A weird thing happened when I returned from living abroad earlier this year. In Paris, that gorgeous spot I called home for a while, everyone looked so fashionable, so unique, so strange to me; they all seemed absolutely nothing like my boring American self.
On the contrary, the moment I stepped off the plane back in Boston, everyday Americans all looked very familiar to me. Everyone on the street resembled old college roommates. In New York City, the crowds rushing down the avenues felt like best friends from high school. We all stared at each other a bit longer, or perhaps it was just me. I tried to uselessly connect faces with names, while the folks at the other end of my long stares gazed back, thinking I was obviously nuts.
I don’t know what you would call this weird familiarity with every single American I’ve seen since returning. Small world syndrome? But suddenly, my big foreign world was replaced with my tiny local world and I felt at home again, thinking everyone around me was a good friend. This feeling hit me again a few weeks ago when I finally met so many local bloggers in person, right in my back yard.
After tweeting, skyping, instant messaging and emailing with piles of fabulous food and wine bloggers over the course of so many years, I finally threw a tiny potluck right in my end-of-summer garden. Twenty or thirty people showed up with pounds of amazing food and good spirits (delicious libations and such good souls). It was a wonderful experience and I can assure you, as one guest said, “food bloggers know how to make good food.”
Thanks, new friends, for sharing such a fun few hours together. I wanted to take a moment to call each one of you out, and thank you for the delicious contributions.
First, many of these photos were taken by Pam at Cave Cibum, and she brought some delicious items, including her rocking potato chip cookies and such pretty biscuits which tided me over on my early morning flight to Nashville (and really freeze up so very well, in case she was wondering…). The pretty prosciutto-herb-wrapped fruit (and the above photo) was provided by the lovely Abigail of 5th Joy. Erin of Erin Cooks, a lady I’ve been chatting it up with for years, brought sweet and savory treats, including a pretty orzo salad and some amazing spiced cookies.
Elle of Kitchen.Seven.Five brought a really yummy carrot salad (and I was so glad to finally meet her!) Shelby (a.k.a. Lady Gouda and regular contributor to Eat Boutique) had to leave a bit early, but brought a killer fig and prosciutto flat-bread. The lovely folks also known as the Two Palaverers (Rob and Laura) brought a great apple cake that arrived still warm from the oven.
Bite Me New England made a really delicious goat cheese torta and the pretty shrimp ceviche in the first photo above. Tania from The Musing Bouche showed up with a corn and okra pudding, which got me excited for the okra sprouting in my back yard. Amy from Just a Waitress got to join us, and with delicious goodies, as she teaches at Le Cordon Bleu here in Boston. My good girlfriend, Jeanine, a blogger for Apartment Therapy, brought still warm apple sauce (which she let me hide away in my freezer for when I get back from Paris next month) and her delicious husk crackers.
And lastly, but certainly not least by any means, we were all fortunate that Dale from Drinks Are On Me arrived with several bottles of champagne, and happily taught many of us the art of sabrage on the spot. His champagne put the “festive” into the entire potluck. Thanks, Dale!
I slow cooked a pork shoulder with a mango barbecue sauce, to pay a little nod to a lovely (now super famous) food blogger, and served the pork atop some Vermont bread potato buns. We were super lucky to have two pretty foodie treats at the party from local food producers. My girlfriend Hilary works at Taza and shared all the new flavors that Taza just launched (full disclosure: these treats were a gift from Hilary). I’m in love with the salt and pepper chocolate!
And I made a new friend named Julie, the founder of Chococoa Baking Company, who shared some delicious whoopie pies for the event (full disclosure: she contributed half and I bought half). We were totally grateful and adored every single flavor — the lemon flavor was indeed a hit!
Consider this a preview for the next blogger potluck event, which will definitely be happening again soon. I like this small world feeling I have when I finally meet so many wonderful people in person. Leave a comment below if you’d like to be invited! And yes, if I can find a large enough space, I’d love to invite all foodie enthusiasts (with or without a blog!)
(Thanks to Pam and Abigail for letting me re-post their photos!)
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.