I just returned from the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in Seattle Washington. It was more much then expected. The event was run by friendly and accessible people, all ready to answer a question or solve a problem. They made the whole event look seamless. The vendors and sponsors were so generous (please check out the IFBC sponsors.). In addition to the gifts they gave us we had breakfast, snacks, and two nights of food and wine tasting that turned into full meals. The venue, the Sheraton Hotel, was a great choice. The staff, from housekeeping to the front desk, were also friendly and helpful. The conference cost and the hotel rates IFBC negotiated were so reasonable. IFBC is doing a good job at making this conference accessible for even beginning and hopeful food bloggers and/or photographers. It was just so much fun! The attendees were open and supportive, we all exchanged cards and were excited for each others work and success. What field do you see that? And friendships were forged. I’ve attended many professional conferences from my first career on child abuse, trauma, mental illness, and none were near this much fun. Yes, I do see the nature of those trainings – all the more important to add fun and laughter! I finally realized what they were missing – wine! ;) Another thing I noticed is that after decades in my old field I wasn’t learning much at conferences anymore, but the IFBC was all new information and a good challenge for me. From the presentations to all the bloggers I am inspired to combine and pursue three of my passions, food, writing and photography.
Even though I’ve posted a few recipes on this blog, it’s only been about once a year. A slow start. The IFBC was the jump start I needed to get things rolling. The conference provided me the vision needed to organize my passions into stories, recipes, and photographs people would enjoy. That, and retiring soon has me so excited for my new career (‘career’ – that thing that occupies most of your time, and provides satisfaction and compensation). I’m not retired yet, however, so for a few months I’ll be writing about other people, places, and events vs my own recipes. Now that I have time I want to travel more, mostly around food, of course. That will fit the theme so you can expect some musings and pictures from my Italy trip in October. This will be a wonderful exercise for me to just start writing, and it will keep the momentum going. This blog has yet to take shape. There will be glitches, the majority will probably be a misplaced comma until I get an editor on board. Someone might advise, “Don’t risk posting mistakes, wait until you find that editor.”. That makes sense. But the thing is much of my life I’ve been waiting until the “right moment”, the “right people”, the “right tools”, and never took a step forward. I’ve spent so much of my life waiting. This is all new to me, and I’ll make mistakes with writing (being a little dyslexic can add humor to it), and post some less then great photos, but I’m pushing 60, and do not have time to wait around for anything anymore. What I can promise is that I will improve, and if you stick with me you’ll be part of this new adventure. My goals are lofty, typical of me. Others in the food blogging world started not that long ago and are well received and making an honest, albeit humble living. One of the other great benefits from attending the IFBC event is now I have some knowledgeable and supportive mentors. Let’s face it, this was one big love fest for me. :)
The first presentation at the IFBC, Introduction to Blogging, was presented by Dr. Jean Layton. Jean covered a lot of material and made it easy to understand. She painted a clear picture of the essence of blogging and the practical application. While we’re all sharing recipes and beautiful pictures, reviews and travel logs, more then that we’re sharing our story. No one has asked me to share ‘my’ story before. My blog was going to be recipes and pictures. I might have said a thing or two to introduce the recipe but that would be all. Over 30 years as a therapist I have been listening to other people’s stories, and now I get to share mine?
OK, not counseling type stories, of course – everyone has their own! A great quote form the movie Hope Floats is this: A grandchild asks, “Gandma, mom says childhood is the best time of your life”. Grandmother responds, “Oh bull shit, childhood is something that happens to you, you spend the rest of your life trying to get over.”
And one way to help heal our hearts and souls is to find the joy in the foods we grow, prepare, and eat, and joy in the people we meet and break bread. Since the dawn of time people share food. It is a universal symbol of accepting and nurturing.
As I said, the next many posts will be about the conference, Seattle, and Italy as I get organized on line, and my day job hours decrease. So, please be patient as I practice a little here, and get my proverbial feet wet. Let us see how much improvement there will be and how far I can take this new adventure. ….. and thanks for your support. <3
Here we go ….
The Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant in Seattle was one of the generous vendors at this year’s IFBC. The “Wild Ginger Asian Restaurant, features freshly prepared, authentic cuisine that spans the Pacific Rim from China to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.” (taken from their FB page)
When I think of ginger I think of a sharp flavor drowning out the ingredients, it’s suppose to enhance. In truth I don’t think everyone knows how to use ginger well, and since I don’t care for it all that much, I also don’t care to learn … but wait, this soup has changed my mind.
It is a balanced blend of flavors, all floating together in this perfect broth of coconut milk, waiting for you.