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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!

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!

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  1. 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.

    1. 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. 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

          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

            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

            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. 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

              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. 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. 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

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

                2. 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

                    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

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

                      1. re: jhinky

                        and i am already trying it!!!

                    2. re: Shreesh Taskar

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

                        1. 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