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

Pssst | Oct 10, 200401:19 PM     52

All week it threatened to be rainy, cold and overcast, but Saturday turned out to be a fabulous day for a picnic. Bright, sunny and warm – hurray! More than 50 chowhounds came out and shared their favorite dishes with each other and socialized.


Food Demo – Han’s food demonstration was wonderful. He made Martak (sp)? and made it look very easy. I was expecting a round spring roll-like item and was delighted when he made a flatter, envelope-shaped treat. The beauty of the design is that it allows the interior to cook much faster. So I wouldn’t have to worry about having a burned wrapper and semi-raw meat interior! I could totally make this dish and not worry. I missed not having a demo last year and hope someone volunteers to do one next year. Thanks Han! (And Han, can you post your recipe for everyone to enjoy?)

Honey Tasting – I really enjoy these side-by-side tastings, and the tasting committee did a great job putting together this year’s comparison of eight different kinds of honey. I loved the honeycomb and blue cheese combo. Diana mentioned that when they doing the pre-picnic honey taste-off, they did a parmesan-honey combo that was also excellent. I have now been enlightened and swear to integrate honey into my cheese plates. I hope we continue to make blind tastings a part of every picnic.

Cookbook Swap – There was so much going on that this got pushed to the end of the picnic. I lethargically pawed my way through a good selection of cookbooks and managed to find 2 nice books (A New Way to Cook; Gourmet’s Basic French) to replace 2 cookbooks (Cooking for Friends; Dessert Circus) that I had brought. Did you know that on the average, only 3 recipes from a cookbook make it into a person’s regular repertoire? I love the idea of being able to pass on cookbooks (from which I have already harvested my favorites) to someone else who will enjoy it. Bring this back next year, but do it earlier, ok?

Curtis’ Food SuperQuiz – Yikes! I was stuffed from the food (and Melanie’s Wine Bar) and ready for a nap when the 40 question pub-style quiz began. I won’t lie – it was tough! Really tough! There was a musical round, there was a general food knowledge round, there was a SF food history round. Fun was had by all. Let’s do this again too!


What can I say? One again there was a lot of wonderful food. I was stuffed, stuffed, stuffed. The quesadillas, Pim’s soup, the mole, Joel’s chicken skillet dish, the rice pudding, the kuggel, everything rocked!! Please, please, please post your recipes. And I know that a lot of you don’t cook from recipes so if you could just describe how you make it, you’d make a lot of us happy.

I’ve started a thread on the general board, please add your recipe to it.

The picnic reporters will be adding their reports to this thread (tasting, contests, etc.). We'd love for you to add your general comments to this thread as well. Also, we'll try to have photos posted by next week, if you have any photos you'd like to contribute, please contact us at thepicnichounds@chowingwiththehounds.com.

Lastly, the 2004 Planning Committee has suggestions for the future 2005 Planning Committee:

1. This year’s site was the best ever – private, good parking, near bathroom, sunny but with available shade, plenty of tables. We’d recommend trying to get this site next year.
2. Nix the Contest – some people find it stressful, it’s a logistical nightmare and some people (me) are really tired of it. How about either no contest at all or just one “Best Thing I’ve Put In My Mouth All Day” (wink, wink…) award to honor the most astonishing/wonderful food at the picnic. We can name it the Best Bite Award.
3. Guests don’t bring a dish – In the past the thinking was that every one who comes to the picnic brings a dish because that makes it the most equitable. Otherwise, a single person would bring a dish and a couple would still only have to bring one dish – how fair is that? But faced with the reality of the overwhelming amount of food at the picnic, something’s got to give. And a single person can bring a friend – and might be more likely to if their friend doesn’t have to bring a dish. Anyway, something to think about.
4. Leftover food – every year there is a lot of leftovers and every year I wish I had brought to-go containers to exchange my leftovers with other people’s leftovers. And sometimes I make do – in fact as we speak I’m eating Nick’s rice pudding that I put in a plastic cup. If we handed out Regulation Chowhound To Go Containers at say, 3:30 pm, after everyone has eaten their fill, we could all have a treat for later.
5. One word – raffle! So the park rules state that we can’t solicit donations on site (or handle money in any way), but we could pre-sell raffle tickets at the time of registration. It could be fun and everyone loves a raffle.

We’d love to hear about your experience at the picnic – so let us know what you liked!

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