Thursday, May 27, 2010

Adventures in Baby Blue Buttercream

When I was a little girl, someone told me something that changed my life. I wish I had a story for you about who said it, when, and where, but the truth is, I don’t remember. The important thing to know is that I never forgot the message and this is what it is:

 Life is about the experiences.

This has become one of my guiding principles, and is deeply embedded in my decision making process. So when the opportunity comes along to, say, go camping with 60 other food bloggers, ride in a Porsche 911 with the top down through the San Bernardino mountains, or go to an Aerial Tissu class with an old (young) friend, I say YES.

I did all 3 of those things, in one fabulous LAX weekend. And it. Was. AWESOME! I got picked up at the airport by Pamela from My Man’s Belly—a delicious, smart, funny, and sassy blog that chronicles her kitchen adventures and relationship advice. Pamela knows what's up when it comes to the web, and she's just as funny in person as she is on her blog. Together we zipped through the mountains to Camp Blogaway--a food bloggers bootcamp. We were greeted by our hostess and fearless leader, Patti Londre, of Worth the Whisk.

Patti is one of those amazing multi-talented people-- you know, the  super capable, accomplished, organized, interesting, AND hilarious type. Wow. With all her connections and know-how she brought together a great group of food bloggers, teachers, and sponsors, the latter of which kept our bellies full with their generous donations of food (thank you Lindsey Olives, National Onion Association, Zespri Kiwifruit, and Mad Housewife Wines, among others). One of the most valuable parts of camp was the sponsors' generous insight into how bloggers and advertisers can navigate this brave new world, ethically and harmoniously. If that's not a can of worms, I don't know what is.

Wilton--the mecca of cake decorating supplies--brought their queen bee, Nancy Siler, to lead us in a cake decorating workshop. It was arts n' crafts Camp Blogaway-style. Oh what fun! There were frosting and pastry bags galore, complete with brownies, cupcakes, and cookies on which to practice our new tricks. I dove straight for the baby blue buttercream and stuck with it. My theme: Senior Prom circa 1978.

I was inspired by memories of my older brother in a powder blue tuxedo and ruffled shirt (sorry Mike). The creations were pure eye candy, like this cupcake by Greg of Sippity Sup:

We spent the whole, glorious weekend up there in Big Bear, with dazzling sunshine dappling the forested hiking trails. In addition to all the fun activities, great food, and laughter, we spent a lot of serious time with our thinking caps on. Art Ramirez spent the whole of Saturday helping to make us better photographers. The first thing he told us was to take our cameras off "Auto" mode--eeeek!

"Auto mode," he explained, "Is for babies, birthdays, and Bigfoot."

It was a fantastic workshop. The best I've ever taken. Thanks to Art's generous, humor-spiked guidance a room full of mostly non-pro photographers learned how to better use our cameras. You can learn some of Art's digi-cam rules of thumb here. Hopefully you'll get to enjoy the fruits of his labor through my photos-- if I can ever figure out this new lens, light box, and the odd lighting issue in my new blue kitchen.

It was a huge treat for me just to be there, thanks to Patti's generous donation to the IACP silent auction, where I bid on, and won passage to Camp Blogaway. I met some brilliant food bloggers, and made some wonderful new friends. I can't wait to go back next year.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you. As My Man's Belly and I "Porsched" our way back down to LA, making the requisite In-n-Out Burger pit stop (animal-style, of course), I met up with a dear old friend, who brought me along to her Aerial Tissu class. Kim has been practicing for close to a year now, and can do amazing things.

I learned quickly that it's much harder than it looks, but still was able to climb the silk and learn some fun tricks. After that, and some Chicken n' Waffles at Roscoe's, my trip to LA was complete. I'll miss the smell of those California Pines, the wind through my hair in Pammy B's rag top, and the view of the neighbor's yards from 12 feet up the aerial silk. But there are always more adventures to be had. All have to do, is say YES.


Joy Mills said...

Wow! Sounds like a very special weekend. Love the baby blue tuxedo theme.

carola said...

OMG, Ginny. That sounds like a dream getaway. Baby blue buttercream speaks to me. Absolutely delightful story.

Pat in Belgium said...

OK, Ginny. I just gained five pounds LOOKING at your "prom" cake! No problemo. I have adopted the "f*ck it diet": if I want it, I'm gonna have it and f*ck it if I gain weight, bump up my cholesterol a few notches, whatever...
But seriously, I LOVE your blog. It's one way of being connected (at such great distance) & kinda -- kinda -- keeping up with things.
(Aunt) Pat (in Belgium)

My Man's Belly said...

I had so much fun hanging out with you through our road travels and camp. Please come back soon!

matthew said...

So great Gin, keep that adventurous spirit primed!

Dorothy said...

Was great to room with you! Come back to So Cal and look me up!

Sippity Sup said...

Roscoe's Chicken and waffles is very close to my house. GREG

Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro said...

Hey roomie! It was great to meet you at camp. Wish there was more time - see you next year?! [K]

Food-G said...

Thanks for the comments all!

Aunt Pat, I love it that we can connect on here. One of the greatest things about the internet is being able to keep in touch with family, even from 10,000 miles away : )

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