Why Do Giveaways?

May 24, 2011

Winner!  It was so fun reading about all of your food guilty pleasures.  Lots of peanut butter and mac and cheese – not together.  Comment #27 came up as random winner – Robin likes Cadbury hard shelled mini eggs and coffee ice cream.  Send me an email Robin so I can get your address.

Recently I was chatting with an old friend about my blog.  She has been an enthusiastic supporter and reader from the beginning.  She asked why I or anyone with a blog would do a giveaway.  I’m sure that every blogger out there has a different reason.  My reasons have evolved over my three (!) years.  At the root of it all, I am a generous person.  I like to give.  I have an abundant life and I like to be able to share.  I feel grateful to all of you for coming here and reading what I write.  I am moved by your comments and emails.  I get an incredible kick out of having students in my classes who I have never met but who know me through my blog.

Writing this blog, or any blog, is a solitary process.  I always tell people that I feel like I have about 25 readers.  Of course that is not the case, but day after day, it is just me cooking in my kitchen and writing in our study.  When I do a giveaway, I hear from more people.  I see names I’ve never seen, hear opinions I’ve never heard.  It is why I always ask for some sort of detail from you (like the most recent pedestrian taste) – so I can get a tiny sense of just who is out there reading.

So that is why you will see me periodically giving things away.  As the final of 3 giveaways to celebrate my 3 years and 500 posts, I am giving away some of the best that Seattle has to offer.  I took a walk through Pike Place Market the other day, with a whiny four year old in tow, and snatched up some of my favorite things.  This is a thank you, once again, for being out there and for reading.

Here is what you can win.

Chukar Cherries – delicious and plump dried Washington cherries.
DeLaurenti sun-dried tomatoes – the best I’ve ever had

Parker Pickles – pickled green beans
Mama Lil’s Peppers – spicy and good on just about anything
Blackberry Honey

To enter, tell me where you live and what you would send if you were putting together the best from your town.  Your culinary dream pack as it were.  I’ll pick a winner on Friday.

UPDATE: It’s only a few hours into the day and already I have gotten so much joy reading all the care packages you all would send from your hometowns.  YUM!  I have to say that I would, of course, include a bottle of Washington wine in the mix – we make some of the best Syrah in the world – but I know some states don’t allow wine to be shipped.  Whoever the winner is, I will look into the law and if your state (or country) allows it, I will include a great Washington Syrah.


  1. Oh my gosh, how fun is this?! I loved reading all of the posts and I am drooling at everything! And your giveaway sounds amazing!

    I live in San Jose, CA… but spent many many years up in San Francisco before having kids and I miss all of the amazing local treats. So, this is what I would include:
    1) Blue Bottle coffee beans
    2) A deep dish pizza from Little Star (hard to ship, but this is fantasy, right?)
    3) Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam cheese
    4) A bottle of wine from Napa valley
    5) A sweet treat from Tartine bakery

    Comment by ange lu — May 26, 2011 @ 4:02 am

  2. I’m also from Seattle and a *neighbor* of Dana Treat! (Hi Dana!) I would put together some local neighborhood goodies. Zoka’s coffee, Chocolati chocolates, Fainting Goat gelato on dry ice, and some funky treats from Archie McPhees such as bacon mints.

    Comment by Midori — May 26, 2011 @ 4:08 am

  3. I live in Southern California. My CA showcase would include:
    – a bottle of Chardonnay from Napa Valley (preferably from Frank Family Vineyards)
    – a basket of fresh local strawberries
    -a jar of olives and a couple bottles of CA olive oil (early harvest and late harvest for contrast)
    -a loaf of San Francisco sourdough bread, and CA artisan cheese
    – local freshly made tamales, tortilla chips and salsa
    – Red Poppy Sour Ale from Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Co in San Diego

    Comment by Kathy — May 26, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  4. I live in Pennsylvania now, but I was raised in North West New Jersey. Since I have only been in this area two years now, I don’t feel confident enough to make a goodie basket from PA. BUT let me tell you, my gift basket from NJ would be a weird delicious combination of things I could never actually ship because by the time it would get anywhere everything would be stale or moldy. Gross. Ignoring that, I would send BAGELS and a slice of Apple Crumb Cake from The Bagel Station in Sparta, NJ. Their bagels are giant, chewy, and delicious. The Crumb Cake, is as big as my hand and it’s light, fluffy, and with the perfect amount of giant crumb topping. I would also send a slice of Plain Sicilian Pizza from Lorenzo’s in Sussex. It’s THEE best sicilian pizza ever. The crust, the sauce, the cheese. Everything. It’s not too bready either. Finally, I would send Shickhaus Bologna. Now, that last one isn’t specifically a NJ thing. I just know that when my Papa and Nana moved to AZ they were so upset because no stores carried that brand of bologna (or taylor ham!). So whenever they would visit the first thing he would do was go to the store and get some of that bologna, the newspaper, and come over sit at the table and just eat bologna while reading. Weird, but endearing. The man loved some good bologna. That brand is just very consistent, texturally and flavor wise. It’s a very very fine grind and smooth. I don’t eat meat anymore, but I still have fond memories of it and feel that if you eat meat you must try it. So, that would be my goodie basket! Random? Yes. Delicious? Insanely. Those things are the only reason I visit NJ, oh and uh, of course to see family too….

