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Sep 17, 2009 11:49 AM

Possibly the last Chowing with the Hounds Picnic - Help me think of something great to bring

I've heard talk this is the last picnic. I've yet to make it to one but all the delicious reports over the years have me wanting to try to make this one.

I have been to a few Chowdowns at various restaurants and almost as much as I've enjoyed great food, even more it has be wonderful meeting other hounds. The picnics sound even better with people flying in from different parts of the country and even other countries ... and carrying food with them for the picnic.

First of all, I don't cook well. You wouldn't want me to do that to you. I DO shop well.

However, maybe it is the flu that I'm under, but I just cant think of a thing to bring.

It probably would have been moranga from Mom's Cuisine, but, sob, it closed.

My best tastes this year have been either seasonal such as katia's Easter kulich or stuff that doesn't travel or keep well. My favorite place this year has been Fremont Diner, but my favorite dishes there are fried and best eaten from the frier. I could pick up some of their terrific pickles, but that is hardly enough.

I thought maybe malfatti from Lawler's Liquors since it is a unique regional dish, but while it is fine, it is not stunningly great.

So I appeal to you for ideas ... what would be something great I could buy to bring to the picnic?

Ninth Annual Chowing with the Hounds Picnic! October 3rd, 2009

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  1. Brisket from Uncle Willie's. Lots of people here have read about it, few have made the effort to experience its glory.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Yeah, ideas like that are great That's initially why I thought of the malfatti. There are so many dishes we read about over and over on the boards and just don't seem to make it there.

      BTW, here was the spread for the first picnic in 2001 where over 70 people attended

      And to feel a sense of the spirit of the first picnic

      "What a pleasure...

      During the course of a single afternoon I was able put faces to so many names and handles. I don't know the last time I was at an event of this size that felt this close and personal.

      Over 70 smiling faces and generous spirits filled a portion of G.G. park. People who have taken such wonderous pleasure in sharing ideas, sources, finds and friendships through their writings on the internet got to share each others warmth and spirit in person."

      "I can't even begin to list all the food we had (Spanish, Russian, Korean, Indonesian, Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, you name it someone brought it) - three picnic tables covered with food (including the benches at least for the dessert table!) - plus a fourth one covered with the cheese for the cheese contest."

      ... and each year seemed to get better and better. I hope lots of people will attend this one and help make it an extra special blow out event.

      1. re: rworange

        A large pile of La Dee's fried pickles. They were great when hot but held up well so they were still good 3 hours later. I'm not sure of the next day though.

        1. re: wolfe

          the picnic doesn't start until 11 am, so unless La Dee's is closed Saturday that shouldn't be an issue (you don't think there would be any left *after* the picnic, do you? :-)

          1. re: susancinsf

            Unfortunately La Dee's in the depths of Sonoma near Glen Ellen doesn't open until 11 am ... and opens slowly at that. I have considered making a trek up there and trying their Texas chili and cornbread and seeing if it is picnic worthy

            Paleta's from the new place in Sonoma also crossed my mind but I'm thinking it won't work so well.


            Chowhound Picnic - Superb job and Best Chow Buffet anywhere !

            1. re: rworange

              You'd think I'd know that, guess I am going to have to go hang out at my Dad's house in Glen Ellen more often...but hmm....Cindy's idea of the cheeses from the shop in GE is a great one!

    2. A selection of breads from Semifreddis would be awesome.

      3084 Claremont Ave, Berkeley, CA

      2 Replies
        1. re: rworange

          Semifreddi's challah is one of the best in the area, and I think their honey twist and burger buns use the same dough.

          Their other breads to me are for emergencies only.

      1. This is the last picnic?! Tell me it's not true! I've wanted to come out to an event but dates/times always were an issue. This one yet again falls on a weekend I have to fly out for a wedding. Sigh.

        3 Replies
        1. re: alina555

          That's what I heard. I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did. Originally it started to drum up some money to support Chowhound. Back in 2001 there were frequent appeals to keep the site going

          ChowMarket a Disaster; We're Doomed

          It was really a nice thing to do to drum up some money to keep a site going by a community that banded together for that effort. Many of the chowdowns in those days also did some fundraising.


          4 hours 50 dishes – 15,000 calories later - SF Hounds Picnic Report

          Picnic Report -- Honey Tasting

          Chowing w/ the Hounds Food Superquiz & Answers

          Picnic Report -- Cooking Demo

          Chow Picnic pictures ?

          1. re: rworange

            I don't want this to be the last picnic -- I've never been and this year cannot make it since I'm leaving that day for a vacation to Maine, etc.

            1. re: rworange

              For the record, Jim Leff sold Chowhound to CNET (which added the stuff) in 2006 , and CBS Interactive bought CNET last year.

          2. i suspect the best thing you could bring would be yourself.

            i've never been to the chowhound picnics: put on your reporter's hat and bang out a decent story with some pictures.

            a bushel of oysters would work for me. keep them cold, shuck them yourself. maybe some chilled hangar one shots to wash them down. two or three dipping sauces, simple ones like lemon, tabasco and something else served in those cheesy paper dentist cups, would work just fine.

            have fun with the writeup. insist on holding another picnic next year around october 19 so i can maybe bring a dish or two.

            3 Replies
            1. re: steve h.

              Are you volunteering for the 2010 picnic committee? :-)

              An oyster and vodka tasting, now that's an idea. I'm really ticked by this flu. It limits some of the tasting I might have done to come up with something to bring. I'm thinking maybe some of that fried chicken from Fremont Diner, but I haven't tried it room temperature to see how it holds up.

              I couldn't do a better write up that the many posters over the years. I hope people take a look at some of the previous posts and decide to join the fun.


              We Came, We Ate, We Drank: The 2005 Chowing with the Hounds Picnic

              1. re: rworange

                if you wrap the 2010 around october 19 (deb's birthday), i could be all over it. that's a promise, not a threat.

                i think you have very strong opinions and very strong writing skills. never dilute what you do well.

                lose the chicken idea. we cook some mighty-fine fried chicken at home here in stamford and the simple fact is that it doesn't travel well.

                grilling corn on-site, maybe a third of a cob per serving, with your chilled oysters and mini vodka shots would probably elevate you to rock star status. killer butter/hot pepper sauces for the corn will insure you immediate ascension and entrance to heaven.

                just my $0.02.

                1. re: rworange

                  rwo, I heard the same thing. I think the picnics can go on but others will have to step up and help. The picnic and chowdowns need hounds to host. Recently there have been less events because there are few hounds up want to host.

                  So we need to thank Marlon, susancinsf, cece and urmi for doing all the work all these years on the picnics.

              2. How about some nice unique cheeses from that place you went to in Glen Ellen?