Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Food Buzz 24-24-24

I was blessed with an invitation, on Saturday night, to join some local food bloggers for dinner at The Apple Dumplin, in Urbana.

FoodBuzz held a contest: 24 bloggers from 24 cities joined to cook or eat out, and then blog about their event, within the same 24 hours. Champaign's own Lisa Morgan of Champaign Taste, was one of the bloggers chosen to participate.

Lisa's theme was "Comfort Food on the Prairie," and she invited local food bloggers to join her in the eating of the Midwestern comfort food, and to discuss that entailed, to us.

I was thrilled to be invited to come along for the event, and to meet other local bloggers. I addition to great Midwestern fare at the Apple Dumplin, I left the meal smiling over how much we covered, conversationally, in 2.5 hours we were there.

We all seemed to grow up from different regions, so our "definition" of comfort food varied a great deal. We discussed Thanksgiving dinners: Homemade noodles on mashed potatoes in some households was unheard of, while it was as important as the pumpkin pie in others. Some of the guests there had never eaten a homemade noodle, and we laughed when one asked the waitress what the difference was between a biscuit and a roll.

We talked about cooking. About our Mother's cooking: "Doesn't everyone think their mother was a fantastic cook, though," Lisa asked. A few of us shook our heads NO, and I was "forced" to regale the table with tales of my mother's soup that my sister and I entitled "Garbage Soup."

We discussed baking, and desserts, and Kitchen-aid mixers. The layouts of our kitchen, and the layout of our dream kitchens. We talked about catering, and restaurants.

It was great fun, and very interesting. I left surprised at how much I learned in the course of the evening, and how we actually stuck to topic. You you go to a book club and no one ever really discusses the book? Perhaps I was expecting a bit more of that.

Oh, we also talked about food photography. For an example of everything done wrong there, here's a photo of the final course of the evening: An Apple Dumplin:

Tsk. White balance is off, who put that shrimp tail on that butter thing, and seriously, clean that spot of caramel off of the edge of the bowl. Presentation is everything.

Or not. I'm sure the lousy photography isn't deterring you from realizing how yummy that dessert is. Be ready to split one, I could only eat half, and packing up the melted ice cream to take the other half to Clint didn't sound appetizing.

This blog has lately been more of a holding place for my recipes for my own personal reference. Lisa has lately motivated me to post here, more often, and was kind enough to include me as a "food blogger" for this event.

I'm going to try to update it so it's a "proper" Food Blog, and make Lisa proud.