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Oct 8, 2001 08:19 PM

Sharing The Chowhound Picnic Experience

  • n

Well, that is a shame that we won't have a cookbook to commemorate the event, but that doesn't mean we can't share recipes: for those who were not able to make it to the picnic, and for those who just didn't get enough of all the fantiastic food and want to try and replicate it at home.
To be quite honest, with all the moving I've been doing, I did not have a chance to make a dish from scratch (mine was the roasted peppers, yellow squash and ricotta pizza from Arizmendi), however there were a number of other people's recipes I'd love to steal. Nancy Berry came prepared with handouts of her upside down tamale pie, but ran out before I could get my hands on one.
Then there's the award winning tomatoes soaked in vodka recipe. Although Tim did a fine job explaining their preparation, my wine and food coma had set in, and my brain was not apt to remember how many tablespoons of what to add.
Was it Zach I have to thank for the chocolate mouse wonderfulness with the chocolate graham cracker crust, Jennifer for the very original, and tasty American tiramisu (all I can recall is her saying it required keeping condensed milk on a low setting on the stove for 3 hours!), and I'm not quite sure who to thank for the "Crazy Russian Dip."
Needless to say, I have everyone to thank for the amazing variety and across the board deliciousness of each dish. And, of course the team of chowhounders who devoted their time and energy into making the picnic a wonderful success.
I feel so lucky to share my love of food with such awesome people.

P.S. - Thanks to Melanie for so graciously having shared many, many glasses of wine with those of us who refused to go home.

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  1. j

    "Well, that is a shame that we won't have a cookbook to commemorate the event."
    Nancy: We never said someone else couldn't put together a cookbook! (g) Melanie and Rochelle just kept us so busy we didn't have any time or energy left to publish. I'm sure you could easily assemble a committee of very qualified cookbook publishers from the picnic attendees. (That was one of my favorite parts of Saturday--I didn't meet one boring or intellectually-challenged person. I even enjoyed talking with the Chowpuppy Eli Hope Cleves. What a incredible group!)
    I'm glad you liked my recipe--Peter Wells (of the famous Burke and Wells) aptly named it "Poor White Trash Tiramasu".

    3 Replies
    1. re: jenniferfishwilson

      If someone wants to help, I may be able to put together either a series of web pages or perhaps even a book with chowpicnic recipes. Thing is, I don't have time to do it myself. Email me (address above) if you're meticulous, organized, and into putting in the time. Preferably someone who was actually there!

      1. re: Jim Leff

        Thanks, Jim. If the committee members are still speaking to me after reading my suggestion we'll see what happens. The problem is we're delighted with the picnic results but a wee bit burned out. Would have to have some other willing and able Chowhounders step up to the plate on the cookbook. Many thanks for a wonderful day Saturday. When you look up "on-line community" in future dictionaries you will see pictures of our picnic. Without you it wouldn't have happened.

        1. re: jenniferfishwilson

          Well....this board's not REALLY the place for this discussion (so I hope further talk goes to email) but, quickly, it would not be a great deal of work. It'd just be a matter of someone requesting and collecting the recipes (and any matching photos and personal info). That's all. The rest could be done on our end.

          The organizers have certainly done more than enough work for the site for the forseeable future and deserve a break...but if any other attendee thinks this would be a fun thing, there are numerous cool things that could be done with the idea.

          Email me if interested (but forgive me if I take time to swamped).


    2. z
      Zach Georgopoulos

      "Was it Zach I have to thank for the chocolate mouse wonderfulness with the chocolate graham cracker crust"

      Nope, sorry to say -- I brought a fish stew of sorts. Not sure who brought the wonderful mouse...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Zach Georgopoulos
        Melanie Wong

        I snagged a take-home portion of Kim Campbell's mousse cake that hit the spot on Sunday.

        Thanks for the zuppa de pesce, Zach, yummy too.

      2. r
        Rochelle McCune

        I brought the Crazy Russian Dip. It is named that because I first had it at a party where there were all these Hyper, Crazy Russians. I got the recipe from the Russian who brought it (Andre Govberg to give credit). I have no idea where he got it.

        Ingredients - One head of Cauliflower, 1 pound Feta, one bunch cilantro, garlic to taste (I used 4 cloves), mayo.

        Put the feta, cilantro and garlic in the food processer & process to smooth. Dump into bowl. Process the cauliflower, taking care to not to over process. The key is that the cauliflower needs to be in pieces big enough to have their own crunch but small enough to be spreadable. Dump into cauliflower with feta mixture. Spoon in mayo and blend by hand with spatula until smooth and spreadable. Easy, no?

        The amounts are very negotiable - taste as you go to get the balance you prefer. I tend add the cauliflower and mayo in stages to get the flavor, texture I want. Also, I didn't believe Andre about the cilantro the first time and made it with parsley - ick! it was horrible- the cilantro is definitely mandatory.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rochelle McCune

          Hey! It's one thing for all of you to post all these drool-inducing things about your picnic on the SF board (where such posts belong), but when it comes to original recipes (as opposed to copyrighted recipes), can I request that you pretty please share them with all of us on the general topics board?


