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Second Annual Twin Cities RFC Picnic

Organized by Beth Jarvis

August 2, 1997

Hi Everyone,

We had a great turnout and a pretty decent day. It was warm (91) but there was a breeze and we camped out under some trees.

Damsel and Crash met me at the park and we grabbed a couple of tables that were relatively shaded, at the time. Damsel wore a skirt, in keeping with the "in dis Dress" theme. She made mahogany chicken wings, spicy noodles, and chocolate lychees with candied ginger centers.

Pat, Karen and Chris George, and Dan Goodman were the first to arrive. Pat's the cook in the family and made all sorts of goodies. He nearly wore son Chris out with numerous trips to the van and back (he made, among other goodies, 3 key lime pies). And yes, he did bring the "strip and go nakeds" that were rated surprisingly good.

Jack S. and his racquetball partner, Hsiao-Chi were the next to arrive. Jack must have spent all day Friday in the kitchen baking and cooking up a storm (and brewing, as he made some cranberry kvass that we all sampled). He brought a chocolate angel food cake and some Russian biscotti, among other things. He even talked Hsiao-Chi, who he said doesn't cook much, into making Taiwanese sushi, from her home country.

Valerie Whitmore and her hubby, Brent, brought goodies, including a yummy chocolate cake that got overheated in the sun, and their "famous" Dalmatian, Chilidog, after whom Valerie's website is named.

Bill Hillbrich and Pam Jacoby and her friend, Ed, arrived simultaneously. Ed had made brownies with a cream cheese filling just so there would be some "bars." He gave Valerie the first piece, since she'd made a point of not making "bars" (later, there was some hair splitting if "brownies" were technically "bars" or not. Barb Schaller ruled they were "bar cookies." She knows her state fair food exhibits rule book). Pam made a tasty pasta dish that was also beautiful and other things. Bill brought a huge cooler full of stuff, including Joel Ehrlich's famous house dressing, an Amish dip, and a zucchini salad.

Barb Schaller, who had cancelled out on Friday, surprised us all by showing up, apologizing for a "meager" contribution of several items, including a Czech pasta type dish and coffee cake we didn't do justice to cuz we were all stuffed.

I think all the women RFCers made at least three things each and the guys more than held up their end of the counter top. I'll let everyone post their recipes. I lost track as the table filled up.

I, Beth, made Hattie's goat cheese torta, baguettes from James Beard's Cuban bread recipe to go with the torta, mushroom kisses and wontons with sweet and sour dipping sauce. The torta certainly had enough garlic! The copy I had called for eight cloves. Maybe I shudda used smaller cloves...;-) Buffy the Vampire Slayer has nothing on us tonight!

We just had a really pleasant time! Obviously, lots of good food. It was easy to feel like instant friends as we all shared jokes about threads on RFC (even the spouses/SOs seemed to be familliar with some of the threads). RFC was a great ice breaker but we found enough to keep the party going until 6. Next year, we're going to try to curb our creative impulses as there was just too much food and too little refrigeration. True to our frugal midwestern nature, it seemed such a shame to bring so much home.

Bill Hillbrich has invited us to his house in St. Cloud for next year, if the group is willing to make the trip. Of course, we could have a winter get together and break out those hotdish recipes! ;-) Maybe Nancy Dooley will have the puppy house broken by then and it won't be too hot for her to travel!

We hope the rest of you TC area RFCers (and greater Minnesota, Wisconsin, & Iowa) will join us next time! If you're not on "my list" and would like to be sure to be invited to the next 'do, drop me an e-mail and I'll add you now.