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Minneapolis Picnic of June 22, 2002

Hosted by Dan Goodman

The RFC'ers

Damsel, Barb, Steve, Lynn, Bonnie, Dan

Dan Goodman

Fresh apples

Fresh strawberries

Barb Schaller



Re the Minneapolis r.f.c. pic-a-nic. It happened. WeBeBeat.

Bonnie and Lynn followed me from suburbia to The City for the pic-a-nic. Traffic was ug-a-ly and we detoured a bit. That was pretty ug-a-ly for a while, too. When we arrived on the scene, Dan Goodman and Bob The Paramedic were holding forth. We were about a half hour late. Lynn commenced to setting out her leetle charcoal grill and Pyro Bob and she WORKED at getting it lit. They prevailed. The chosen pic-a-nic table for laying out the foodstuffs was under a pine tree. Good thing. We kept moving it to the shade.

I cracked out my Boursin cheese spread and a lovely assortment of crackers. We ate lots. Tasty stuff. Easy to make.

Regrettably, Bob had to leave quite early to get to a soccer tournament on the other end of town. He left his delectable smoked salmon fillets in my protective custody. Good move, BobbyDoll!! They are, um, being VERY well cared for. Really. I'm serious. The cheese spread was excellent, too! Hope you'll post the particulars for all of it.

We were not particularly organized. You will see that from the pictures. Lynn skewered the buffalo meat and the lambie for kabobs. You guys should've come to the party -- she brought enough for the group. The buffalo 'bobs were good, the lambie were delicious. After she got them off the grill, I put my flank steak on. Could've used more heat, but the meat cooked -- not as much as SOME PEOPLE would have liked it, but they were advised after a point that if they wanted it cooked more, they were ENTIRELY welcome to put it on the heat THEMSELVES! Lynn also brought a very nice curried turkey-rice salad. You'll see a picture of me enjoying a grape from the salad. We forgot to cook the pork rolls that were sent from the East (I'm trying to be sneaky here and hope she won't notice. I tried to slash my wrists, but was discouraged from doing so by the others. They wanted to do it myself. By the time somebody remembered it, the freakin' coals were gone and we had no way to cook the stuff. I sorry. My bad). The vegetable salad was enjoyed by them what tasted it. It tried to be Eva's marinated salad from last year's Calgary soirée, but didn't quite make it. The maker didn't realize she needed cukes and tomatoes when she went to the grocery store to procure the sweet peppers and onion for it. It was still VERY good.

Lynn commenced to serve up her baklava. Quite different. Very good. A creamy layer in it instead of nuts and stuff. With rosewater. Smelled deevine. Like roses. I brought the Rhubarb Custard Cake. It was good. OK, so Dams started moaning when she tasted it, it was THAT good. I brought The Brownies, too. Unfortunately, they got wet from the ice in my cooler. Pity. Still good (I think they were being polite saying it), but soggy in a couple places. Bleah. Billy's Strawberry Shortcake that he posted was damn good, Alan Zelt. With Cool-Whip. So there! I'd used some orange sugar in the fruit mix, along with a handful of blueberries. We coulda done worse.

Well, then Steve (posts as sd -- how creative) finally arrived with his creation. A veggie bouquet. As he said, people hate to tie into it. I forced myself. Estéban, amigo mío, post the particulars of that cheddar dip, si me hace el favor (He's not Spanish -- I just wanted to dazzle you with command of la lengua).

Shortly thereafter, we dispersed. Dams and Crash bailed and Dan disappeared, leaving Lynn, Bonnie, Steve, and me to clean up. Did I mention that it was hotter'n blazes? There was a lovely breeze blowing, though, and I was comfy on my throne -- I mean, CHAIR, in the shade. Could've been worse. You shoulda come. We talked about all ofyou. Lynn wasn't very nice, but I was. Dams was discreet. Ppffttt!!

If you give me until about 8:15 CDT, I'll have the pictures up. Woo-hoo. Dams has the picture of us all in our pickle hats.

-Melba Leibowitz

Barb Schaller's Famous Orgasmic Chocolate Brownies

Barb Cutting Brownies with a 
Spackling Blade

Recipe By: Barb Schaller
Serving Size: 24
Preparation Time: 0:45
Categories: Bars

1 cup unsalted butter (8 oz.)
4 ozs unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups granulated sugar (15 oz.)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup chopped nuts, optional (walnuts or pecans)
1 1/3 cups cake flour (6 oz.)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In microwave oven, on medium-high power, melt butter and chocolate in 2-quart microwave-safe bowl, about 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Mix in granulated sugar, then beat in eggs, one at a time, with wire whisk. Mix in vanilla and almond. Stir in nuts. Combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt and fold into chocolate. Spread batter in 9x13" pan lined with baking parchment and bake in preheated oven at 350°F for about 33-35 minutes. Do not overbake; toothpick may have fudgy crumbs on it, but not wet batter.

