When you think online multimedia campaigns that are just crushing it, and changing the digital landscape, you totally think AARP right? If you don’t, think again. Advocacy is advocacy, and reaching out to mobilize and engage a generation that is not a 20-something is a challenge I’d never want to have. So when I first heard of Tammy Gordon years ago, and found out she has a food blog, clearly she’s someone I needed to talk to.
Like so many of us, before running the ten-person social media team at AARP, Tammy was hitting the campaign trail. Thinking her DC stint would be temporary, (yeah, ok), the District sucked her in.
Speaking of things that suck people in, her food blog Florida Girl in DC was inspired by first joining Twitter, sharing what the farmer’s markets around town offered and crowdsourcing recipes. Starting her blog in 2009 with no real plan, “things amped up in a huge way when I attended my first Food Blogger Happy Hour where I met some of my favorite bloggers,” she says. “I count almost everyone at that happy hour as a personal friend today. Meeting really cool people is one of the best side effects of blogging!” I couldn’t agree more.
I LOVE FINDING AN INGREDIENT THAT I THINK I HATE – OR THAT I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT IS – AND THEN FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT THAT I LOVE. WHO KNEW I LIKED BRUSSELS SPROUTS?!
Tammy enjoys cooking and says, “I love finding an ingredient that I think I hate – or that I have no idea what it is – and then find a way to make it that I love. Early on, I started a series called “Market Challenges” and those are my favorite. Who knew I liked Brussels sprouts?!??!” I think we should credit Tammy with the great Brussels sprout resurgence of 2013. But don’t think good has to be fancy. “I’m a sucker for a simple, perfect Bolognese sauce over fresh pasta,” Tammy adds saying, “mine’s getting pretty good.”
Like everyone who cooks or attempts cooking, disasters are bound to happen. Tammy recalls a specifically horrific event just before a Blogger Bake Sale Benefit when she “tried to make salted caramel cupcakes at 2am.” She recounts, “The recipe I was following had the temperature wrong and I SCORCHED the caramel. I learned two things that night, 1) Trust your gut over the recipe. If you think the caramel is turning in a bad way… it is. 2) I was live tweeting the disaster and I learned that if you burn caramel, you can clean the pot by heating it with water in it and periodically dumping it until it’s clean. Much better than my idea to just throw it away.” Here at FamousDC we support the live tweeting on non-life threatening disasters. #CookingFail.
WHEN SHE ISN’T BURNING CARAMEL, SHE LEAVES THE COOKING TO OTHERS.
“FIOLA IS MY JAM FOR PILLOWY PERFECT PASTA. IT’S LIKE A HUG IN A BOWL.”
When she isn’t burning caramel, she leaves the cooking to others. “Fiola is my jam for pillowy perfect pasta. It’s like a hug in a bowl,” she says. “I’m convinced [Fiola’s Chef] Fabio can do no wrong right now, but my lunch go to is their daily market salad. Plus it’s a block from my office.” Some of her other favorites include, “The French toast at Medium Rare. The grilled avocado at Izakaya Daikaya. The crostinibar at Etto and 2 Amys. The bacon, goat cheese and egg croissant at Blind Dog Cafe. Pozole at Oyamel. The goat at Cashion’s. The tsukemen ramen at Toki.” She laments, “I feel like I’m missing so much! Loving Red Hen in so many ways. And, there’s still so much to try – I’m going to Little Serow for the first time this month!”
THE GREAT PART ABOUT DC’S SMALL-TOWN FEEL IS THAT, I’VE BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO MEET MOST OF THE PEOPLE I THINK ARE AMAZING. I GUESS RIGHT NOW, I’D JUST LIKE A GREAT MEAL WITH MY AWESOME FRIENDS. THERE NEVER SEEM TO BE ENOUGH NIGHTS TO DO EVERYTHING I WANT.
Tammy truly loves the DC food scene. “I just think we are so lucky,” she says. “We’ve got so much excitement and such a growing talent pool. And, the farmers market culture has been AMAZING in upping the ingredient game for DC citizen kitchens.”
Upping her culinary street cred, she always orders breakfast items for brunch. “All. The. Time,” she says, adding, “And, anything that comes with cheese grits.”
Keeping true to her Southern hospitable roots, and being a perfect example of a blogger that loves her city, she adds that for her, “The great part about DC’s small-town feel is that, I’ve been lucky enough to meet most of the people I think are amazing. I guess right now, I’d just like a great meal with my awesome friends. There never seem to be enough nights to do everything I want.”
Finishing the interview with the Feasting Famously Fast Five, Tammy responded with the first thing that popped into her head after hearing the following words.
Butter – The simple butter and bread at brunch at Estadio.
Senior Dining – Dunkin’ Donuts – I get a free donut with coffee order using my AARP card! (Staff get the benniestoo!)
U Street NW – Dickson Wine Bar… one of my favorite spots for cozy dates or late night drinks with friends.
Hillary Clinton – Ooh, I would like to break bread with her. So. Many. Topics.
Twerking – *eye roll*