So this Sunday shout-out goes to fearless leader Patti from Worth the Whisk for rounding up the troops and leading another informative food blogging event.
Yep, the RGB went to Camp Blogaway’s Day Camp over the weekend. For homework, our fearless leader asked us all to prepare a rapid-fire elevator speech. Because in the event you’re in an elevator with Donald Trump and he asks you “what your blog is about,” you need to be prepared, yes? YES! Of course, in the frenzy that was Saturday morning, I left mine on the printer at home and had to scramble at the table to think of what I’d written.
When it was my turn, I drew a blank. So I oversimplified by saying that the RGB was about gardening, harvesting and cooking with our ingredients. Technically, that’s true, but the RGB to me is really more than that. I tried to get Patti to bring up the latest blog post on the overhead screen since to me, it was THE quintessential RGB post: harvesting our garden eggplants, and making a ratatouille out of them (and other garden ingredients). Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in the 30 second allotment, so I’m not sure I accurately summed up what we do here.
So dear friends, let’s try again:
The RGB is all about making real, fresh, pure and seasonal food. To do that, we garden and harvest many of our ingredients. We buy from folks we know and people we respect. Then we rely on a community we’re constantly building to make something remarkable. Behind the scenes, we’re building a Bistro. So follow along, help us get there, and we’ll save you a seat!
I really wish I had said all that.
In an effort to go green! and conserve internet space (yeah, I’m funny), I won’t go into what Camp Blogaway covered. The folks below have done a great job summarizing the event, and since I won’t be able to say it better than they have, I’ll just rely on their accounts. Let me just add my quick testimonial: for me, Camp Blogaway was a two-fold value: 1) I learned a lot, learned a lot, learned a lot, and 2) it was really nice to reconnect with folks I met at the last camp, put faces to other bloggers I hadn’t yet met but were familiar with, and generally, participate in the synergy that’s created when a room full of creative minds get together in real life. So in alphabetical order, here we go:
Nancy | A Communal Table
Louise | Art of Cuisine
Priscilla | She’s Cookin’
(Please let me know if I need to add another summary to this list; I’ll try to refresh it every day for the next week or so – thanks!)
And now, a discussion about my edible contribution to Camp Blogaway.
For registrants of Camp Blogaway, a bonus competition was offered: bring a small bite to snack on mid-afternoon. Winner gets something uber-cool from Viking.
I wanted to make something that was relevant to the RGB: real, fresh, pure and seasonal. And it needed an Asian twist… because Mrs. RGBistro is… Asian.
Because there were tomatoes and basil in the garden, the plan was to make a bruschetta with an Asian twist. Sub baguette toast for fried wonton cone, stuffed with the tomato mixture (including yuzu juice and soy), and topped with a little burrata, then stuck into a bed of split peas for presentation.
I knew I had a busy week, so I didn’t actually commit until 9:45 PM on Friday night, when I made Mr. RGBistro come with me to Whole Foods to pick up additional heirloom tomatoes (because we didn’t have enough garden tomatoes). The tomatoes were marinated overnight. Wontons were fried at 6:00 AM on Saturday morning. And they were all put together at 2:00 PM for the 2:30 PM snack-time.
A few notes on why I think this recipe failed:
- Wontons can’t be fried into cone shapes. They “poof” too much. So at 6:15 AM, I started experimenting with flat squares. What I learned: If you’ve never fried a wonton in your life, the morning “of” the event is not a good time to experiment.
- So I tried making squares. Every batch had a few that puffed liked pillows, not flat like Cheez-Its. What I learned: Wontons get poofy. No good for topping with oozy tomato mixture.
- So I started separating the poofy ones from the Cheez-It ones. With the poofy ones, I smacked one side of the poof to make a bowl. What I learned: A bowl, I can stuff.
- Fast-forward to 2:00 PM. I’m stuffing burrata cheese and tomatoes into the poofs. They’re starting to leak juice. It’s making wontons soft and squishy. What I learned: This is NOT a good make-ahead dish. And, wontons are gross when they’re squishy.
- The original plan was to stake the wonton “cones” into a basket of green and yellow split peas. The idea was to be colorful and playful. In reality, the oozy tomato dripped onto the peas… and the peas stuck to the bottom of the wontons. What I learned: raw peas are not fun to eat with an oozy wonton. They get stuck in your teeth. Then you get kinda pissed that you ate it. Because now you have to stick your finger in your mouth to coax the pea out.
- What else I learned: It’s probably not a good idea to serve a savory “appetizer” when snack is being offered after lunch. It contrasts HORRIBLY to other offerings of pumpkin cookies or fig tarts. Next time, these wonton babies are going to be piped with cinnamon, brown sugar and cream cheese.
On a brighter note, they were pretty to look at.
Do you have a rapid-fire elevator speech? Please share it with us, or tell us how we can improve ours, based on what you know about us. We’ll beg our web guy in about a week or so to refresh our side-bar bio with the elevator speech.
Tomato in Yuzu Soy Vinaigrette over Fried Wontons
~ Really? Does anybody want the recipe? I’ll write it up… but if only someone wants it. ~