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We came, ate, drank, sat in the sun, and had the Blue Angels to 'entertain' us: the 2006 Chowing with the Hounds Picnic!

susancinsf Oct 8, 2006 01:26 AM

The weather cooperated big time today for the Sixth Chowing with the Hounds Picnic in Golden Gate park, and we had a wonderful time! Even the Blue Angels were tolerable to me (I am not a fan), which I attributed to the wonderful assortment of wines (Thanks Melanie!) and the incredible array of desserts to mellow me out just before the Angels started their show...

All of the food was WONDERFUL, and the company was better! Thanks so much to the planning Committee for making this a great event!

I've started a post on Home Cooking below:


for folks to post recipes and recipe requests.

I have to pack for a business trip to Mexico tomorrow (more eating coming up!) so will come back and post more later, but in the meantime, thanks to all of you for such a great time!

  1. m
    maus1 Oct 11, 2006 01:52 AM

    I was asked to post the spices we tasted:

    Name of Spice:
    Ancho chili
    Chipotle chili
    Cinnamon, Cassia
    Cinnamon, Saigon
    Horseradish root
    Pepper, Malabar
    Pepper, Tallicherry
    Pepper, Java
    Pepper, Szechwan
    Pepper, White
    Sloe Berry
    Oregano, Mexican
    Oregano, Greek
    Mystery spice 1 Five spice
    Mystery spice 2 Zaatar
    Mystery spice 3 Gumbo File
    Mystery spice 4 Garam Masala
    Mystery spice 5 Sumac


    1. r
      Ruby Louise Oct 10, 2006 06:14 PM

      I brought the dukkah and will post the recipe on the Home Cooking board picnic post shortly.

      1. d
        dordogne Oct 10, 2006 04:30 PM

        The fine weather drew throngs to Golden Gate Park on Saturday, but of the hundreds of picnics that must have been shared, I'm sure that Chowhounders were the only ones who feasted on mole, beef tongue, head cheese pate and an overflowing table of a dozen wonderful sweet things; zinned ourselves silly with a vertical tasting of Joseph Swan among numerous other bottles; and talked about wonderful food past, future and imagined whilst eating wonderful food present. The spice-off (blind-tasting and identifying 25 spices), including four kinds of pepper, two kinds of cinnamon and galangal powder, was great fun and very humbling. Thanks to the organizers for putting together a fine afternoon.
        Would the bearer of the dukka kindly attach the recipe to the Home Cooking picnic recipe post?

        1. s
          Shreesh Taskar Oct 10, 2006 02:59 AM

          Neena & I really enjoyed the picnic - our first. The best part was connecting with old friends and talking about food, wine, and good cheer. The old polish guy with the Lexus was the piece-de-resistance! Did he ever make it out??

          Thanks everyone for making it a special outing...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Shreesh Taskar
            Melanie Wong Oct 10, 2006 09:00 AM

            Wonderful to have you back again! Hope you'll follow the link Susan posted above to the Home Cooking board to post your lamb biryani recipe. And whoever made the moong dal, we need that too.

            This year my cellar culls were mostly Zinfandel, the perfect picnic wine. Here's the list of wines put on the table in order of appearance.

            1994 Edmunds St. John "Durrell" Sonoma Valley Syrah

            Vertical Tasting:
            1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998 Joseph Swan "Zeigler" Russian River Valley Zinfandel

            Paired Tastings:
            1996 DeLoach "O.F. S." Russian River Valley Zinfandel
            1997 DeLoach "Gambogi" Russian River Valley Zinfandel (magnum)

            1994 Lamborn Family "The Queen's Vintage" Howell Mountain Zinfandel
            1994 Lamborn Family "Robert Parker Unfiltered Unfined" Howell Mountain Zinfandel

            1995 St. Francis "Old Vines" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
            1996 St. Francis "Old Vines" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel

            1994 Marietta Cellars Sonoma County Zinfandel
            1994 Marietta Cellars "Angeli Cuvee" Red Wine (Zin, Petite Sirah, Carignane)

            1994 Traulsen Napa Valley Zinfandel
            1997 Turley "Duarte" Contra Costa Zinfandel
            1996 Homemade Alexander Valley Zinfandel "Port"

            A parade of emergency personnel arrived at the site to assist the errant driver, called in by diverse observers. The picnic photographers documented the scene. His license had been suspended before, and the good news is that he'll be off the road without killing himself or anyone else. One more for the picnic history books.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              jhinky Oct 10, 2006 06:34 PM

              The daal would be me Melanie - and I posted the recipe to the Home Cooking board picnic post.

              1. re: jhinky
                maus1 Oct 11, 2006 01:48 AM

                and i am already trying it!!!

