One hundred years ago, when they made rules about bloggers having to disclose what they got for free, I didn't think it was a big deal. In other words, blogs were suddenly ruled by the same standards as every other publication. So easy: Just let people know if you were compensated. And free stuff, even if you can't pay your mortgage with it, does count as compensation. (Should you accept free stuff as the only compensation for your work? I wouldn't, but I'm not you.) I'm not in the habit of soliciting free stuff—mainly because I keep asking for free cars and turtles and stuff and they never give me anything—but I occasionally get offered something. As a thank you, I guess? It always feels a little weird, but I've never been pressured to write about any of them, so there you go.
So this is my thank you for some free stuff I've gotten recently that I really enjoyed.
Free Stuff for Bloggers
(at least for this blogger)
1. Tervis Wine Tumblers
I have never in any way asked to shill for Tervis. In spite of that, I've been singing their praises for years, mostly because my mother swore there was no substitution for the real thing and I had one bad experience with a knock-off, so there you go. I wrote about the brilliance of the Tervis brand for Free Times, in a short piece about tailgating. As an aside, I mentioned their excellent replacement policy and that my husband had sent back a busted Gamecock tumbler and got a French rooster tumbler in return. Which he loved! But Tervis caught wind of the error—which we considered a happy accident—and wrote to apologize. When I told them we were so down with the rooster and didn't need a new tumbler, they sent me two stemless wine tumblers...with Gamecocks! The tumblers are awesome and I look forward to tailgating with them again this year.
2. Reynold's Grid-Lined Parchment Paper, Oven Bags, and Slow Cooker Liners
All I did was make one little innocent comment on Twitter, something along the lines of how a Reynold's oven bag works as well for pulled pork as smoking a pig outside overnight. (Yeah, I know, blasphemy, but just try it.) But I made a comment to Nu Wexler, who is Twitter-famous, and also a lovely all-around person. So maybe that's why Reynold's noticed? Anyhow, they sent me a box of amazing stuff, including oven bags, slow cooker liners, and lined parchment paper, which I flipping love. I've been using the parchment paper to make tarts, and it's great because I can cut it to the size of the pan, roll the dough right out on the paper and drop it on the pan. Easy peasy! This tart has pancetta, tomatoes, caramelized onion, and some kind of sheep cheese I found in the fridge here at the beach.
3. A Summer Basket from Aldi
I wrote about my first trip ever to Aldi for The Kitchn. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. I haven't been back, but I definitely will at some point. Anyhow, they sent me a cool basket full of Aldi stuff! The basket was filled with about 20 things, including marshmallows, graham crackers, and delicious dark chocolate, all their brand, of course. The other night at Isle of Palms, we got a babysitter, because there are like a hundred kids here and the adults wanted to go to Obstinate Daughter without them. The awesome babysitter found the s'mores stuff AND the parchment paper and had the sense to put them together to make s'mores that didn't ruin a pan. (Harriet? You rock.) Also, Aldi has it going on here, because the dark chocolate they sent, along with their enormous marshmallows, are a total win.
4. A Signed Copy of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I guess this would be the Handmaid's Tale HULU edition? I don't know, but they also contacted me on Twitter, along with a ton of other people I'm sure. I assume I made the list because I probably retweeted Margaret Atwood before she was cool (again)? Anyhow, they also sent me an enormous sweatshirt with “Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum." When I say "enormous," I mean it could fit two of my kids into it. At once. And each of them weighs in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. That's a lot of shirt. I don't really understand the shirt, but I'm a huge Atwood fan and the autographed copy of the book is rather thrilling. In fact, I brought it to the beach this week for a re-read. I brought a whole stack of books to the beach to share (and it looks like someone already snagged the Atwood). As for the HULU series, I'm having a weird summer and I've been to emotional already to delve into something I know will be a punch in the gut, in the best way possible. I've heard great things from everyone who's watched it.
So, I'm going out to the beach now, but first I'm eating a little more tart. Then I'll go sunscreen up and put on a bathing suit. And then I'll get a book, a drink, and some sunscreen touch-up spray to put in my beach bag. Bon appétit!
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