{hip girl’s guide to homemaking} A RECAP

Where to begin? The 24 hours that took weeks to plan felt like it was over in 4 hours. (And almost a month to write a recap post Geeeez, sorry about that!)

Nom Nom. Chatter Chatter. Hugs. Whoooosh. That’s All Folks… Bye Bye Kate, have a safe flight.

{the only picture of Kate & I, moments before she entered the Albany Airport}


Kate Payne, author of Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking and blog of the same name, is the most down to earth and warmest person you will ever meet. The moment we met it was like we’d been friends for years. And we hadn’t. We just met. We weren’t even blog-dating… I quietly followed her blog and active Facebook page and Twitter feeds as the months passed, never leaving a comment…well maybe for a giveway or two…. but the very moment she asked for possible house party locations I jumped up and down.

Pick Us Pick Us. Pleeeeease Pick Us.

And she did.

And there she was, just off the (NON-express) Peter Pan bus from Boston to Albany and in my black Mazda 5 eating a banana & seltzer that I had quickly gathered as I thought she’d be hungry post-bus trip. Then & there she was thrown into the hustle and bustle of “last-minute event prep 911”. Or is that 101?! We were supposed to drive to my home about 40 minutes north so that Kate could bake something for the dessert potluck (how cool is she?!) , but duty called.

{Sarah of X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery, Troy, NY}

Glad it did, as Kate & I flew around the Capital Region,  she got to meet the wonderful sponsors of the event; Sarah from X’s to O’s Vegan Bakery and Nick, Britin and Katie of All Good Bakers. Sadly, she didn’t get to stop at Exit 9 Wine & Liquors our wine sponsor (I had done that pitstop earlier in the week!). We also got to spend an hour with Amanda’s lovely family getting last-minute ducks in a row. We quickly ate a allergy & gluten-free meal at Chipotle with Miles & the hubs then we were off to the party fun.

We threw a dessert potluck/food swapping/book buying-n-signing evening filled with yummy sugary treats, food swapping, book accolades and most of all: vibrant conversation and community building. We had never hosted a public event; our monthly meetings were private affairs. He had thrown the idea of a public event around but it wasn’t until we got the green light for a HGG house party that it was go time.

The main members of FSC; Alexis, Leslie, Sarah, Amanda, Erica G, Dianna and myself, all spread our wings and met some amazing women (and seriously cutie-pie babies) in the community. Strong, fun, intelligent, witty, and seriously talented women.

You should have seen some of the food swap items, the dessert table and the fabulous designed labels, tags and recipe cards. Just to name a few ladies we met throughout the evening: Deanna from Silly Goose Farm, Elizabeth from Brown Betty Farm, Ashley from Common Thread Saratoga (more on her later!), Thea from Thea Coughlin Photography, Kyla from Foxy Baby Designs, Christine from Unspeakable Visions (now a FSC member!), Renee from Almost Foodies, Anna from daal clothes, and Jillan from Life Everyday, 4 Four Seasons, among other fabulous women & friends like Robin, Connie, Jess and Sarah. Oh, and my mom- Hi Mom!

The party was hosted by Amanda and her home looked amazing in springtime theme and color. The desert table was amazing; participants really pulled out all the stops from rice pudding in individual ceramic cups to GF biscotti to cupcakes to pies. Next we had a mini food swap where we had people paired up in groups of four, discuss their item and disperse to the group. I planned it this way so it could be more of an intimate conversation, between “new friends”, about each and every item: the why, what and hows of the item. I came home with homemade fish stock, lacto-fermented veg, chicken chili, a loaf of artisian bread. Dianna had the most sought-after swap item of the night: her homemade palak paneer. Since she had to leave early, her items were left sitting alone on the swap table. They had been eyed all night long. I believe I saw drool (I won’t name names). Dianna’s items were quickly swapped and both Dianna & the swappers got great stuff- win win!

Kate graciously signed books, held babies, ate, drank and, I hope, was merry. The home, the FSC community was alive that night. To say I was sad to see Kate leave is a major understatement (yes, I believe tears were shed). It was an honor to have Kate come to our teeny tiny neck of the woods, on her very busy book tour, for those absolutely precious 24 hours.

Thank you Kate; the club (and my creative spark and local food community passion) was reinvigorated with a sense of purpose and strength. From that night, we have grown the blog with numerous new contributors and also a new monthly food swap event, FSC Swappers. More on that in part two…


More on the Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking/From Scratch Club House Party:

Kate wrote a recap of her first week on her book tour which includes our party and the Saratoga Farmers Market book signing. The talented Thea Coughlin documented the party. Her slideshow with music is here.
Christine of Unspeakable Visions {milked} a 3-part series of posts on the event: 1, 2, 3 (hummus & GF chocolate cheesecake brownie recipes included- don’t miss out)
Deanna of Silly Goose Farm recapped the evening.
Elizabeth of Brown Betty Farm recapped the party and gave her granola recipe and her to die for Rice pudding!

19 Comments Add yours

  1. There are so many things I love about this post! Most of all the excitement, new friends made and great food. Wish we could have been there. Next time 😉

    1. Christina says:

      Thanks again Britin for your contribution to the event. I am SOOOOO sorry I didn’t take a pic of you with Kate. I have your book- I will bring it to you on Friday! XOXO

  2. Kate says:

    What a sweet post. Thank you again, Chris, for such lovely company and for doing so much work to make this all happen.

    1. Christina says:

      I seriously could have written a novelette for all that happened in those precious 24 hours. Thank you again for coming, your visit truly motivated us to try new things and grow!

  3. MamaJillian says:

    What a great summary of a wonderful event!

    1. Christina says:

      Thanks Jillian!

  4. Liz says:

    Thanks for the shout-outs!
    Can’t wait for this Weds 🙂

    1. Christina says:

      Woo hoo! Can’t wait for Wednesday too!

  5. Thanks for the mentions! I had a great time, met so many lovely people, and look forward to participating in more FSC events!

    Keep on keeping on, Christina, you are doing a great job!

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