Blogging is a lonely business, anyone would agree. Sure, you have the social aspect from eating out with friends, the complaints as you insist on choosing a variety of things from the menu, the groans when you shriek at everyone to ‘don’t eat yet!!’ so you can temporarily blind them all with multiple epileptic-fit-inducing flashes from your camera. By the time everyone gets to eat, the food has become lukewarm. Or there’s the embarrassment of eating out alone when either timetables don’t align or friends lack the interest or finances and suffering the glare of the waiters when taking out your camera.
I haven’t even started on the taking of photos when you’re testing a recipe. Holding a camera with floury hands, taking a photo with one hand so as to get an ‘action shot’, having to take a photo as quickly as you can while meringue deflates before your eyes, trying to get a decent photo of food frying/boiling/steaming without getting your lens oily or fogged up.
But then there’s also the hours spent going through the photos, deleting the ones where you were so excited your hands were shaking, cropping, editing, uploading. Writing, thinking, researching, referring back to menus, tagging, before finally clicking ‘Publish’.
When starting the blog earlier this year, I didn’t really have much of a clue of what I was doing. Looking back at my first couple of entries, I’m astonished at how far I’ve come. I have been delighted over the progressing months as ‘likes’ land in my inbox daily and comments from followers and readers have popped up, saying how they’ve tried a recipe from the blog to great success, or asking me for advice on ingredient sourcing or replacements.
The occasional odd emails that pop up – invites to Rekorderlig’s beer garden at the 2012 Crave Sydney Food Festival Night Noodle Markets, as well as their launch party to celebrate their collaboration with Sparkle Cupcakery for their limited edition Mango & Raspberry Cupcake. Then came the ad agencies wanting to paste ads on the blog.
I’ve also been thrilled to have been noticed by other food bloggers, with delightful food blogging ladies such as Suze from chocolatesuze, Helen from grabyourfork, and Lorraine from notquitenigella commenting on my entries. Therefore you can probably understand how excited I was to receive an invite last month from Suze & Helen to the 2012 Sydney Food Bloggers’ Picnic. I would finally be amongst people who share a similar fetish for food…!!
On the long-awaited day, the sun was shining, the sky was blue. I had made a huge beautiful batch of my Peanut Butter & Choc-Chip Cookies for the occasion. Little did I know that this probably wasn’t the right choice, as food bloggers are predominantly sweet-toothed and so more than three-quarters of the food was sweet.
I arrived at Centennial Park at 2.00 pm on the dot, and turned to the girl carrying the large white cake box I had been eyeing up the whole bus ride there. Upon asking her if she was there for the Food Bloggers’ Picnic, she agreed and I made my first acquaintance – Irene from irenesgettingfat.
We traipsed into the park, but when reaching the designated ‘turn off’, we had no idea where to go or what we were looking for. We eyed the picnicking groups under the trees, but they all had hordes of children. We spun around on the spot, only to find that we had four stalkers carrying eskies and cake boxes.
‘Hi, are you food bloggers?’ they asked. ‘We were following you!’ Looked like we weren’t the only ones who were lost. The two organisers were stuck in traffic at this point. Eventually we picked up stragglers one-by-one, and a few who had been in previous years guessed where exactly under the trees they had been, and so we set up camp. And then everyone emerged out of seemingly nowhere. Were they all waiting in their cars??
We set our things on a concrete slab and it soon filled up very quickly, with the food bloggers whipping out their trusty cameras immediately.
Things got crowded VERY quickly. She almost got stuck in the middle and was terrified at the prospect of jumping out!
Jen from jenishungry had bought a cake, a Strawberries & Cream Pig, which was admired by all of us. Oink!
After about half an hour, eventually everyone (and all the food) seemed to have arrived. Over 60 food bloggers, which was apparently the biggest turn out since the picnic’s inception four years ago.
But who starts eating first?? What to start eating first?? Everyone waited for the call from Suze before we dug in eagerly.
Brownies, sandwiches, macarons, cookies, cakes, quiches, brulee tarts, croquettes, home-made brie & cheddar, salad, oh my! Way too much to choose from. I was overwhelmed! I was also surprised at how many people had bought food instead of making it themselves, before I remembered that many food blogs are purely restaurant-review-based. When chatting to the other bloggers, many admitted that they couldn’t cook at all. It was also interesting to chat to the other bloggers as to what cameras they used, formatting for their blogs and HTML coding, their lives outside of blogging, and where they hoped to go with their blogs. What cuisines and restaurants were their favourites, what foods they refused to touch.
Simon from simonfoodfavourite‘s ‘pop-up’ bar was an instant favourite, with everyone clamouring for a bit of social lubrication amongst so many strangers in the stark bright light of day. The Hazelnut Fresco (Frangelico with Skyy Vodka, with ginger ale and lime juice) was particularly delish and I went back for seconds.
After about two hours of eating and chatting, we had our ‘evil’ Kris Kringle session. Everyone had had to bring a present of $10, and when your number was called, you could either choose a present in the middle or steal someone else’s. Much stealing was involved to people’s mirth and frustration (most stole it back eventually). I was very happy with my tub of Maltesers until Helen stole it and so I chose a new present to find a set of six large, clear glass shot glasses – absolutely perfect as I had been wanting to buy some earlier this year to make some petite desserts 🙂
It was probably a better present as it was one I could use as opposed to just eating then having to slog it out at the gym later this week haha!
Eventually, by 5pm I had to call it a day and bid farewell to the two lovely ladies who had organised the shindig. What a picnic! One of the best days of my 2012 for sure. I certainly can’t wait for next year’s picnic 😀
Photo by Simon from theheartoffood.
Until next time, lovelies. Over and out x