AFBA and the Austin to Boston Food Swap
Throughout December, many of my blogger friends were posting daily on Facebook and their blogs about one thing per day that they were grateful for. There are many things and people in my life that I am thankful to have in my life, but as we enter this new year, I’m feeling especially happy to have a strong network of blogger friends — both near and far.
As you may know, I’m a founding board member and communications chair for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance (AFBA), a local ethical, social, educational, and philanthropic organization formed in early 2011. This summer, we connected with Rachel, founder of BostonFoodBloggers.com about doing a food swap — pairing Austin and Boston food bloggers to send care packages to each other. We ended up announcing the swap in November, pairing folks by mid-month, and asking them to get their packages in the mail by mid-December.
I had only the best intentions for my pal — Rachel and I paired up with each other since we were the organizers — but ended up getting side-tracked by a personal matter between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I did my best to put together some fun, Austintatious goodies from Rachel, but my package pales compared to hers. I sent Rachel:
- A copy of Edible Austin, and also the November food issue of Austin Monthly, where I was a contributor to their “Best of Austin” food feature.
- A box of pumpkin seed cheddar Doctor Kracker snackers
- A bottle of hot sauce from Wheatsville Coop
- A bottle of Good Flow Honey
- A Bearded Brothers Maca Chocolate energy bar
- Love Puppies Just What the Dr Ordered brownie (And yes, there is no period in Dr Pepper; the brownie also has pecans, which grow locally in Texas)
- Enchanted Rock Austin Natural Soap made with Balsam, Pine, Cinnamon, Lavender, Sage, and Cedarwood. 10% of the proceeds goes to Enchanted Rock’s Legacy Endowment Fund
- Fat Belly Bakery’s cheddar-jalapeno Bavarian-style pretzels
Rachel’s package was AWE-INSPIRING. It included some of her favorite foods, along with photos she had taken in Boston of some of her favorite things, with descriptions on the back of each picture. Her package included:
- Prints of her photos she has taken, including the best beef she has ever eaten (from O Ya), mini cupcakes from The Chocolate Tarte, Chihuly glass art at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (Adam loves Chihuly), cream of wheat at Neighborhood that Rachel says is the best cream of wheat in the world, Mac and Cheese at Church, and more.
- A coaster that says “Live Poultry Fresh Killed” from Mayflower Poultry, a business that has been around since the 1930s.
- Dozens of holiday cookie recipes from Brookline-based America’s Test Kitchen: 2010 Holiday Cookies Issue
- Wildflower honey from Warm Colors Apiary, purchased at Follow the Honey, a bee-themed store in Cambridge
- Discs of Taza Chocolate — salted caramel and guajillo chile
- Italian plum and wild concord grape jam from Central Bottle
- Mexican chocolate cashews from Q’s Nuts
- Minnie’s Mandelbrot
- Goat’s Milk Vanilla Bean Caramel from Fat Toad Farm
- Chocolate Ginger Bomb Cookies from 3 Little Figs (Chocolately and delicious!)
Rachel is clearly a pretty amazing, creative, and giving person. She is from Massachusetts, earned a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester in New York, and a master’s in Science Journalism from Boston University. She’s also a musician; her main project is a band called The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, where she mostly plays flute. Her personal food blog is ForkItOverBoston.com, and, as I mentioned earlier, she founded and runs BostonFoodBloggers.com. She has a new day job — as community manager at Tasted Menu. The great news for me is that means I get to meet Rachel in person during SXSW, and hopefully treat her to lunch at Franklin Barbecue while she’s in town.
I’m looking forward to getting the chance to chat with Rachel in person, since we have never talked on the phone. She emailed that she is “super awkward on the phone.” This just makes me that much more excited to meet her in person. Also, I’m happy to have the opportunity to treat her to a meal, since her package blew mine out of the water on all counts.Tags: #atxbos, AFBA, Austin Food Blogger Alliance, Austin to Boston, swap