Those of you who have been following my site for some time might wonder (or maybe not) how I pick the products that I profile. The reason I bring this up is that, recently, a few PR folks and brands have reached out to me to inquire about my doing a review of something they represent and to promote it to my readers. I have declined their very kind offers, letting them know that it doesn’t really fit with the concept that I have for this website; this language is also on my Freelance/Consulting page.
The reason I’m being clear about this now, is that I have been asked to promote a recipe contest by a friend of mine for a brand that she represents. Karen Seiger of Markets of NYC, whom I’ve known for several years, does marketing and social media work for several clients among whom Schoolhouse Kitchen is one. I have said that I would happily put a post up on my site, which is going to leave some of you saying, “Huh? Didn’t she just say…” Please let me explain because it really does fit, I promise.
At some point, I had introduced Karen to Wendy Smith, the President of Schoolhouse Kitchen when she was looking for someone to help her out with this area of her business. Karen emailed me on Friday to ask me if I would assist in getting the word out about a Recipe Sweepstakes that they are doing. The rules and everything are available here, and the contest ends on November 14, 2011. Because I really enjoy these products and have written about them several times, I am more than happy to put this on my website. These items have even been featured in my Product Giveaways I like them so much.
I first met Wendy, of Schoolhouse Kitchen, at the New Amsterdam Market Hudson Valley Harvest last year. After trying her delicious and unique products for myself and falling in love with them, I approached her about writing about the company for a post. She very kindly agreed to a Product Spotlight on my website, which I was in the beginning of launching as way to share with a wider audience the great local food products that I was finding at the markets. We’ve stayed in touch ever since, crossing paths at various food events around town. It is always a pleasure to see her and to find out what she is doing.
As part of that profile, and as she gave me a jar of each of the Barshar Chutney and Squadrilla Chutney so that I could play around with them, I created a couple of recipes (the two photos above have links to them) for her website. I still keep jars of her amazing Cherry Blackberry Sage Clove Spreadable Fruit and Horseradish-Dill Mustard in my fridge as pantry staples. These were the first two products I ever bought from her, although those initial jars have been long since polished off in the most delicious fashion.
Then, this summer, at the Fancy Food Show, I had the chance to check out one of her new products: Coconut Citrus Vinaigrette. It did not come as a surprise to me at all that I found it to be fantastic, and I created a recipe on this website to showcase how to use it, which is what I like to do with local products. I even put this item into the Labor Day Cook-out Giveaway, I thought it was such a great thing to have on hand for those barbecues and lazy summer meals.
So, I just wanted to be transparent about why I put this sweepstakes on my website as blogger ethics has come up a few times in conferences I attended this summer. This is not to open up the floodgates to unsolicited product offers (please do not send me things), as I really do enjoy the discovery process when I find something that wakes up my tastebuds and makes me take notice that culinary artistry is going on all around me. I take a lot of time to get to know the people behind these goods as well, which is so much fun and has led to some nice friendships, too. This is why I’m supporting Schoolhouse Kitchen and Karen in this project via my site and my social media streams. I also have my thinking cap on to see if there’s something I can send in as well so that I can fill up my fridge with some more of these terrific products!