          1. re: Beth P.

            beth--right, recipes definitely do belong in general topics where all can share.

            BUT.....if we're gonna have dozens and dozens of 'em, it'd be far more efficient to capture them into a file or book format. Which it looks like is gonna happen (we're getting right on this!).

            So maybe everyone should refrain from flooding General Topics with zillions of recipes, and wait a sec till we can present them to everyone in better format (we'll be emailing all picnic participants about this).

            I mean, go ahead and post if you wanna....I'm not making this like a major plea! But let's keep this SF board geographically specific and do the general stuff where everyone can see.


        2. a
          Alexandra Eisler

          Don't forget Gordon Wing's creme caramel!

          Gordon brought 2 to choose from and I took my instructions from Perry Wilson, Jennifer's pre-teen son:

          "They're both good but this one's flavor is better developed and more intense."

          Never doubt a chow-pup.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Alexandra Eisler

            Alexandra -- since you made up the tags, do you have an already assembled list of the dishes and who brought them on you computer you can just post here?

            That would help refresh the memories of who brought what and what all was there.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Alexandra Eisler

              I don't have an electronic list, but I'm happy to type one up.

              May take me a day or two...

              1. re: Alexandra Eisler
                Alexandra Eisler

                Okay, here we are a few days later than I promised, but I plead for mercy: an "interesting" trip to Washington, a bad cold, and a few glitches with OSX 1.4 all contributed to my tardiness...

                This is the list based on contributions before the actual picnic. There were a few last minute changes, additions and substitutions that we'll update in due course:


                Randy Salenfriend:Seared Ahi with wasabi cream, pickled ginger and fried wonton
                Rochelle McCune:Russian Dip with cauliflower and feta
                Rochelle McCune:BLT canapes
                Brandon Nelson: Mango Soup
                M. Locatell: Chicken rolls with taragon mayo on toast
                Han Lukito: Indonesian eggrolls
                Michelle Merino: Italian or Spanish Caprese
                Tim Cleves and Rachel Hope: Roast Beef crostini with arugula
                Alexandra Eisler: Ruffles with Sour cream dip with water chestnuts and sesame seeds
                Tim Cleves and Rachel Hope: Cherry tomatoes w/vodka and pepper salt


                Laiko Bahrs Zucchini Frittata
                Joanna Coffino Smothered Okra


                Maynard Chen: Mee Siam (rice noodles with shrimp cake in coconut curry broth)
                Rob McAlister Grilled paella
                Phil Coffino Beef (brisket or Korean skirt steak)
                Nancy Berry Upside down spoon bread tamale pie
                Nancy Reyes Arizmendi Pizza
                Gordon Wing BBQ’ed chicken
                Bob McAllister Grilled Paella
                Wendy Lai Foccacia with carmelized onions and oven-fried cherry tomatoes
                Zach Georgopolous Italian fish stew
                Melanie Wong Pasta Salad
                Lynne Devereux Lentil salad with carrots and beets
                Ruth Lafler Baked Beans with ham
                Anne Emry Yellow split pea dal with basmati rice


                Janet Zimmerman Celery Root Salad with ham and gruyere
                Elise H Feta Cheese Tomato Salad


                Brandon Nelson Devil’s food cake
                Joanna Coffino Apple tart
                Nancy Berry Pear ginger
                Lisa Thurston Butter tarts
                Gordon Wing Flan/crème carmel
                Kim Campbell Chocolate mousse torte
                Rochelle Foles Peach ice cream
                Rochelle Foles Gingerbread
                Lillian Leong Custard tarts
                Ken Rich Choc chip banana cake
                Anne Emry Pear cobbler (vegan)
                Caitlin McGrath Ibarra chip cookies
                Tom Hilton Tiramisu tart
                Tom Hilton Eclairs (chocolate and orange)
                Maura Sell Ginger cake
                Jennifer Fish Wilson Secret Recipe Wonderfulness with whipped cream and cookies

                1. re: Alexandra Eisler

                  Wow, what a fantastic spread and I was there! Now I can see how many things I missed tasting. But I was stuffed to the gills anyway.

                  Thanks for compiling the list, Alex.

            2. re: Alexandra Eisler

              Thanks, Alexandra. Perry really got a kick out of being quoted on Chowhound. (Although, as his Bubbie points out, it is not the first time one of his culinary comments have been on the Internet--his review of LEAVES Pure Teas Sweet Chamomile Tea was on their site for quite a while). Speaking of Perry and quotes, he's still running around quoting Peter Wells. You made quite an impression, Peter! Alexandra: now it's your turn to watch your daughter blossom into a Chowpup.