Social Media and Ginger Cake

Let me open this by saying were it not for social media, you would not be reading my food and life blog on WNYPapers.com. Here’s why:

When I decided to spin my blog away from an online news source in 2012 the first follower I had on my WordPress.com site was WNYPapers. It was not immediate but it got me thinking about the folks who were interested in reading my work. Who are they?

It’s relatively easy to figure out with social media.

Primarily I use Facebook and Twitter. My foodie persona on Facebook is JudeTheFoodie and can be found here. Here people can chat with me directly and I find this to be the easiest way to have direct interaction with other foodie friends. By “liking” this page you can also become part of the conversation.

Twitter is still a mysterious social media to many with lots and lots of rules attached that to someone with little experience would view as mishmash. @JudeTheFoodie is the “handle” I use on Twitter to Tweet my foodie experiences including travel.

Here are just a few things to know about Twitter to help you understand the puzzling world of Tweeting.

When you “follow” someone you can read their Tweets (messages 140 characters or less). Unless they follow you, they cannot read your Tweets. The idea is that we follow folks with whom we are interested without regard to their wanting to know anything about us.

For example, I follow Martha Stewart. I can see all of her Tweets. She, however, (sadly) does not follow me. If I want a Tweet to get to her, even though she does not follow me, I can begin my Tweet with @MarthaStewart and it will show up on her feed. The feed is the list of Tweets from all of the people you follow.

Once you follow a large number of people the feed is very congested. You could spend the entire day reading your feed. I say that a Tweet is a lot like standing on the 50 yard of a stadium and speaking to a packed house without a microphone. In order for your Tweets to have any impact (and for most people to see them) you need to mention someone (using the “@” symbol and their Twitter handle like @MarthaStewart) or use a “#” called a hashtag.

The hashtag is a way to group Tweets. If you Tweet “I love watching #Chopped. The ingredients in the basket are crazy!” anyone else who enters #Chopped in the search area can see your Tweet. It’s pretty cool and you can chat with folks from around the world.

I also post my columns on Pinterest. It is a cool way to group my recipes and travel articles in one place for people who do not follow me on WordPress.com. WordPress is the blogging platform I use and what runs my website. I am slowly gaining followers on my website. If you follow my blog at JudeTheFoodie.com you can click on follow. Whenever I post anything on my website you can read it on your WordPress.com reader.

Now, what does a ginger cake have to do with social media? The recipe I used the other day to make a very moist ginger cake can be found here: http://theworldinourkitchen.com/2011/03/08/ginger-cake/

I have never met Chef and Jen but due to social media I can say they are friends. We started following each other on Twitter which led to Facebook which led to Words With Friends which led to the realization we are only 50 miles apart. We hope to meet this summer.

Every day I post a “JudeTheFoodie.com Question of the Day.” Late last week it was Cake or Pie? Over 600 people viewed that post (and I only have 159 followers on this Facebook page). Chef waxed poetic about his wife Jen’s ginger cake. I asked for the recipe and through the power of social media I baked this cake a few days later.20130422-082849.jpgThis cake is moist and dense. I little piece has a big impact. The recipe calls for ¾ or a cup of ginger and I used the whole piece which turned out to be a little over a cup. I think I will use the recommended amount next time because the ginger was very powerful (not unpleasant but strong).

Also, I recommend using a medium saucepan to heat the one cup of water. When you add the soda you have a bit of a chemistry experiment as it will bubble up. Add the chopped ginger to the pan, stir then add to the batter. Caution: this batter is much thinner than you would expect so don’t worry, its fine.

The recipe does not call for any topping and while it does not need anything to taste wonderful I am going to make a sweet whipped cream to serve on the side the next time I make this great cake.

Please “Like” JudetheFoodie on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @JudeTheFoodie. Begin a Tweet with @JudeTheFoodie to let me know you read this column.

Have a yummy day!

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Don’t Be Disagreeable (dis-uh-gree-uh-BULL)

20121102-074848.jpgI just noticed that the end of the word disagreeable is BULL! How funny (and ironic) is that?

I read my timeline on Facebook and have concluded that half of my friends disagree with me and the other half, well, the other half do, too.

You see, social media has made it easy to perpetuate lies. And, I mean lies on both sides. The lies are presented to allow someone to justify being disagreeable.

But, I’m here to say, being disagreeable is not a lofty goal.

Since we now have a 24 hour news cycle, each hour on a cable news channel has some news but what you are really watching is opinion with a sprinkle of news. Again, on both sides.

Remember the “funny saying” years ago “I read it in the newspaper, it must be true!”?

Now we hear: “I read/heard/watched it in/on the newspaper/radio/Internet/cable news show, it must be true,”

How is it we have allowed strangers who are in many cases no smarter (or even better informed) than we are to whip up such frenzy?

We all bring our own opinions, perspective and, dare I say, prejudice to every decision we make.

