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16 May


The Big Traveling Potluck  Print

Big Traveling Potluck 2013 LogoWe may not have been posting the last few months, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been actively furthering our imbibing cause. Hell no! The Wine Imbiber and I have been attending a plethora of events (Rich is just busy just tending to his day job right now—write ups will follow eventually). In the meantime, I recently went to a food blogger event with my daughter, Brynn (formerly known as the college spawn, but now that she’s graduated, working and running her own website, I’ve dropped her much–loved moniker). It was quite the experience for both of us, and much different from all the food & wine events I usually go to with Rich. Don’t get me wrong, food & drink aficionados run rampant at both types of events. And there’s always something to be learned at each as well. This event just had a completely different vibe to it that was very endearing. Not that winos aren’t a lovable lot…this group just has a different agenda. To give you an idea of what I mean, “Food, Inspiration, and Above All, Community” was proudly emblazoned inside the front cover of the event’s brochure.

Swag; Pam, Maggy & Erika (event hosts)

This was the fourth year of the potluck (but, the first time it was ever hosted out west—normally it is based on the East coast where founders Maggy & her mom, Pam, and Erika live). What an undertaking to successfully pull off an event of this enormity (think: marathon wedding weekend) all the way over here in California! But, succeed they did, as they hosted a sell–out crowd of about 100 people from all around the states.

Scenes of Opening Night at Silverado Ranch

Temecula Valley never looked (and tasted) so good! Note: Rich and I aren’t the biggest fans of this wine region in comparison to some others—it is a desert, after all (not the best for growing grapes, but perfect for growing avocados as I learned). Not trying to be a wine snob, the area just doesn’t have an abundance of high quality producers like other wine regions in California, although it does have some notable ones. We’re kind of partial to wine areas north of Los Angeles, beginning with Santa Barbara County. Temecula still holds its own, though, in the scenery department (especially the locations where the events were hosted—beautiful!)

Middle-Eastern Breakfast at Plateau Edge; Recipe Girl Snickerdoodle Blondie Demo with Recipe Girl Lori Lange

Having never been to an event of this type before, neither of us had any idea of what to expect. Actually, we knew we were going to be rubbing elbows with some pretty famous food bloggers while gorging on lots of grub, but beyond that, it was anybody’s guess. Let’s just say both Brynn & I were totally blown away by every aspect of BTP. From the quality goodies in the Welcome Bag to the top–rate sponsors (Brynn even won a blender from KitchenAid USA, just as she was lamenting to me how she never wins anything) to the stellar line–up of speakers and demonstrations…it was all good. Great even. So, congratulations ladies (and your helpful support–folk). You pulled it off with style and panache, and opened our eyes to another view of the food blogging community. This post would become too lengthy if I recounted all the wonderful aspects of the weekend, so I’ll just let the photos do the talking!

Matt Armendariz; Whole Foods Create-Your-Own Bean & Grain Salad Bar plus Sparkling Drink Bar; Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman)

WI recommends: Temecula Valley’s own Hart Family Winery (they provided the wines for the opening night festivities). I enjoyed their Sauvignon Blanc, while the college spawn (oops, I mean Brynn) reverted back to her college–partying ways and opted for beer. Oh well, she’ll learn! Leonesse Cellars provided the wines for the Saturday night dinner. They treated everybody to a taste of chocolate served along with their Cinsaut Dessert Wine. I’m not usually a fan of dessert wines, but this was good, particularly with the chocolate. Each complemented the other—a perfect way to end such a gastronomic day.

Ethiopian Coffee/Tea Ceremony; Guacamole Challenge; Blogger Toe-Dipping; Leoness Dessert Wine; Bloody Maria Apptail; Chef Mary Sue Milliken