            2. re: Shreesh Taskar
              larochelle Oct 10, 2006 04:03 PM

              The old polish guy was 81 and driving with an suspended license. Since the tow truck we called never found us, we called the police who brought their tow truck.

            3. Melanie Wong Oct 9, 2006 07:19 PM

              One of my favorite bites was the plate of charcuterie from Cafe Rouge in Berkeley that "Fairviewgal" and her parents contributed. I had suggested this in the thread on Home Cooking -

              dordogne's anxiety attack

              She swears she didn't see my post, just goes to show that chow wishes can come true! The headcheese was incredible with the olive bread, and can't take anything away from the pate' either.

              The ice creams that David Farris brought from the Sweet Booth in Oakland were depleted by the time I was ready for dessert. I thank him for posting about it here
              and I'll be sure to try them another time. That's a new one for me.

              Would love to hear comments on the coffee crunch cake this year vs. the version from a different baker in a prior year from those of you who've had both.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Melanie Wong Dec 25, 2006 08:23 PM

                Here's the photo of the sampler plate of just some of the fab desserts taste-tested by Ruby Louise -

              2. janetofreno Oct 9, 2006 05:01 PM

                I am really sorry I missed it. I was in Florida for a meeting. The culinary highlight of the meeting was the fact that there was a sports bar at the restaurant our organizations's (non-chowish) President chose for dinner Saturday night, so I was able to watch the Cal-Oregon game. Sigh. (I did get in some beach time and even went boogie-boarding, so all was not lost...and at least the Bears did well!)

                1. oakjoan Oct 8, 2006 10:18 PM

                  I totally agree with the posts aboe. It was my first Chowpicnic and I really enjoyed it.

                  We came with out kid and his S.O.'s parents visiting from Portland. Friday night we all met at our house and had a grand time making 5 cakes and 3 Linzer tortes for the picnic which we carted to the picnic the next day.

                  The weather was gorgeous and, except for all those irritating chowhounds who kept eating the food so that I couldn't have my usual 10 helpings, it was a great picnic. Wine flowed like, well, wine as well - very interesting bottles provided by Melanie Wong.

                  The people were swell, funny (haha AND peculiar in the good sense) and easy to talk to. I also found out that SusaninSF used to work with my sister years ago.

                  The Portland parents were amazed and impressed. They said "We'll be here next year!"

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: oakjoan
                    susancinsf Oct 9, 2006 04:54 AM

                    I know what you mean about the helpings! Although there was enough of the Blum Cake to have ten helpings! Can you believe that Derek told us that was a HALF SHEET! Amazing!

                    by the way, we are working on pictures (I got a good one of Derek's cake), and will let folks know when they are posted.

                  2. Peter Yee Oct 8, 2006 09:08 PM

                    The event was great and with cooperative weather, even better.

                    The only thing the disappointed me was that we seemed to have less people, probably owing to all of the conflicts with other events on the 7th. Too bad, since those that made it to the picnic had a great time.

                    My thanks to the organizing committee for pulling off a very well orchestrated event!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Peter Yee
                      susancinsf Oct 9, 2006 04:50 AM

                      Unfortunately, there were a fair number of paid no shows. (and since our insurance rates are based in part on numbers that RSVP they will be attending, refunds aren't possible)...Since they paid, I suspect it was either illness (there are some nasty bugs going around), or worry about the crowds in the park, rather than necessarily conflicts with the other events. If some of you listened to the rumors that roads would be closed and parking would be impossible, that is a shame. I was there quite early, so of course I got prime parking, but Hubby arrived at or a bit after noon, and parked less than 40 yards away from the site.

                      1. re: susancinsf
                        Peter Yee Oct 10, 2006 02:02 AM

                        I arrived an hour late and had no problems finding parking within hailing distance from the picnic, so I agree, that shouldn't have been the problem.

                      2. re: Peter Yee
                        chocolatetartguy Oct 9, 2006 05:59 PM

                        There was a lot going on this weekend. Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Billy Bragg, Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield) amoung others at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass fest; Blue Angels/Fleet week; Mill Valley Film Festival.

                      3. free sample addict aka Tracy L Oct 8, 2006 07:33 PM

                        When I think about the event yesterday I can only describe my experience in superlatives: amazing array of food and wine, terrific company, very well organized (I got a kick out of the table countdowns),yet plenty of opportunites for spontaneous fun and a picture perfect day in GG park. Thanks to all for a great time and a fun adventure.

                        1. m
                          maus1 Oct 8, 2006 03:59 PM

                          The weather was perfect, great food and wonderful company!

                          Thanks to all who attended the picnic for contributing to a fantastic event...and especially thanks to my fellow organizing committee members for making all the work in the past few weeks a real pleasure.


                          as requested I will post the mole recipe.

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