I love Vermont! And Connecticut. And New York. I've been in all three states in the last 48 hours and I have loved every second of it.
I am here in Norwich Vermont visiting the headquarters of King Arthur Flour for their second annual Blog and Bake conference with 12 other bloggers from around the country. What a group. I won't name names but such a great range of quiet, talkative, funny and everyone has such a great and different perspective on life and blogging. Like usual I feel like the little fish in the big and crazy world of food blogging but I love hearing about their experiences and some pretty hilarious stories of life.
And we're all here to bake like crazy for three days and then head back home with our bags full of all this awesome stuff from the store that they have here. Please don't tell my wife.
King Arthur Flour just opened up a whole new building here that houses that awesome/wallet draining store as well as a cafe and baking center. Best of all though is the classroom spaces with all the modern technology to host some pretty cool baking sessions.
Our first class was with author Susan Purdy who walked us through writing and developing a recipe. We were divided up into teams where we had to create a recipe from a group of ingredients. We made and tested it and then switched with the other team to try following the recipe that we made. We then critiqued each others recipes which included Susan covering the page ( I was the one that had written the directions from our team) with red marks and notes. Great experience and I think it will definitely help me think more critically about the things that I write. I've always hated red pen.
Monday started out bright and early with fresh pastries from the bakery. I won't even tell you how many I ate. Classes included a bread basics and then a whole session on flours. All about their uses, what they're made of and how they compare to the competition. I've got some great tips and information that I'm saving for some upcoming posts! It was so cool to hear all the questions about baking and there was a pretty big range of experience so everyone got to learn something and also share some tips from our own kitchens.
This was definitely the best looking braid. Don't tell the other bloggers though. They're kind of sensitive about things like that. :)
We then had the honor of filming a segment of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito. I even got to stand in with her and cook one of the recipes. She is such a great lady and it was so much fun cooking with her. She even gave us a signed copy of her book. My television debut will be in about 10 months and you better believe you're going to be reminded before it airs.
We then went back over to the Norwich Inn where we've been staying and the chefs there created the same meal that she had just filmed for us as well as some other guests. It was a great dinner and it has been so much fun just being able to talk with the other bloggers. I have learned so much about blogging, photography and a few other things I probably won't ever share here.
I'll have some more coming later as we've got a whole day more to experience, so stay tuned!