I’ve been blogging for more than a year now and still haven’t quite got my head around how close-knit the community can be.
Last weekend, I finally organised my very first face-to-face with a fellow blogger. Pink Patent Mary Janes and I met for a drink or three. It was weird to sit in a bar and chat so comfortably with a virtual stranger.
Part of the reason the conversation flowed was because we already knew so much about each other from our blogs. The same thing happens to me in the playground – in a more one-sided manner – people have this intimate knowledge of my life without actually conversing with me. All these knowing smiles. Kinda spooky.
Maxabella Loves wrote about the phenomenon this week, in a blog called One Thousand Heart-Felt Stories: “Have you noticed how much you love some of the bloggers you’ve gotten to know? How much you know about their lives and how much you care about them? … What happens when it’s suddenly not all papercrafting and organised cupboards? What happens when something goes wrong in their life and they share all of it or parts of it with us? You love them, you want them to be happy and it’s so stressful knowing that you are so far away and can actually do not much at all … And then you multiply that by about 100 and you realise that you are in deep with more people than it’s probably healthy to even know …”
I’m not in that deep, but I opened the Pandora’s Box again yesterday when I met three virtual strangers/blogger friends for lunch. Shambolic Living, The Kids Are Alright, What Sarah Did Next and HouseGoesHome gathered at a cafe in Leichhardt to shoot the breeze about kids, blogging and life in general. Again, the hours flew by. For virtual strangers, we had a lot in common. As The Kids Are Alright pointed out, you don’t make many new friends as you get older – blogging is a great way to meet like minds.
The others said lots of bonding is done on the conference circuit – there’s a thriving one in the blogosphere – they kept asking each other if they were going to Pro-Blogger this, Digital Parents that … I’ve never been to any. Though reading about Woogsworld meeting Martha Stewart and dining at fancy restaurants while at BlogHer12 in New York a few months ago sounded rather fabulous.
They also gave me lots of handy hints, like when you’re invited to do a linky upy thingy on someone else’s blog, it’s polite to leave comments on as many fellow linkers’ blogs as you can. Ah … good to know … ooops …
A few hours later, I had some real-world friends over for dinner (roasted beef eye fillet with Silverbeet & blue cheese gratin and Sweet potato & parsnip bake) but another blogger buddy was there in spirit. I fed my guests a dessert inspired by Frugal Feeding. Frugal lives on the other side of the world and posted the most amazing blackberry cheesecake last week, such a divine purple colour. I couldn’t find blackberries so I made mine with raspberries and was too impatient with my cream cheese softening and raspberry sieving, so it turned out a bit chunky. I was miserable until Husband suggested I rechristen it as Rustic Raspberry Cheesecake, which I thought was rather inspired.
Despite its rough appearance, it was rather tasty if you’re a cheesecake kind of person. So here’s the recipe (I added sugar and substitutes for a few ingredients that aren’t available in Oz.) Follow the properly directions – unlike me – and it should look and taste totally lovely.
Recipe: Raspberry Cheesecake
• 2 cups raspberries
• 375g cream cheese, softened
• 150g, melted
• 1/2 cup single cream
• 2 sachets gelatin powder
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 250g pkt Nice biscuits, finely crumbled
Method: Blend the raspberries and pass them through a sieve to remove any seeds. Prepare gelatin according to packet directions, stir in sugar and leave to cool. Beat the cream cheese and cream in a bowl until soft. Add the gelatin and raspberry puree to the cream cheese and mix thoroughly. Mix the crumbled biscuit with the melted butter and press it into a greased 20cm-wide springform pan or pie dish. Pour the cheesecake mixture over and pop into the fridge to set. This should take a few hours.
(PS Mine was chunky because I took naughty shortcuts like putting unsoftened cream cheese and unsieved raspberries in a blender and hoping for the best. It also suffered for being in a pie dish instead of a pan. It would have looked sexier without the pie crust bits up the sides. Fortunately, despite looking funny, it tasted yummy.)