This post is long overdue, but it’s finally time to recap Day 3 of the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference. Just like Day 2, we’ll go at this panel by panel:
Bookkeping for Canadian Bloggers
This session with accountant Brian Kent-Baas was all about the financial side of blogging, and how to determine what constitutes income, and what constitutes expenses for the purposes of doing your taxes. To be honest, this session was kind of confusing, and made me happy that I don’t receive compensation for posts or generate ad revenue, and therefore don’t have to worry about this stuff. According to Brian, bloggers should technically have a second set of all appliances for blogging, as well as keep all food for blogging separate, so it can be clear at tax time what was used for business vs. personal cooking. Um, what? That sounds like a nightmare. For me though, these are the two key points: 1) gifts, samples, contest winnings and swag are not taxed 2) if you’re making a couple bucks here and there, the government doesn’t care about your income, and considers you a hobby, not a business. Case closed.
Publishing – The Many Chapters of Writing a Book
Writing a cookbook is not on my list of life goals, but it was still interesting to hear the stories from everyone on this panel. We had Dianne Jacob, Julie, Charmian Christie, Corey Mintz from The Globe & Mail, and Emily Richards on stage. Alright, first of all, I used to LOVE the show Canadian Living Cooks with Elizabeth Baird, Daphna Rabinovitch and Emily, so it was a treat to see her, although she looks totally different than she did on the show. I didn’t even recognize her! The panel was really open about the changing landscape of publishing, including self-publishing and e-books.
Recipe Development 101
The final panel of the weekend presented three points of view on recipe development from Adell Shneer (fellow Gastroposter!), Stephanie Eddy and Mairlyn Smith. This was really eye-opening, and I guess I never really thought about the research and testing that goes into writing a recipe. I don’t see myself as ever having the time or motivation to develop original recipes, but I have even more respect now for those bloggers who do. Adell’s tips are to keep copious and detailed notes in the kitchen, including accurate weights and measurements, use standard size pans, and make sure you know the names of your ingredients (i.e. hazelnuts vs. filberts). Mairlyn told us to be really specific in the directions for a recipe: tell your reader what it should look like, what appliance you used, etc. Stephanie described her process for developing baking recipes in detail, and said that she first gets a vision of what she wants to make, and ideally how it will turn out. She then goes into research mode, comparing similar recipes from different sources, and what she would change. In the kitchen, she’ll take tons of notes, and be sure to measure every little pinch she adds. She tastes the final product warm, cold and the next day, and then evaluates if it matched up to her original vision.
Future Trends in Canadian Food Blogging
Our closing speaker of the day was Dana McCauley, who you know as a judge on my nemesis‘ show, Recipe to Riches. My epiphany during her speech was like so: Why don’t I read more Canadian food blogs? I posed this question to Danielle, my friend who introduced me to food blogs, and her answer was this: “We read American blogs, who link to other American bloggers, and the cycle continues”. Dana spoke a lot about the future for Canadian food bloggers, and what we can contribute to the overall food blogging community to make Canadian food blogging distinctive. Fellow attendee Valerie has taken that call to action to the next level, and introduced The Canadian Food Experience Project, which you can read more about on her blog.
And with that, the conference was over! I loaded all my swag into Sandra’s trunk, and we made the drive home. I learned so much throughout the weekend, and have already started putting my new photography tips and tricks into practice. As I said in my recap of Day 1, by far the most valuable part of the weekend was connecting with other bloggers. I now have a lengthy list of Canadian food blogs that I read on a daily basis. I’m so happy and proud to be part of this lovely community, and thankful to FBC for this amazing weekend.