    Comment by Rebecca — May 26, 2011 @ 3:26 pm

  5. Congratulations on your 3 year milestone! I think the most satisfying part of creating what you do would be to look back at your life through this blog and that is why I eventually want to start one myself.
    I am from Edmonton, Alberta a city of about a million people that has a food scene that is slowly but surely starting to come into it’s own.
    I would send you some coffee from Transcend which treats their coffee like wine and roasts beans from all over the world in their own facility. I would also include some artisan chocolate from 3 unique sources; Jacek, Sweet Lollapolooza and Kirsten’s Chocolates. Finally I would send you some organic locally grown wheatberries which are great for creating summer salads.
    I look forward to hundreds more of your stories!

    Comment by Coralee — May 26, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  6. Hmm. I’m from Kilkenny, Ireland – so I would say local jam, honey and some of the amazing Lavistown Cheese. If I were going more generally Irish, I would include Anascaul black pudding (it’s amazing). Not the most vegetarian friendly though!

    Comment by Apples — May 26, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  7. Hmm…well if I go with my Hometown. It’s a very small place so I can only think of a few things. wild Huckleberry jam…or I guess wild strawberry, wild raspberry, rose petel jelly. Smoked salmon (various types, a local wild flower tea…I forget what it’s called. Some local medicinal type ones that the first nations use. Local bakery that’s organic and also grinds their own flour. Oh and There’s the tomato man! He also sells wonderful cucumbers and various types of peppers from his hot house). He had an award for his yellow type tomatoes. If I go with where I live now (Burnaby, BC). I’d have to do more research, but it’s part of Greater Vancouver so I am sure there are tons of wonderful things. One of course is the blackberries that are everywhere can be made into numerous things.

    Comment by Peggy — May 26, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

  8. I have only lived in Illinois for 2years (Florida for 26 prior)–so I have limited Illinois food knowledge…but here is what I would send…
    it would have to be sent over several seasons-fresh hand picked berries, apples in the fall, pumpkins picked from the patch…I love all the farmer’s markets here…lots of fresh foods would be sent out.

    Comment by See Nikki Cook — May 26, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

  9. Like you, I live in Seattle. Since I’m local, I don’t have to worry about foods that can be sent in the mail, I’ll just list my Favorite Day of Foods:

    For breakfast, coffee and croissants from Cafe Besalu
    Lunch is a cuban sandwich from Paseo
    Dinner is cedar-planked salmon with wild huckleberries and grilled peaches from Eastern Washington, a beautiful bottle of Cheateau Ste Michelle Reisling, and for dessert — Theo’s Chocolate!

    Mm, now my mouth is watering…

    Comment by statgirl — May 26, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  10. I live in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia Canada. As it so happens I spent some time in Pike Place Market a few weekends ago. The Okanagan Valley is a wine and fruit producing area so I would send you some Cipes sparling wine from Summerhill Pyramid Winery (we can’t call it champagne, but only say it is made in the champagne style), some Tickleberries which are chocolate covered dried fruits like cherries, blueberries, etc., some Semmerland Sweets pancake syrups (perhaps a blueberry), some homemade dukka and Bernard Callebaut chocolate bread from Okanagan Grocers, some Maple Macarons from Sandrins bakery and a Chocolatine or two (chocolate filled croissants),some Double Creme Brie from Poplar Grove in Naramata, some Goat-gonzola from Carmeli’s Cheese, some jam and local honey from The Jammery and last but not least my favourite buittertarts from the farmers market..oh and some homemeade perogies from there as well!!!

    Comment by bellini — May 27, 2011 @ 12:06 am

  11. As gardens are just coming to life in Kalispell, Montana the best we have to offer comes preserved… dried Flathead cherries, huckleberry jam, and some Montevedre Sunrise coffee from Montana Coffee Traders.

    Comment by kara — May 27, 2011 @ 1:53 am

  12. This was fun to think about. I also live in the Seattle area but moved from the Portland, Oregon area last year so those things still come more to mind: Hotlips fruit soda, Pix blue cheese truffles (and just about any of their desserts), Cranberry Sweets vineyard sweets jelly candy, McMenamins Terminator Stout (I’m not really a beer drinker but this one good) and lastly Oregonzola cheese from Rogue Creamery.

    Comment by Nimi — May 27, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  13. I live in the Okanagan Valley in BC, which is probably not a whole lot different from Washington when it comes to local products. I’d definitely have to include fruit (preferably something homemade, since I don’t buy a lot of the processed fruit products) and wine (there are a lot of choices for that). Beyond that, maybe some barbecue sauce that’s made in my hometown, some locally-roasted coffee, and one of the trail mixes my workplace makes.

    Comment by ikkinlala — May 27, 2011 @ 3:49 pm

  14. From the great northeast I’d send maple syrup, crisp apples, sharp cheddar cheese, milk and ice cream from my favorite dairy, brown eggs from our CSA farm, and strawberries from our 3-week season!

    Comment by bookboxer — May 27, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  15. I am living in Los Angeles, but only for two more weeks…

    I guess I would send you a box of croissants made in a bakery not too far from our home, that are the best croissants I’ve had away from Paris. Ok, it’s not typical LA stuff, but it would be part of my care package for a friend FOR SURE :-)

    A nice bottle of wine

    A huge box of freshly picked strawberries…

    Comment by SallyBR — May 31, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  16. What a fun question! I live in Phoenix, Arizona. We have some of the most authentic Mexican food around, so that would have to be in order.

    Love your blog!

    Comment by Kelly N. — May 31, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

  17. Dallas – Salsa, chips, tamales, and homemade Sopapilla Cheesecake!

    Comment by kelly — June 4, 2011 @ 12:20 am

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