We’re back! Our vacation was fabulous, but it was also exhausting. In hindsight, I may have overscheduled the trip just a little bit. Sometimes I wish I could have a vacation from my vacation.
I’d been thinking about going to a blogger retreat for awhile, and when I read about Eat, Write, Retreat, it sounded perfect. I was nervous when I signed up for it, since I didn’t know anyone else who was going, which is always a tough situation for me. I almost wished I had a Confidence Wig to help me overcome my natural shyness and meet people. Fortunately, when I got there I realized I had nothing to worry about. The people were great, the sessions were small, interactive, and hands-on, and I learned so much about food writing, styling, and photography. I wanted more (sessions, time, everything!), but the days were so packed that I think my head might have exploded if they’d tried to cram anything else in. It would take me another week to recap the entire conference so I’m going to just share a few things I learned that I thought were particularly useful.
The appetizer from our lunch at McCormick and Schmick’s – roasted beet salad, anchovies and spring greens
1. Food Styling: Apparently, food dries out during the course of styling, so the pros use an eyedropper type thingie (I’m pretty sure that’s the technical term) to keep the dish moistened and fresh. I also learned that when you take food out of the oven, it’s like taking a new car off the lot. Things tend to depreciate rapidly, so food stylists usually set up their shots before the dish is completed and bring in the hero food at the last minute. (And apparently, that actually is the technical term! I haven’t been giving my Israeli couscous enough credit.)
Our plate for the food styling presentation-simple is good too!
2. Food writing: The food writing class was filled with lots of helpful tips. For instance, I’ve always tended to focus on taste when I’m writing about food, but the class reminded me to think about the other senses as well, like sight, smell, and sound.
Dessert from our lunch at McCormick and Schmick’s-strawberry rhubarb compote, shortcake and mascarpone cream sprinkled with mint.
3. Blogging: Shauna Ahern, the Gluten Free Girl asked us why we blog, which got me thinking. I realized that I got into this because I love the community that blogging provides, but recently I’ve become a bit of a lurker, reading many blogs but engaging in none. It’s amazing how easy it is to get stuck in a routine like that. That’s something I plan to change over the next few weeks.
Probably some of the best soul food I’ve had, Levi's Port Cafe on 8th St, SE
Next Up: The Red Hook Lobster Truck. Who knew that eating shellfish off the back of a truck would be such a great idea!