of your skin? That was me when I opened my email last month to see an invitation from King Arthur Flour to their 2nd annual Blog & Bake event in Norwich, VT. I had been the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Store a number of times on my way to or from visiting my best friend outside of Burlington so I definitely was aware of the awesomeness of this invitation but I could only imagine what I would be in for. King Arthur Flour is a company I believe in. My pantry is chock full of their products and their flour is the only type I have used for years (in all different varieties). I did a holiday giveaway to share my love. Needless to say, I was thrilled at this baker-blogger dream come true!
After a quick and relaxing 3 hour drive north (and believe me, driving north from CT is a breeze compared to driving 3 hours south through NYC), I arrived at the newly renovated King Arthur Flour complex for a half-day session of recipe writing with Susan Purdy, author of Pie in the Sky. We were immediately thrown into the fire: 13 food bloggers, most of whom had never previously met, two groups, two lists of ingredients, with the charge of each creating a recipe, cooking it, documenting the ingredients and instructions…and then passing it off to the other group to recreate.
Taking a step back from all of this, I thought to myself, “Piece of cake – I do this kind of stuff all the time at home.” However, when you’re working with 6 strangers to create a cohesive and tasty recipe in an unfamiliar kitchen, things are bound to go wrong. I’ll post at least one of the recipes here once I remake it/them in the next couple of weeks but let me just say now that in spite of the critiques of both recipes and hard work by everyone, each group turned out a stellar recipe.
I know that every other blogger there with me will agree that this was probably the most difficult activity of our 3 days…and likely also one of the most useful as well. Susan reinforced a few strong points about writing and blogging recipes:
- you need to be overly critical when creating and writing recipes,
- write, test, retest, retest, retest (you get the point), until the recipe is perfect,
- document every single change you make during the testing process,
- and for the love of all things good, CITE YOUR SOURCES. I won’t go on a rant here but Susan’s words ring so true here: [paraphrasing] “When you don’t cite, people know, and you just look foolish.” Amen.
After this 3 hour session, we ended our day with a casual cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception at the Norwich Inn where we were bunked up for Blog & Bake. With a focus on local VT cheeses (including *omg*, a baked brie en croute that was to.die.for), and huge selection of wine from the Norwich Inn wine cellar, and house-brewed beer, we were all set to relax for the evening and get to know each other.
Day 2 recap (with words) to come next week! I’ll be posting recipes from the whole event soon too but in the meantime, don’t miss my Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Scones from Day 2.
If you’re itching for more baking goodness, check out some posts from my Blog & Bake compadres:
- Matt of Thyme in Our Kitchen: Blog and Bake
- Carolyn of Whisk. Write. Repeat.: Blog and Bake at King Arthur Flour
- Carrie of Bakeaholic Mama: Day One King Arthur Flour’s Blog and Bake (Recipe Writing)
- Nikki of Art & Lemons: A Visit to King Arthur Flour, part one (bread basics)
- Regan of A Professional Palate: King Arthur Blog and Bake – a picture perfect baking event
- Julie of Mommie Cooks: Blogging and Baking with King Arthur Flour
- Astrid from Lunches Fit for a Kid: King Arthur Flour Blog & Bake 2012 – Part 1
- Megan of Stetted: King Arthur Flour
- My Day 2 recap in photos
[Disclaimer: King Arthur Flour provided meals, accommodations, and classes at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center during my attendance at Blog & Bake 2012. I was not provided compensation for this or any other post related to Blog & Bake; the words and opinions expressed here are as always, my own.]