NYC Food Blogger Potluck (Post-Potluck Report)
Last Saturday night, I hosted
the first-ever (to my knowledge) an entirely fabulous NYC Food Blogger Potluck. It was a smashing success, and I think we are all looking forward to making this a recurring event.
I made my french onion soup dumplings, though I should go back and edit that post now that I have developed a new technique. I took Rose’s mother’s advice on freezing the soup into a slush to make it easier to fill the dumplings, and it worked beautifully. I intend to do it that way from now on. Alternatively, you can make an extremely gelatin-laden soup, and just fill the dumplings with gelled cubes of it. The soup will liquify when the dumplings are steamed. That’s a somewhat longer process involving many chicken feet, though.
The photo of my soup dumplings above was actually taken by Vanessa, who kindly gave me permission to use it in this post.
I only mention my contribution first because it set the scene for the party. I was still wrapping dumplings when the first guests began to arrive, and as people walked in they washed their hands, sat down at our kitchen table, and began to help me put together the soup dumplings. It became an enjoyable, hands-on group project, and the perfect ice-breaker to get the evening going. I was apologetic for my disorganization at the time, but in retrospect I think the timing was absolutely right.
After all, once we’ve made dumplings together, we’re already automatically old friends. Isn’t it nice how things can work out that way?
Nicole, who blogs on Livejournal as nex0s, made the pumpkin-filled leeks shown in the photo above. She pureed the pumpkin with a spicy honey, steamed the leeks, and served the leek-wrapped pumpkin with a pomegranate sauce. It was complicated to eat, but very delicious.
Nicole has offered to host the next NYC Food Blogger Potluck, as soon as we come up with a date that most people can agree on. Rotating hosting is probably for the best. My father always said (and he got this from his father, who was in the Navy), “RHIP RHIR: Rank Hath Its Privileges; Rank Hath Its Responsibilities.” Well, hosting a potluck has both its privileges (delicious, bountiful leftovers) and its responsibilities (clean-up duty) as well, and I would feel guilty about hogging them entirely for myself.
Vanessa (from Vanesscipes) brought a vegetarian casserole made with black beans, chipotle, sweet potatoes, and spinach, with a masa harina crust. I’m not usually one to fill up on vegetarian fare, but this casserole was tasty and satisfying in every way. Vanessa was wonderful at getting us to actually discuss our blogging, with her great energy and enthusiasm and interesting questions for everyone. You can read her thoughts on how the potluck went here.
Julie (from A Finger in Every Pie) brought a huge variety of treats for us. She brought parma ham bundles, green fattoush salad, pumpkin apple bread, and Korova Cookies (a/k/a World Peace Cookies). She hasn’t posted the recipe for the bread (yet?), but she did post several delicious-looking squash recipes for us to play with instead.
Lisa (from Homesick Texan) brought us a pot of Texas Red. This was chili like I have never encountered it before, dry and stringy and tender all at once, with a texture like Indonesian beef rendang or Cuban ropa vieja. She posted a two part explanation of how to make it (Part 1; Part 2), which would be a shame to pass up. After all, I’ve been eating leftovers of this for lunch all week and I’m not sick of it yet, which is really saying something for me.
Stephanie (from Scrumptious Street) brought her charming husband, and one of everyone’s favorite dishes of the evening (and my breakfast for the next week), a delicious butternut squash and roasted banana soup. We want that recipe, Stephanie, so please post it!
Stephanie (from The Adventures of Pie Queen) brought her mother’s carrot cake. She also brought the sad tale of her girlfriend who is stationed in Afghanistan but cannot actually get any Afghani food. She is stuck eating U.S. Army food instead. I really want to help out and make some Afghani cookies or something to mail to Stephanie’s girlfriend so she can eat Afghani food in Afghanistan, even if it was made in New York. Stephanie says that it usually takes 7-10 days for packages to get there, so any treats that last that long would be fine. Anyone have a good recipe we could use for this?
Tse Wei (from Off the Bone) brought a few loaves of homemade bread that everyone assumed were artisanal loaves he had purchased at some gourmet bakery. They looked magnificent. I utterly failed to try any, but they were a hit with everyone who did. There was this one moment in the evening where everyone in the living room suddenly realized that Tse Wei had actually made the bread himself, and fell to like starving cartoon wolverines.
My partner, Dave, made his fabulous garlic focaccia. He also made an absolutely perfect Queen of Sheba cake, which we served with cocoa nib whipped cream. I will post both recipes soon – I just have to get him to make that cake again so I can take photos first! He does at least half the cooking around here; I’m just lucky he lets me monopolize the food photography.
That is my youngest brother, Jordan, licking his fingers after eating one of Nicole’s pumpkin leek packets. He is in 7th grade and already a gourmand. He is the only 12 year old I can imagine who would taste our homemade sour cherry almond jam and sour cherry sage flower jam, and decide that he liked the sage flower version better because the flavor was “deeper.”
He declared all the food to be delicious, and enjoyed hanging out and getting to meet everyone. Despite being the youngest foodie there, he wasn’t at all out of place. But if he wants to come to the next one, I think he will have to cook something, too!
Thank you to everyone who came and made this such a success. There was not a single bad apple among our guests, and all the food was amazing. I look forward to more tasty potlucks, and to building more of a community among us NYC food bloggers. If any other food bloggers in the area want to join in next time, just let me know; you are more than welcome to be a part of this community.