Sunday, December 6, 2009

EAT MY BLOG: A (good) dream come true

It was 7:45 pm on Friday night and I hadn’t even started baking. Instead, I was hurtling through my local Gelson’s on a mission for brown sugar so I could spend the next four hours baking carrot cake cookies and peanut butter paisley brownies for the EAT MY BLOG charity bake sale the next morning.

It was just the beginning of what was to going to be a really rough night.

It all started when I couldn’t find my preferred brand of brown sugar at Whole Foods. And the drugstore next door had every single kind of sugar under that label, but was out of the one I needed.

Of course.

So I went home to take my butter out of the fridge to soften whilst I ran to another store to get the sugar, when my wonderful roommate, picking up on my lady-in-distress act, offered to get me some when he went out for a bottle of wine.

“My hero!” I gushed, profusely thanking him for his thoughtfulness in my time of need. (I’m very good at being dramatic and effusive when necessary.)

He snapped a picture of my near empty brown sugar bag so he’d be sure to get the right one and was off to the store and back again before I knew it.

With dark brown sugar instead of the golden I needed for my two recipes.

So I made my frantic Gelson’s run, and called Cathy, the tireless mastermind behind EAT MY BLOG, to tell my tale of my brown sugar woe.

“Don’t worry, D – it’s going to be great!” She assured me, always the steady hand to my shaky neurotic one.

“But… but… it’s all going wrong tonight!” I whined, eying the bag of sugar with exhaustion. “I don’t think I’m going to have time to do the brownies…”

“Do what you can do – I’ll see you at 8 tomorrow!” She said, her voice impossibly upbeat.

“Okay.” I agreed, already feeling better after talking to the planning committee's fearless leader.

I might have actually gotten more than three hours of sleep had the trouble ended with brown sugar. Instead, it took me a half hour to find the cello bags I bought to package my treats, I discovered my roommate had lent out my 13 x 9’’ glass baking dish that I needed for my peanut butter paisley brownies, and then when I finally got everything baked, I realized my five rolls of ribbon were only enough to wrap up the cookies.

I finally went to bed at 12:30 am, but proceeded to toss and turn until 3:00 am. My head was dancing with nervous excitement about the event that Cathy, Laurie Hartzell of G-Ma’s Bakery, Anjali of Delicious Coma, and I had been planning for the past two months. I couldn’t believe it was here – I couldn’t believe that in just a few hours we would see Cathy and Laurie’s vision come to life.

For all the sitcom-esque moments that took place the night before, however, the event itself was shockingly drama-free.

Nobody stole the cookies like I dreamt they had earlier in the week, Cathy didn't forget to e-mail the bakers about delivering their goods like she had dreamt, and LA Weekly’s Jonathan Gold didn’t say he couldn’t come to our bake sale because he had to run a marathon like Laurie had dreamt.

I don’t think.

Course, it is entirely possible that the Gold was partaking in a food marathon in favor of chowing down on one of Jo from My Last Bite’s much-acclaimed bacon-wrapped bread sticks this Saturday.

Fortunately, we didn’t need his presence for the bake sale to be a success. The majority of the 800+ baked goods were gone in the first two hours, and by 2:30 pm, we had completely sold out. An hour later, Cathy, Laurie, Anjali and I sat around a table at Zeke’s Smokehouse BBQ staring at each other in shock – we’d raised over $3000 for the LA Regional Food Bank.

Suddenly nothing else mattered. The frustrations from the night before were meaningless compared to what we and the other participating food bloggers and bakers had accomplished together.

It was incredible to witness the tremendous outpouring of support we received from our fellow blogger friends and others in the food industry in Los Angeles. I had much to praise God for at church this morning. (Including, not allowing me to go completely insane on Friday night!)

Bad dreams, brown sugar drama and all, I can’t wait to do it again in six months.

But next time, I’m doing all my grocery shopping a week before.

Thank you to all our sponsors/supporters:

Zeke’s Smokehouse BBQ
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Challenge Butter
JS2 Communications
20th Century Fox
Joan’s on Third
Susina Bakery
Vanilla Bake Shop
Kiss My Bundt


Jenn said...

That's fantastic. I'm glad the event went well. My sweet tooth just jumped up at the sight of all those sweet. Yum!!

Gastronomer said...

High-five, D! WE DID IT!!

Everyone was talking about the cute polka dot tray liners and the tasty carrot cake cookies ;-)

Daily Gluttony said...

You guys rocked it Diana! Great job!

And your carrot cake cookies & peanut butter paisley brownies were so yummy!!! :)

Ravenous Couple said...

great job and great to you and your parents!

Cafe Pasadena said...

You made the pB paisley brownies & carrot cake cookies? Well, then I think I bot them both.

The brownie was good, but I still have to try the carrot cookie. I hope it's even better! I'll let you know.

Good work to y'all! Next year s/b even better!

Kung Food Panda said...

Great job D! I'm glad it all worked out for you, even with such a stressful night.

Congrats to you and the other bakers for such a worthy cause!

The Domestic Diva said...

I LOVED your article - great writing - and really enjoyed meeting you at Eat My Blog! Thanks for all you did.

Let's stay in touch!

Jen (Domestic Divas)

Esi said...

I can't believe I didn't get to try ANYTHING!! Although, it's not a bad thing since the event raised so much money and was awesome!!

The Duo Dishes said...

Didn't get to try your cookies or brownies. :( Maybe next time. There's a pic of you on our Facebook fan page. Steal it if you want!

Diana said...

Jenn - Hah, I'm having a hard time looking at the pictures myself! Wish I could have actually eaten some of it!

Cathy - Yeah we did! :) And as I mentioned early, your bars got the D takes a B's dad's approval.

Pam - Thank you so much for coming! And for writing such a sweet post about it! So fun to see you, as always!

Hong & Kim - It was so nice to meet you! I'm bummed I didn't get to try your mochi truffles - I've heard raves about them!

Cafe Pasadena - So glad you enjoyed the brownies - definitely let me know about the carrot cake cookies!

Danny - Thanks! Maybe we'll sign you up to bake at the next one? ;)

Jen - It was so nice to meet you too! Even if I was fairly frazzled during our first encounter! I hope you bake again for the second EMB!

Esi - I only got a bite of two things! Probably better that way though - my waistline can't afford much more if I want to fit into my jeans!

Crystal & Amir - I saw the pictures last night! They look great! Thanks so much for all your support.