Just a few short weeks ago, the world witnessed massive devastation in Japan. With heart-wrenching photos pouring in, first of a magnitude 9 earthquake, followed by a terrifying tsunami, then a nuclear meltdown, it's hard not to feel helpless, and so small.
Then again, a few small things really can add up. Around the globe, good people have been using the skills and resources they have to help in whatever way they can -- fundraisers, volunteering, even a Twitter-sourced charity book is in the works. Web designer Sabrina Modelle turned to her own skill set, and that of her fellow food bloggers, when she put out the Twitter call for an Online Bake Sale to aid Japan. Nearly 90 bloggers and bakers from 9 countries responded. The search for a corporation willing to match any part of the money raised was looking bleak. At the eleventh hour Andrew Sigal of The Uncarved Block stepped up to match the first $500 raised. Any other takers?
"While I am hell-bent on raising as much money as we possibly can for Japan, I find myself reflecting most on how grateful I am to be a part of a community that is so quick to graciously and generously give whatever they can to people in need."
So, how does it work? Today, for one day only, visit Modelle's blog, The Tomato Tart, to bid on delectable homemade goods from the blogger of your choice. Score the winning bid and you'll receive a shipment from your personal baker within two weeks. All proceeds will go to Second Harvest Japan, a food bank currently responding on the ground to the needs of people displaced by the earthquake and tsunami.
To whet your appetite (and loosen your purse strings), here are a few snapshots of items being offered by some Bay Area bloggers:
Emiko from Kitchen Em will be baking up a batch of her Matcha & Raspberry Flower Honey Madeleines. These pretty little cakes are infused with a subtle touch of pungent matcha tea, layered with the floral sweetness of local Napa-sourced honey.
Jean from Lemons and Anchovies will be satisfying choco-chili addicts with her almost flourless Chocolate Chili Bites. The bites are rich and dense, and the deep choco-late flavor is spiked with just a touch of smoky spice to keep it interesting.
Speaking of interesting, these Salted Exotic Bourbon Blood Orange Burnt Sugar Crème Fraiche Caramel Chews from Irvin Lin of Eat the Love may have a long name, but that's because they contain a powerhouse of pleasure flavors. Blood orange, bourbon, burnt sugar, salted caramel, Tahitian vanilla bean, grains of paradise...oh no, this is not the caramel candy of your childhood. Caramels just got grown and sexy.
For the gluten-free crowd, have no fear, Damaris Santos-Palmer from Kitchen Corners, will be whipping up gluten-free Alfajore Pops, traditional Argentinian cookies filled with homemade dulce de leche and dipped in chocolate.
If savory is more your bag, Angi from Rice and Wheat has you covered with her delightfully cheesy looking Cheddar-Chive Scones.
And, yours truly will be making a stunner of a Blood Orange Marmalade Tart. I learned how to make this beauty from Joyce Goldstein, who adapted it from a recipe called Crostata di Marmellata delle Suore Trappiste, served at the Vineria Cozzi in Bergamo Alta, Italy. The tart gets its interesting name because it is filled with orange marmalade made by the Trappist nuns. In this version, we use blood oranges for a stunning presentation and floral flavor, “like an orange mixed with a rose.” It is divine…really, you should buy this.
We're rolling out the pastry dough…so you can help us raise the other kind of dough.