Ten Things I Learned at Eat Write Retreat 2013, Philadelphia

June17

1) Canadians and Americans make excellent neighbours.  I would describe the relationship more like “first cousins”; that is, with common blood and roots and history but the potential to be different because of our nurturing.  The small pack of Canadians in attendance at Eat, Write, Retreat, 2013 were frequently teased about out “politeness” and muttering “sorry” all the time, but I also felt respected and appreciated.

2) Food bloggers, no matter where they are from are warm, generous and fun-loving.  A conference like this one, is like hanging out on a golf course.  Everything shares tips, encourages excellence, and celebrates accomplishments, without there being hard feelings for an others’ success or that underlying competitiveness that sometimes occurs when professional organizations get together.

3) You never know what little tidbit you are going to take away from an event like this, that turns out to be “life-changing”.  Last year, for me it was hearing Monica Bhide speak about focus and passion.

4) This year that nugget was when Debbie Koenig spoke about time management.  After I looked at our “big” picture and did the exercise to list our life’s priorities, I then ranked all the tasks that I perform in a day/week, including how my blog fits into the scheme of it all.  I realized anew that my focus has been misdirected and that my blog, even though it is my passion, is not the end all and be all, that I sometime make it.  Grace, I have to give myself more grace….

5) I want to store food in jars!  Marisa’s Food in Jars presentation, truly inspired me.  I have always shied away from this notion, thinking that I didn’t have the right equipment and that the acquiring of such, would be too expensive.  I see now that preserving can be regarded like making another course at meal time, a tasty dish that you simply postpone eating.

6) My Dad was born in eastern Europe and his manners were impeccable.  He would  even say “I beg your parson” instead of “what?”.  He taught me that the day after you were invited to someone’s home for dinner, you call them and thank them for their invite and their kindness.  Joy Manning reiterated this for me in her presentation and I am going to be more diligent with my connections (and who knows what might come of it?).

7) Whereas, I have lived my life trying to get to the Caribbean and Europe, this amazing country full of beauty and rich history is right at my doorstep.  I have so enjoyed visiting Philadelphia and Washington, DC both for my first time, as a result of attending the EWR conference.  I do hope that they change locations again next year as I would love to explore further.

8)  I am proud to be a foodie and a blogger.  We are an impressive group and our craft is constantly being honed and appreciated.  Whereas, I once regarded it as one of my many hobbies, events like Eat Write Retreat teach me that it is one of my many “professions”.

9) I am often one of the eldest participants at events such as this and even though I am not “made” to feel on the peripheral of blogger circles, I sometimes do.  The BBQ Queens showed me how much respect there is for senior ambassadors of the love of food.

10) In the end, as I learn over and over again-Love, that is all.

 


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