A Life of Spice Visit and Vegetable Thins

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Photo by Rebecca Gagnon, 2012, all rights reserved

Community. The word brings up images of hippy coop grocery stores and swimming pools. It is a good thing, I gleaned that somewhere along the way, but I don’t really think I got what it meant until later in life. It wasn’t until I was a full time freelance writer and I got involved with the International Association of Culinary Professionals, attended Greenbriar Food Writer’s Conference, and was invited to become part of an online food writers group that I truly appreciated what it means to be part of something that you could call a “community.”

Through the above named organizations, I met other people just like me that loved to eat, loved to cook, and above all, loved to write. Over networking events, conversations in elevators, very long lunches, late night bowling escapades, and even later-night rants on a discussion board, I have been lucky enough to get to know some really, really amazing food writers. Though we’re spread out across this nation (and Canada) and we only see each other about once a year, they are tirelessly supportive, wise, smart, and really really funny. (You’ve never heard “funny” until you get a handful of food writers together to discuss kitchen #fails!)


Photo by Rebecca Gagnon, 2012, all rights reserved

Though they didn’t have to, many of those in my community have taken time to read Crackers and Dips and write up reviews on their award-winning blogs . Am I thrilled? Yes. Just so, I want to pay it back a little. Or forward. Or however that goes. These ladies write their hearts out, they give, they mother, they bake, they cook, they community. If that’s a word. They don’t have Food Network shows, but they should, at least they deserve to be household names and very, very rich. Visit them, you will be so glad you did.

Monica Bhide deserves many thanks for asking me to write a post on her beautiful website, A Life of Spice, and then nudged me when I dragged my feet. I’m still choked up about the heartfelt essay Tara Austen Weaver wrote about friendship and crackers on Tea and Cookies. Blushing kudos to the lovely Charmian Christie for calling me a genius for my Baklava Crisps recipe on The Messy Baker. A solemn bow to friend,gluten-free advisor, and fellow Portlander Laura Byrne Russell for giving the gf section of my book the thumbs up on Notes From A Gluten Free Kitchen. Thanks to vegan pal and prolific author Robin Asbell (who is the funniest woman alive) for posting about my Vegetable Thins with Edamame Spread recipes on her blog, Robin Asbell’s Real Food Digest. I’m beaming much gratitude to the very talented Cheryl Sternman Rule, who named Crackers and Dips one her top picks for spring on 5 Second Rule. Fellow DIY maven Emma Christensen not only wrote the much lauded True Brews, she also gave me a thumbs up for my crackering on the brilliant site, The Kitchn.com. And thanks and thanks again to Rebecca Gagnon, who not only tested recipes for Cracker and Dips AND took the photos you see here, she also posts about her cracker and other baking  forays on her thought-provoking CakeWalk blog.

If it weren’t for community, I would be entirely isolated in my work. With community, I’ve got a tribe.  Thank you, ladies.



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