Months and months ago, I bought a bottle of walnut oil, with the good intention of trying it. Except, then I got it home and couldn’t remember what I wanted to try it in. Or why I even thought I would use it. So it sat in the cabinet, untouched.
Recently I noticed that lonely bottle of walnut oil, and made a mental note to do something with it. Except, I wasn’t even sure what applications walnut oil might be good for and I was never near a computer when I thought about it. So, it sat a little longer until the stars suddenly aligned one day, and I remembered to Tweet my question. An answer came almost immediately from Evan Barbour, who is an editorial assistant at Fine Cooking. She walked me through what it’s good for (mostly cold applications, but its flavor is enhanced when it’s warmed a little — like in the case of these roasted Brussels sprouts), and made some suggestions of what to try it on (roasted sunchokes, root veggies, etc). It was unbelievably helpful.
It’s funny, a few years ago, I moderated a BlogHer panel on social media and cooking, and at the time, Twitter was still in its infancy and Facebook wasn’t nearly as widespread in popularity. People were learning to use sites like Yelp, some loving the concept. But as I sat on the panel, asking questions, it occurred to me that the panel was coming perhaps a little too soon — we were all just starting to adopt the social media platforms that are now essential marketing, communication and relationship-building tools.
That was nearly three years ago. Today, a simple tweet asking about an ingredient can lead to a great conversation with someone you might never have known otherwise. Today, when you need that last-second help, you can turn to social media and get answers. Just yesterday, a reader sent me a note asking for help with a recipe — she wanted to know if she could skip a step (it was possible, but the results wouldn’t be as good), and I sent her back a swift response, along with a similar recipe that didn’t require that step. That recipe alternative was just what she was looking for.
So, this fabulous recipe for warm, slightly sweet Brussels sprouts that are infused with a hint of walnut-iness and bathed in melty gorgonzola is all thanks to social media. What a cool world we live in.