Here is my desperate plea: be passionate about what you believe in. Take ten minutes a day to read/listen/watch the dissenting opinion. Give those with whom you disagree the same respect you would hope for yourself.

Practice the art of disagreement without being disagreeable.

Oh, and one more thing…

VOTE

Have a yummy day!

A Garbage Plate? Ick! Or Is It?

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Folks under 35 years of age or from Rochester NY look at me funny when I say I have never heard of a garbage plate.

So this guy named Jimmy V (I thought he was a late great basketball coach but apparently there is another one) reached out to me on Twitter then sent me a package filled with “Plate Sauce” I decided to at least try the stuff.

Here is a link Rochester Plate Sauce.

I am seasoning a pork loin roast, putting it in the crockpot and covering it with a packet of plate sauce.

It says it’s hot but by Buffalo standards just has a nice kick to it. I’ll let you know later how it comes out.

Who doesn’t love coming home to cooked food? Short of a power failure it should be a good dinner.

Have a yummy day!

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Everybody’s Doing It!

Well, maybe not everybody…not even very many people but you could make it everybody! :o

If you read my Jude The Foodie column in Below The Falls or on JudeTheFoodie.com (you are likely already here) it would be great if you would “LIKE” me on Facebook.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/JudeTheFoodie 
The thing I love about the Facebook platform is that we can more easily talk to each other. JudeTheFoodie LogoI get a lot of ideas from my Facebook friends so join the crowd – everybody’s doing it!
Have a yummy day! JudeTheFoodie.com

Best of the Road #LewistonBest Videos and Media Coverage

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I got a Tweet the other day and wanted to be sure to share this video with everyone. Just as Lewiston is competing for Best Food in a small town in America, Brian and Mike – The Road Bros are competing for the best judges. We watch and share their videos and they get closer to their quest.

Remember, get ready to set your DVR for the Travel Channel July 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm to see Lewiston shine on national TV.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwKZUXZqcJ0&feature=youtu.be]

And, just like washing your hair(wash, rinse, repeat) please WATCH, SHARE, REPEAT).

Here are some more links: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/20/birds-eye-view-of-niagara-and-lewiston/

This is a great post about the Welcome Rally at the Silo http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/25/gracious-and-exciting-welcome-in-lewiston/ For a great summary of the judging day in Lewiston check out this blog: http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/27/lewiston-may-be-small-but-with-huge-heart-and-vast-variety/

Come to Lewiston! http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/28/take-a-lewiston-left-and-see-what-the-locals-have-to-say/

Joshua Maloni of WNY Papers Niagara Frontier Publications did a great job covering the Road Bros! http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/22/local-media-coverage-for-team-road-bros-from-lewiston-ny/

And more stuff!

YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go9aesVkv3k&feature=autoshare

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOkVvpxYrog&feature=autoshare

Notoriety – Lewiston Porter High School – Fantastic Job!!!

Have a Yummy Day!

JudeTheFoodie.com

Facebook & Social Media Fun

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Greetings Friends!

It’s time to “like” Jude The Foodie on Facebook…She likes you!

http://www.facebook.com/#!/JudeTheFoodie

Building my website it fun…have people actually read it, well, that’s even more fun.

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Tweet me @JudeTheFoodie as well.

Don’t forget, if you want a message on Twitter to get to me, be sure to start the Tweet with @JudeTheFoodie.

Join the fun by following and Tweeting #LewistonBest during the Rand McNally/USA Today Best of the Road competition coming to Lewiston NY tomorrow.

Have a yummy day!

Jude
JudeTheFoodie.com
Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie
Facebook: JudeTheFoodie

15 Hour Drive for 2 Minutes and 10 Seconds

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It’s true. We are THOSE parents and darn proud of it!

I have always been fascinated by the parents of student athletes and now that I am one of them I understand so much more. Many of the coaches I work with tell me about the wonderful things their parents do for the program and believe me, most of them are not sexy…just a great way for them to save money and to save time.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a Canisius College Women’s Soccer game on the campus of Fairfield University. We arrived on campus Friday evening to attend his swim meet at the University of Connecticut the next day. This was the first time a Canisius event occurred on campus while I was there for a swim meet since my son started there in 2008.

Decked out in my Canisius College Athletics jacket, I found the visitors section by listening for the cheers from their hale hearty fans. I would venture a guess that the entirety of the visitors section had some sort of DNA match with someone on the field.

I introduced myself as a member of the Canisius athletic staff and enjoyed meeting nice folks who share the student athlete parent bond. We talked about the competition in the conference and the frequency of the games. We compared notes on distance traveled and they commended me for traveling so far each week for our son’s meets.

My favorite conversation was with a mom who wanted to let me know how much easier it was to be the parent of a swimmer rather than one of an outdoor sport. She supposed it was much easier to sit in a natatorium than to battle the elements. She thought it more comfortable to be indoors and while she is mostly correct she does not understand how oppressive the heat can be in a pool. When you are cold you can add layers but when you are in the pool and sweating from the high heat and humidity you cannot take off your skin.

