Chowing with the Hounds Picnic, 2008 Report.
Once more the picnic gods gave us a perfect day in an idyllic setting in Laurel park, with truly amazing food (in vast quantities!), fun activities and, of course, wonderful company.
Attendance by about 65 hounds was about the same as last years’. The organizing committee and a group of volunteers set up 8 tables of food and beverages that were collapsing with the weight of delicacies from around the world and the Bay area. Links for photos and descriptions will be provided. We also hope for recipes if possible (some, we are told, are secret family recipes).
At some points we had three or more activities taking place at the same time. Food, beer tasting, chicken salad competitions…yet there was time for people to relax and even take naps in the shade. The smell of the California Laurel trees was wonderful.
The beer tasting consisted of 20 (or more) beers in several categories. We heard explanations for the taste and brewing techniques. It was truly a tasting course!
The Chicken salad throw down pitted two board veterans, Oakjoan and yimster, in an oriental version of chicken salad. The first was a 1960’s recipe that combined oriental ingredients for a remarkable contemporary taste, the second a cornucopia of ingredients such as baboo roots, jellyfish, noodles and preserved duck eggs. And yes, it was a tie!!! 4.8 out of five. Why not 5? Because only my mother’s chicken salad gets a 5!!!
By the time we left at 4:00, most participants were vowing not to eat again for at least a week! (I could barely muster some tamal leftovers and chicken salad for dinner).
I wish to thank my fellow committee members for their support and help in making the picnic possible. Urmi, Cece, Susan, thanks! Also thanks to the “chicken salad iron chefs” oakjoan and Yimster. And of course to thewonderful people who brought us the beer tasting event.
We hope that next year the picnic will be as successful as this year, and that more people are able to attend what is rapidly becoming a great tradition for the Bay area food community.
Links and reports on the http://www.chowingwiththehounds.com website will be forthcoming.
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Thanks to Marlon and all the committee members for a great picnic! As someone who has worked on the picnic in the past, I know how much goes into it!
I got there late and missed most of the appetizers and entrees. Of what I tried, the one that stood out were some meatballs coated in what looked like sushi rice. Unusual and delicious.
Since it was such a hot day, the highlight turned out to be the serendipitous ice cream/gelato/sorbet tasting. Windy had brought 12 different flavors from a place in the city (La Copa Loca?), Louise brought five flavors of homemade ice cream/sorbet and Nate from ScreamSorbet brought four flavors of sorbet. It's a testament to the creativity of all that there were more than 20 flavors and no exact duplicates -- the closest they came was raspberry, with a raspberry-plum from Louise, a pure raspberry from Scream and a mixed berry from Copa Loca. This amazing array of "eat them before they melt' treats drew 'hounds from every corner of the picnic site for an impromptu ice cream social. It would be hard to choose a favorite from choices that ran the gamut from chocolate to cucumber dill, but the ones that stood out were Louise's raspberry-plum and apricot-pistachio and Scream's lemon-rosemary and Charentais melon.
Again, thanks to all who came and brought delicious food -- it's always fun to see old faces and learn new ones.