Sunday, January 15, 2012

Haters Are Gonna Hate

I wasn't going to blog about this, but here I am. Blogging. Late at night. Words swirling in my mind. Thoughts trying to connect in a sensible order. A story feeling its way out of my head. Here I am, and I hope it is OK.

If you follow this blog at all, you know that I recently did a giveaway with a good friend that I have known since high school (which in total number of years is a lot longer than I care to admit...not that I don't appreciate having this friend in my life for such a long time, but I sometimes feel like I am still in my early 20s and having a friend for 20+ years just seems...well, OLD...yikes). Anyway, this friend and I collaborated, and with our own funds provided a total of $100 worth of Pampered Chef products to 2 lucky, randomly drawn winners. (key words: RANDOMLY DRAWN)

Readers from across the nation commented and entered. Traffic wasn't outrageously out of the ordinary, but people that have been reading this blog came out of the darkness and let us know they were here. Every new Pampered Chef wish list made me smile, and references to the recipes I have shared made me giddy. It was an extremely fun week of reading what you had to say. I liked it.

When the day of the magical drawing arrived, I was busy with life outside of the online world but just as anxious to learn who the winners would be as all of those that had entered the contest. I had considered using an online random number generator to chose the winners. However, as the hours ticked by and I still hadn't had time to research that option, I decided that an old school, name in the hat, or Pampered Chef Batter Bowl, would do. I detailed this process in my blog post announcing the winners. I hoped that everyone would find it fair. But, everyone didn't.

The day after the winners were announced, someone chose to reach out to me with their grievances. It was done anonymously through the contact form here on the blog and with a bogus email. This person was angry. This person felt cheated. This person called me a liar.

It seems that this person also must have local ties to my area. I am not sure how else to explain the so-called "information" they spewed in such ugly terms. You see, both of the winners that I randomly drew--with my eyes closed--from my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl have ties to the specific area where I live. This was the reason for the hate mail. They felt I had rigged the drawing to hand-choose people that I knew.

I didn't. The names drawn were PURELY BY CHANCE. In fact, if the totally honest, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die truth be told, when I drew two names that I personally knew, I thought about throwing them back and drawing again. Really. I had hoped this giveaway would give me an opportunity to get to know a broader selection of my readers. I had hoped for a chance to reach out and build new relationships. Drawing names of people new to me fit that sort of PR idea, but that isn't what happened. That wasn't the luck of the random draw. I randomly drew names of people that I knew, and I honestly stuck with those two winners.

And so, I received hate mail. At first, it upset me, but now I am shrugging it off. (Kinda, I guess...if I shrugged it off totally, I wouldn't be blogging about it, huh?) I am going to choose to believe that it wouldn't matter which names jumped into my hand when I did the drawings. Some people are never happy. Haters are gonna hate.

And, as for a recipe to go with this rambling, whining, not-sure-what-the-whole-point-of-this-is tale? How about Beet Marmalade? Beets are a polarizing vegetable. People love them. People hate them. When I found a Beet Marmalade on Pinterest toward the end of summer, I knew that my love for beets demanded that I make it. The earthiness of the beets pairs really well with the citrus and ginger. I like it spread on biscuits or toast, but it could make an interesting appetizer with goat cheese on crackers. I love Beet Marmalade, and it doesn't bother me that the haters are gonna hate.

 Beet Marmalade
(adapted from Lemons and Lavender)

4-6 medium-large red beets
2 cups sugar
2 large lemons
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Trim the beets leaving about a half inch of stalk intact and remove the thin root end.
Wrap each beet with foil and place on baking sheet in oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. (Beets are done when they yield to pressure.)
Cool and peel. (If you are messy like me, don't wear white. Beets are colorful, to say the least.)
Place the beets in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. (I went for an apple sauce-like consistency.)
Transfer the beets to a heavy saucepan and stir in the sugar.
Cut the lemons, skin and all, into large chunks (remove all seeds) and place in food processor along with the chopped ginger and pulse until finely chopped.
Add the chopped lemon and ginger to the beets and sugar and stir to blend.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the marmalade has thickened a little, about 2-5 minutes.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace, and seal.
Process in boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.


  1. Lol they must have wanted the pampered chef pretty bad! They could always have a party and get a discount on the products that they were wanting so badly. I'm not hatin I'm just sayin... Anyway love you, love your blog. You inspire to get creative when I get stuck in the rut of the same old. Great analogy beets/people love em or hate em. : )

    Steph Schuyler

  2. You know, Fran, I've always secretly wondered about your integrity, but this truly confirms my suspicions, and I'm afraid we can't be friends any more.

    I mean, REALLY? Beet Marmalade? I can't associate with someone who does such a thing... Honestly...

  3. Sorry U got jerked around on the give-away. Don't let it keep U from doing what U do so well.......I love your posts and I think I totally missed the give-away!


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