Day one of VidaVeganCon was terrific! We started with a room full of vegan food companies offering samples of everything from nacho cheese, to kale chips, to "chicken" pot pies, to truffles. I tasted every single thing, and will talk more about my faves soon. The goodie bags they gave to all of us are actually grocery bags, filled to the top with vegan treats and snacks and cheeses and cookies and cereals. Honestly, I could eat all week on what they gave us. But will I? Noooo!!! There are too many vegan restaurants in Portland to pass up. Coming from Taos, where we barely bother eating out anymore, I'm in Vegan Nirvana here. I might stay. I don't even care about the rain. At least not today.
After all the meeting, greeting, and tasting, classes started up, and continued all day. Rick and I divided the schedule, choosing different classes so we could compare notes later and not miss too much. I took food styling and iPhone photography, which were both a lot of fun, and I learned some great tips for my food photos.
The class on publishing cookbooks was oddly discouraging. The panel was three authors who all had publishers, and they made the process sound just horrendous and constricting to a person like me, who is used to doing pretty much everything my own way, especially creatively. Fortunately, a woman from the audience commented that she has been self publishing for years, and loves it. That gave me hope, and I decided not to scrap the book I've been working on for the last 6 months!
My favorite part of the day was Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan's talk on adding animal activism to our blog message. Not only do they know very thoroughly what they're talking about, they walk their talk in life, and in their non-profit, Our Hen House. They were so comfortable with their message, and so well spoken, clearly shining examples of what presenters at a conference like this should be striving for. I've been listening to their podcast sort of obsessively for a few weeks now, and their newsletter and website are jackpots of information and news for anyone interested in humane animal treatment. (Aren't we all, deep down, really?) Go visit the Hen House! I hope you will be as smitten as I am! (Yes, I met them briefly after their class, and will admit to being just a little bit bumbling and starstruck. Oh dear...)
So today is breakfast - more treats to try! - more great classes, lunch (oy!), more classes, and then this evening is the Galarama. This is our "fancy party," benefitting Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest. I'll report back on all the highlights! Have a great day!