My answer was simple. I gave her the weather issue and agreed we have it easier to be indoors. But I left her with a thought. If their child was a starter or even a top layer substitute they watched them play for 1-1 ½ hours in a game that lasts about 2 hours total start to finish. But with swimming you could attend a meet which lasts 3-4 hours (including diving but that’s another blog) and your child could potentially compete less than a minute if they are a sprinter. Whoosh, they are done!

If this seems like complaining, I’m not. Actually I’m honored to be able to attend so many meets and grateful for the time and means to do it.

This week it will be at least 20 hours…but he may swim a longer event so maybe it will be 4 ½ minutes!

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Facebook: Jude TheFoodie

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Please Don’t Come to My Swim Meets – You’ll Embarrass Me!

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From June 2008 until October 2008 there was a not so silent argument going on in our house.  Our son decided to attend Fairfield University and “walk-on” to the varsity swim team.  His coach explained that if you go to practice and work hard you will be in the line-up.  You may be swimming “off events” but you will be in the line-up.  What an incredible opportunity for a kid who earned full tuition – a chance to be on a team!  But, no, he did not want us there.  He didn’t know what to expect and did not want the extra pressure of having us in the stands in case he did not actually get to swim.

For those of you who are not familiar with a competitive swim team please see my next blog “My Child is Enrollment Management?”  As I describe, mid-major swim teams traditionally are used more as enrollment management, with few scholarship dollars, than responsible for generating revenue in ticket sales.

If you know me, you know my husband and I try to attend most of our son’s swim meets.  Last year we only missed one and it was one that was rescheduled due to an equipment malfunction.  Remember, every meet is an away meet when your child goes to school seven hours from home.  So, how did we get to this point when two years ago he didn’t even want us in the humid cavern known as a natatorium?

The first meet was at Holy Cross, another wonderful Jesuit institution of higher learning in Worcester, MA.  My husband and I insisted we would attend his first NCAA Division I sporting event – you would have needed an act of Congress to keep us away.  We would respect his wishes the rest of the season, but the first meet? Of course we were going to be there!

Sure enough, when he climbed on the block, pushing his goggles on his eyes with the palms of his hand like I had seen him do 100’s of times before, I could see the smile on his face when they introduced him.  In lane one, swimming for Fairfield University, Anthony Caserta!  I could see my husband’s chest expand – nothing can describe the feeling of having your child compete in intercollegiate athletics – absolutely nothing.  I can safely say it is right up there with marriage and birthing babies – seriously, it is!  It is the validation that all of their time and effort in training and academics was worth it.  It is also validation that all of your parental sacrifice of time and treasure helped them achieve a dream.

So, how did I end up here, at a Courtyard Marriott in Worcester, MA following his second meet, two years later, at Holy Cross?  Turns out, he glanced up to the stands while he climbed up on the block and saw his blubbering parents standing there cheering him on.  As a freshman, he still did not know any other parents so, if we were not there, who would cheer for him?  He came up to the stands later to thank us.

The next meet was the following Friday against MAAC rival St. Peter’s College at their home pool on campus.  My husband and I must have gotten ten texts a piece from him telling us about his swims and complaining that no one knows him and is not cheering for him.  I am sure that is not true as we cheer for all of the kids but to a lonely freshman it was his reality.  It was those texts that made us change our plans and decide to travel to as many meets as possible and we haven’t looked back.

To this day, I still do not remember how he did his first race.  How could I see it through my tears of pride?

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Facebook: JudeTheFoodie.com

Don’t You Dare Say “It’s Only Division III”

Being a college athlete is a big deal.  There are only about 400,000 NCAA student athletes out of nearly 8,000,000 college students across the country.

I just read a very interesting press release http://bit.ly/c7SRyv posted on the website of the National Federation of State High School Associations titled “High School Sports Participation Tops 7.6 Million, Sets Record.”  Think about this: 55.1% of high school students participated in athletics last year – more than 1 in 2 students had a coach, had to juggle academics and athletics and had to learn what it was like to lose.

What struck me, though, is that when you look at these raw numbers still fewer than 5% of these student athletes participate in college sports in one of the three NCAA (www.ncaa.com) divisions.  Even if you assume that half of them participate in two sports and one quarter of them participate in three sports that percentage only goes up to 8%.

Not every student athlete wants to compete at the BCS Division I level.  Many of them know they need to concentrate on their studies to get them into graduate school or into the workforce.  Athletics, to them, is a way to round out their college experience.  My son is a Division I student athlete who gets no money to compete in the pool – his scholarship money (full tuition) comes from academic sources.

Parents, as you help your high school student athlete look for colleges, keep mid-major schools on their radar.  They have the greatest percentage opportunity to combine academics and athletics for a fantastic college experience.

Life is good!

Jude

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie

Facebook: Jude The Foodie

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