One of my crafty heroes, Jean Railla, has recently started a lovely cooking/community/sheer love of food blog called Meal by Meal in which she documents her series of dinner parties, one by one. I adore food and cooking, and I am always pleased when she has a new entry up. I love her enthusiasm and storytelling, and the details she includes make her culinary adventures very warm and accessible… if the dishes do not match, so be it!
Jean is visiting the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge this month so in honor of her time here, I’d like to spotlight Meal by Meal as a honorary Northwestern production. Anyone who DIY-smokes meat outside and joyously serves it with prosecco on the lawn, with views of the river and Mount Hood, has well earned her West Coast cred in my book!
In addition to her love of food, Jean has a real sense of the generosity of craft culture — she started getcrafty.com ten years ago to foster community, and tons of crafters (including myself!) flocked to it in waves, to post about everything from marble magnets to meet-ups. I can never thank her enough for introducing me to this whole world — the front page of getcrafty is the very first place I ever published anything (aside from high school literary magazines and college essays), and the first book I ever had a craft project in was Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec, so I really credit her with the building blocks of so much of what I’ve gotten to do as a writer. And the friends I’ve made through the site are some of my nearest and dearest.
So it’s such a pleasure to read Meal by Meal, thank you for sharing your dinner parties with all of us, Jean!