Food blogging conferences are all kinds of crazy.
I just got back from BlogHer Food and I’m still recovering from the trip to Seattle. We saw rain, sun, crazy clouds, and hundreds of foodies taking over the city for the weekend.
If you’ve never been to a food blogger conference, just imagine the wackiest and busiest weekend – ever.
After going to a few in the last 3 years, I’ve figured out some things to do and not to do.
- Wear comfortable shoes – you’ll be walking, a lot.
- Be gutsy and talk to people. Even if you’re shy, like I am with new people. Just say hi. If the other person is shy too, this breaks the ice. If they’re not, it still gets you talking.
- Bring a jacket. I’m always freezing in the hotel or conference center.
- See someone you recognize and you love their blog? Go tell them. It’s nice to let people know and such a fun thing to hear.
- Expect that you’ll call people by their blog names on accident. It happens.
- Check out as much as the host city as you can – it’s always worth it.
- Under-pack. I can never actually do this, but seriously – pack as little as you can to save room for swag, prizes, and souvenirs.
- Expect to sleep much. I averaged 4 hours and am feeeeeeling it today.
- Forget to have full meals. I know – this sounds totally stupid when you’re at a food blogging conference but a lot of the breaks and parties are mostly snacks and appetizers. Head into town, grab some food, enjoy it all.
- Be surprised with the drama. Anytime you get 500+ bloggers, mostly ladies, together, it’s going to happen. Remember that you’re not in high school anymore and just be nice to everyone.
The most important things: Have fun. Make friends and keep up with ’em. Get actual phone numbers or addresses. Share a beer or a glass of wine or soda and get to know them, if you have the chance. It’s hard to find quality time during the weekend, but it’s totally worth it if you can.
One of the best things about this last conference was that I found some bloggers who love to can just as much as I do. Talking jam and tomatoes and green beans makes me feel like such an old lady, but I love it.
Nick and I finally had enough of our own strawberries this year for me to make a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam and I am completely obsessed with it. I only got 4 and 1/2 jars out of this batch, so you can bet I’ll be hoarding these until next Spring when I can make more.
Best breakfast this spring: homemade waffles topped with Kerrygold Butter and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Coffee on the side.
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Makes: 4-5 half pints
- 2 and 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 and 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced
- 1.5 cups agave syrup
- 3 Tbsp low sugar pectin
- Place the strawberries, rhubarb, agave, and pectin in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Cook on medium, stirring, keeping the heat up enough so the fruit mixture stays at a low, rolling boil.
- While the fruit mixture is heating, place jar lids in a small pan of water and simmer. Get your jars and lids ready for canning and have a large pot of water heating on the stove top.
- Once the berries have mostly broken down and the mixture is thickened slightly, remove from the heat.
- Fill each jar and leave 1/2 inch headspace, place a lid on the jar and secure the ring.
- Process in a water-bath canner for 12 minutes.
- Remove from canner and let the jars sit, unmoved, for a few hours until they have cooled and the lids have popped.