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BlogHer Food 12 – Day Two

Seattle, Washington: The organizers of BlogHer Food 12 were a little more considerate to this old lady and started the program this morning at a more reasonable 9 o'clock. Again, a breakfast buffet and a panel of speakers discussing "The Intersection of Brands, Bloggers, Ethics and Opportunity" with Alicia McGlamory of Masterbuilt and Cassidy Stockton from one of my favorite Oregon companies, Bob's Red Mill - plus Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes and Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen. Or, two companies looking for food bloggers to write about their products and two of the most financially successful food blogs ever. This discussion involved how mobile devices are changing blog use/design and whether to accept products or money from a company to write favorably about their product in order to influence your readers. Ms. Bauer relies entirely on advertisers and refuses product placement deals. Ms. Hair thrives and survives on product placement deals. The entire subject was a little over the realm of my humble little blog, especially when Jaden Hair mentioned something about a $200,000 deal... then shilled her new wok - right up there on stage. Obviously it is working for her.

If my RV Log Book thing doesn't work out, maybe I could endorse a line of designer holding tank chemicals?

Seriously bad photo of Tori Avey of Shiska in the Kitchen and Molly Wizenberg of Orangette

One of my all-time favorite writers (food or not) is the lovely Molly Wizenberg. You may recall my devotion to Wizenberg from such great recipes as her Tuna Corks or from our visit last summer to Delancey - the pizza restaurant she runs with her husband, Brandon Petit. Molly Wizenberg is super busy these days, with a new book coming out and she is about 5 months along with their first baby.

Today Molly Wizenberg was on a panel discussing Storytellers: Telling Your Own Stories and the Stories of Those at the Table. I found this chat somewhat interesting, as the four writers talked about the process they go through in putting a blog post together - how they tell their stories and present their recipes with photos. Wizenberg surprised me by saying how difficult it is for her to write and how much she struggles with the process.

Next on the agenda was a photographic field trip to Pike Place Market. I have been to Pike Place Market with my camera countless times. The market is crazy busy on a Saturday. The idea of adding 300 additional women/tourists/bloggers with cameras into the mix sounded like hell to me. I had a better idea.

Local Halibut Fish & Chips

Room Service! With all the fabulous restaurants in Seattle, why did I choose to be in my room from noon until 1:30? NBC was showing the Diamond League track meet live from New York City, of course.

And, honestly, after two days of energetic conferencing... this wasn't a bad place to chill-out for a bit. The Seattle Fairmont Olympic Hotel is simply lovely. Old and elegant - with super high-speed internet! Though completely filled to capacity with hundreds of food bloggers, the hotel is running smoothly. And, no, they did not pay me to post this photo, nor recommend the property.

Hotel Fairmont Olympic lobby

When the track meet was over, I did (finally) leave the hotel. I walked a mile down the hill (and a mile back uphill) to a running shop DT and I patronize to purchase running socks. Only a runner would walk two miles to purchase socks.

This was as close as I came to the ocean and the Seattle Tourist Mob Scene this weekend.

The final session at Blogher Food 12 was an interview with author Kim Sunee. I am (completely coincidentally) about 80% finished with her book, A Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home. Y'all know I read everything I can get my hands on about food, but this book reaches beyond food. The author was abandoned by her family (circa 1973) in a market in South Korea. After waiting for three days for her mother to return, authorities stepped-in and Kim Sunee was sent to an orphanage and subsequently adopted by a couple from New Orleans. Flash-forward to a college term abroad that turned-into years abroad with a fantastically wealthy lover and a rich life interspersed with recipes developed at their villa in the French countryside. Yet, all is not perfect with Kim Sunee, as she longs for "home". Sometimes I want to Mother her. Sometimes I want to slap her. Her memoir is brutally honest, often painful to read, but I urge you all to follow her trail.

Kim Sunee - sipping champagne - under fire at Blogher Food 12

After all the conference sessions had finished, we were all invited to party like a rock star at a party hosted by Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman, Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen and Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes. Conventioneers were bussed to a party facility south of downtown (SODO), given a coupon for one drink (seriously? one? drink?) and let loose to socialize and nibble fun appetizers. The party space was fun, I met interesting bloggers that had somehow escaped me during the conference, but sadly, I did not win any of the 3,857 door prizes awarded tonight.

My first-ever food blogging conference is over.

On a sad note, I must report My Beloved Duck women did not finished as hoped in the NCAA Track & Field Championships held over the past four days in Des Moines. The Lady Ducks finished second to the LSU Tigers. (What is it with Oregon v LSU?) The men of Oregon finished 9th in the country, with the fabulous team from Florida capturing the 2012 crown. LSU men were second. DT and I have been texting race results back and forth to each other for the past few days. It seems when one of us was in a meeting this week, the other was free to relay results.

Our marriage works.

Until my next update, I remain, your Seattle correspondent.

The road dead-ends at the Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley. I'm not a skier, but I would say there was not enough white-stuff to ski... but if you have breakfast at the lodge, you get a free scenic ride on the chairlift. There is also a very small little town,Summerhaven, at the top of the mountain. I would say about thirty snow-lodge-type vacation homes and a few shops and restaurants. Year-round population: 40.

We left Tucson in 68° and found 39° temperatures at the ski resort.

It was five o'clock as we returned to Tucson, so had a few pretty sunset views on the return trip: