“I volunteer as Tribute!”
“I want to be an OK recipe tester!” was a call I heard 432 times last week.
I am overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and enthusiasm — seriously — I did not expect a response like this.
As you can imagine, sorting through all of those applications took quite some time, even with a big bunch assistance from Google Spreadsheets to sort, stack and collate the submissions every which way. I finally sent the emails out this morning – only a day later than I had planned – which is a bit of a miracle given the volume of amazing profiles and personal kitchen stories I was privileged to read and linger over this week.
I know I will leave some people very disappointed for not having been chosen. You threw your all into those applications, and I read every one. I am touched to my core by your passion, loyalty, support and plain old love for Outlander Kitchen. I can feel you gathered around our virtual hearth, even now as I sit in my office, alone, staring out at the trees as my fingers tap away, talking to you.
I wish I could use everybody, but recipe testing is a very large task that I have to keep somewhat manageable. I have chosen ten fans to test the new recipes for the cookbook, as well as a few from the blog that I changed significantly for the book, so they’ll need testing too.
If you’re feeling down that you didn’t get chosen, please know this:
It wasn’t personal. I received applications from long-time friends and brand-new fans, and I had to delete the vast majority of them all. Most of the deletions were somewhat random from my perspective, especially at the beginning of the process. It’s very hard to cull a list of 400+ down to 10…sure, I had a system…but it still seemed unfair to be deleting all these people I had never even met!
(Unless you corrected my grammar on your application…then the deletion was easy. I am defender of English at the best of times, but I will tell you that if you want to be considered for something, don’t correct the final arbiter’s typos — an online-life strategy I thought I’d pass along, in this age of grammar hyper correctness).
The list that remains is a diverse group of cooks from all over North America, with different skill levels, equipment inventories and variable access to ingredients. I chose a vegetarian, a gluten-free tester with a gluten-eating family, a trained chef or two, as well as a beginner. A few of the testers have been around OK for a long time, commenting regularly for years, unknowingly supporting me with kind words when I needed them most.
Others are new to the OK hearth, but something about their application caught my eye, or they filled a space in the demographic profile I was looking for. Someone is on the list because their response, while thorough, was very to the point – almost scientific – and I found their brevity after hours of combing over applications refreshing at the time.
I had an amazing list to choose from. Thank you all so very much. I’m incredibly pleased with the group I’ve chosen, and excited to get things underway! Here they are, in no particular order. If one of these names looks like you, check your Inbox; you’ve got mail.
- Lee Ann M. – Louisiana
- Darcy G. – Virginia
- Helen B. – Arkansas
- Jan A. – Hawaii
- Anna L. – North Carolina
- Rhiannon M. – Ontario
- Jennifer B. – British Columbia
- Becky I. – Michigan
- Jason D. & Jen H. – Illinois
- Bri B. – Tennessee