You know how the internet jokes that you can hide your deepest, darkest secrets in the story sections of food blogs? Well, hold on to your cup of coffee. I am about to get sentimental.
I wanted to discuss the importance of community. Specifically, in my case, this lovely food blogging community I find myself to be part of. I have never been part of such a diverse and supportive group. And you know what? This sense of community is needed now more than ever.
From Food Bloggers of Canada and a local, Manitoba Food Facebook Group, I have had the opportunity to meet, connect and grow with fellow food bloggers and food creatives. Nearly daily I hear from one of my FBC Friends. From advice, discussion and general support I have grown to know this collective group as a community of thoughtful, committed and passionate people. Most of us are connected to each other only through our phones and internet connections, but it is a connection none the less.
At a time of uncertainty and confusion it is a privilege, to be able to turn to a community that is connected for no other reason than simply wanting to be. Sure, there is mutual gain in terms of page views, education and collaborations, but we stay connected, mainly, just because.
This week I had a few unique experiences that truly strengthened my connections to this community and made me appreciate just how important it is to connect with those you don’t normally cross paths with. From meeting a local blogger for coffee to celebrate her completion of her Master’s degree (Hi, Melissa!) to teaming up with local bloggers and media groups to raise funds for a few near-and dear-charities in a friendly competition at Time Lapse Escape Rooms, this has been one community filled week. Topping it all of, I shared one of the most unique food experiences of my life. An intimate dinner for 7 Winnipeg food bloggers and influencers was served at a local (and may I add fantastic) Butcher Shop/Restaurant called Bouchée Boucher.
The owners and head chef duo, Alex and Danielle, educated us on the role of sourcing sustainable meats, whole animal butchers and their passion for good food. As I sat around the table listening and sharing, it struck me how diverse this group was. The group, from a professional sense, was composed of a photographer, fitness instructor, Chefs, marketing gurus, a computer analyst (that’s me!) and a Minister. Although it was clear we were coming from all walks of life and different experiences, we were all united by our love of food. As we dined on a carefully and lovingly dinner crafted of creative dips, octopus, slow roasted lamb and Jerusalem artichokes and sipped locally crafted beer we discussed everything from farming to travel, the merit of ads on a blog and our plans for Valentines day. Although our differences were vast, we found common ground and, quite literally, broke bread together.
That’s what it is all about isn’t it? Finding common ground and sharing a moment together. Even if it is only online, reach-out, build yourself a community. You never know who you will connect with and what you will gain.
Alright – let’s talk cocktails! What better way to cap-off a thought on community then with a bright and cheery drink? This is Peppers & Pennies first cocktail on the blog! This Gin and Clementine Muddle is a bright and zesty winter cocktail that is sure to add a bit of sunshine to your grey winter! Muddling the clementine’s and limes releases the oils and flavours of these citrus fruit. You can simply squeeze the fruit, but it will not give off as fresh of a citrus flavour.
Gin and Clementine Muddle
Recipe is for 1 cocktail
- 4 clementine wedges (roughly 1/2 a clementine)
- 2 lime wedges (roughly 1/8th of a lime)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 ice cubes
- 1.5 Oz Gin (I love Tanqueray, a well-rounded, affordable gin!)
- 3/4 cup soda water
- In a highball, or large cocktail glass, muddle clementine, lime and sugar.
- Add 4 ice cubes to the glass, pour gin over. Add soda water. Using a cocktail spoon, stir until sugar is well combined.
- Garnish with clementine slice or wedge. Cheers!
Please note this post does not contain sponsored content