I recently discovered virtual baking (and cooking) groups. A “host” picks a recipe or a type of food challenge and posts it on his/her blog based on a regular schedule. Then all the members of the group use the recipe or challenge as a starting point, posting afterwards on their own blogs. The participants share their posts and their experiences through links on the host’s blog and by tweeting under the same hashtag. Each group has its own rules, typically provided on the host’s site. Sometimes there are competitions and prizes, but not in every group – some are just for fun.
The first group I found was #charcutepalooza, a year-long challenge centered on salting, smoking and curing meat. Although the concept intrigued me, I was late to the party, discovering it in its last month, December 2011. Besides I’m not much for making bacon or grinding my own sausage.
Just after the new year, I found a group that better suited me - #baketogether. Started by baker and cookbook author Abby Dodge, it is just for fun and has few rules. The group is about 6 months old, but I felt as though I could jump in now. (I bought Abby’s book, The Weekend Baker, several years ago.) When I post my #baketogether results, I’ll link back to her site for the recipe, with my own commentary and pictures.