13
Aug

The Big Summer Potluck

Post image for The Big Summer Potluck

by Amber on August 13, 2010

When I sat down to write about last weekend’s Big Summer Potluck, at first I planned to do a recap like my fellow attendees, because I want you all to know just how awesomely jam-packed with content this event was. Then I started really looking at the photo above. So many great smiles, such an overwhelmingly lovely group of people.

So I’d rather link you over to all of them, to show them a little blog love, and instead talk to you about what last Saturday meant on an emotional level.

Did you ever have a friend that got you, in like, every way possible? She understood your moods, your idiosyncrasies, and put up with all of it anyway, because of she loved you of course – but also because you knew all the same things about her, and you just clicked?

Now imagine walking into a living room full of 40 other people that clicked with you, just like that. That’s what it was like, walking into Pam’s house in Bucks County, PA.

I was on the go from 5:30 that morning, driving to Jersey City and back to pick up Kristin from The Dinky Kitchen before swinging back by my house to pick up Jeanne from Four Chickens and heading further out of New Jersey into Pennsylvania.

Walking into the house, I was in a flurry of organizing the food I’d prepared and brought, tons of cookies and a crock pot recipe for the gluten free peeps (Those recipes will come next week). But I stopped for a moment to take in the scene – something someone told me to do on my wedding day, and I’ve made a point to remember that advice on important days since then.

Women were crowded around the table laden with food and coffee (oh coffee! do remember that 5 a.m. start) but they weren’t all digging in. Every single one of them was waiting, first making sure that everyone who wanted a photo of all that glorious food got one before it had been picked apart. These.. these are my people(!), I thought.

Only a food blogger thinks about the photo first and the donut muffins dipped in butter second.

Throughout the day, through Pam’s discussions on recipe development and giving credit where credit is due, through Erika’s photography and camera talk, through the food stylist session given by a touchingly nervous Melissa, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the kindness around me.

Maybe it comes from having such a small group together, but everywhere I looked, people were hugging and sharing and laughing and enjoying each other. From offering a spare pen to making sure everyone got something to eat, these women showed their true hearts in the little actions they did for one another – most of us strangers until that morning.

And then there was Alice’s talk. Alice from Savory Sweet Life and Everyday Alice. Alice spoke to us about being true to ourselves, about being authentic – that you’ll never get the success you want trying your best to be the best ‘someone else’. About finding your gifts and using them to bring your blog to its best. And about paying it forward to other bloggers. Throughout Alice’s talk I kept thinking, “Amen!” and “Hallelujah!” – honestly, the closest to a church service I’ve been in years.

Not because she was preaching, but because she was telling us things from her heart to ours that rang so deeply true, those were the best words I could find to express how I felt about what she was saying.

I left Pennsylvania that day with four things: 40 new friends, a refreshed drive to create the best blog for ME, a fantastic new KitchenAid hand mixer (Hooray for give aways!) and a ridiculous amount of food. Because let’s be honest – when 40 foodies get together, we’re going to make an overabundance of food.

I’m just grateful there was an overabundance of friendship as well. It’s going to make going to the big corporate blogging events so much nicer.

Click here for a list of the attendees. Show a little blog love, and read other attendee’s takes on the Big Summer Potluck while you’re at it.

Image courtesy of Erika from Ivory Hut

 

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{ 12 comments }

JenniferA August 13, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Wonderful – you really captured the spirit of the day and good for you for remembering to just stop and take a moment and take it all in. Nice to meet you!

SouffleBombay August 13, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Great Recap Amber!
I couldn’t agree more!
Hope to see you again soon!!

Annie August 13, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Oh how fun! I wish I could have joined you!

Maggy@ThreeManyCooks August 13, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Great post! So true. Love you version of the event. The spirit was good in that room. Can’t wait to do it again. THANK YOU for all your help that day and before. You are an angel :) P.S. Post the recipe for the Earl Grey Cookies. My husband wants!

Tracy August 13, 2010 at 11:33 AM

I totally agree that as soon as I walked in the door, I felt right at home…it was like getting together with 40 old friends! I am so glad to have met you and look forward to keeping in touch…and of course bonding over our addiction to the Keurig and all things coffee! ;-)

Wendi@BonAppetitHon August 13, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Amber, you beautifully captured the spirit of the day.

Hope you are enjoying that happy new mixer.

Amber August 13, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Annie – we will have to make it a priority to get you out to the next one. In fact, you could be a photography expert to help with the Photography workshop Maggy and Erika want to do next. ‘Cus you’s a smartypants.

Thanks everyone, for your lovely words.

Wenderly August 13, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Beautiful. And “ditto”…it was like therapy being there! Loved meeting you! And just like Maggy, My Yanni and I are in love with the Earl Grey Cookies.

Nancy August 13, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Amber – Just beautiful. Really. Nuff said.

Alice August 13, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Amber,
I’m so glad we met. You are so sweet with such a good heart for helping others, especially moms. I appreciate you more than you will ever realize.

I hate to say this, but I hardly ate very much during the day because I was so nervous to speak. Everyone is talking about all the great food but I can’t relate because I only ate a few things including your crockpot dish. I had 2 or 3 servings of your gluten-free chicken dish because it was sooooo good. I’m looking forward to the recipe!

That day will go down as one of the best weekends ever. So happy we met. You’re just too sweet for words!

Alice

Amber August 15, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Alice – I barely ate too! Everyone’s gone on and on about the donut muffins, but I ate about a quarter of a scone and a yogurt.. then 1/2 a muffaletta, and 2 chips with salsa. By the time I got home to my husband sometime after 10:30, I looked at him and said “FEED ME!” – and he looked back and said, “Weren’t you at a foodie event all day? Didn’t you eat?”. Yeah yeah.. too busy to eat!

So glad that we met. I’m still writing up the article for TruuMoms. I may not be a mom yet, but I get it. I really do. So glad you’re willing to share with them!

Eliana August 17, 2010 at 2:42 PM

If this happens again next week I am so going to make it. Sounds like such a fun event.

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