Notes: First Place, Plain Brownies, 1997 Minnesota State Fair. Adapted from recipe in Cook's Illustrated magazine, March/April 1994. Please note that I do use real chocolate, unsalted butter and cake flour. If you do not, don't complain to me about it. And I don't believe the nutritional analysis at the bottom of this page!

Per serving (excluding unknown items): 197 Calories; 12g Fat (51% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 23g Carbohydrate; 58mg Cholesterol; 72mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1/2 Starch/Bread; 2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates

Beef Kunkoki

Flank steak on the grill

Serving Size: 6
Categories: Entrees

1 1/2 # beef flank steak
3 tbsp. sesame seeds
3 tbsp. salad oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 cup finely sliced green onion
1 clove garlic crushed
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Score flank steak in diamond pattern. Combine remaining ingredients and marinate meat in mixture for at least an hour. Grill or broil for 5-10 minutes (5 minutes per side is about right on the grill). Cut thinly across grain in diagonal slices to serve. 1-1/2# steak serves four to six (four is realistic).

Notes: Source: Judy Metz, October 20, 1984. Extra marinade can be combined with sliced and sauteed mushrooms and served with meat or over white rice.

Per serving (excluding unknown items): 99 Calories; 9g Fat (79% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 687mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1/2 Vegetable; 2 Fat

Boursin Cheese Spread (Formaggio al Borsini)

Boursin cheese spread

I served it with Ry-Krisp, Carr's Water Crackers, Keebler Club Crackers, and Triscuits

Recipe By: jmoyer, r.f.c post 1/97
Serving Size: 6
Preparation Time: 0:15
Categories: Appetizers/Nibblers

8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 pound butter softened
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and "age" a day


Notes: from jmoyer@concentric.net, r.f.c., 1/97

Per serving: 270 Calories; 29g Fat (93% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 83mg Cholesterol; 268mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 1/2 Lean Meat; 5 1/2 Fat


Marinated vegetable salad

OK, so it was a marinated pepper and onion salad. I remembered that it needed peppers; I didn't remember it needed tomatoes and cukes. I did my shopping without checking a proper copy of the recipe. I also didn't use the water called for in the recipe. When I made it last year, mine wasn't as good as Eva's. This year, mine was pretty darn good. The veggies were still crisp.

I started the spiced vinegar last year: peppercorns, allspice, bay leaf, in a bottle, vinegar poured over. Let age for a month before using -- at least a couple weeks. It really makes the salad!

I used a vidalia onion, sliced into rings, and red, green, orange, and yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into rings. And maybe 1/2 cup of the water called for.

By: Eva Kende

1 medium cooking onion, sliced thin
1 large English cucumber sliced paper thin
1 large bell pepper sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 Roma tomatoes sliced

5 tablespons sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup spiced vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Layer all the vegetable with the seasoning, except the tomatoes, in a salad bowl. Bring the Marinade to boiling point and pour it over the vegetables. Let it stand at least 20 minutes, add the tomatoes and refrigerate Serve when chilled.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

Rhubarb custard cake

Never mind that this was topic A on r.f.c. in the summer of 2001 and has been posted umpteen times. I've only got a couple good recipes.

When we were at the Calgary Cook-In 6/01, Harry took us to a swell cooking-book store that also sold fancy schmancy food stuff. I bought some "Toast Sugar" -- Orange Vanilla stuff. For sprinkling on buttered toast or whatever. I used about 1/4 cup of it sprinkled over the rhubarb below. Pretty good.

Recipe By: Strib Taste Section 5/88
Serving Size: 18
Categories: Desserts

Two-layer yellow cake mix
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup granulated sugar
1 pint whipping cream (2 cups)

Prepare batter for cake mix according to package directions; turn into greased and floured 9x13" pan. Dump the chopped rhubarb on top of the cake batter. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the rhubarb. Pour the whipping cream (unwhipped) over the sugar. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly touched.

Cream, sugar, and rhubarb sink to bottom, forming a custard layer. Makes 1-18 (depending on how you cut it!!) dee-vine servings.

Notes: Source: Star Tribune Taste Section 5/25/88. Halve the recipe (Jiffy one-layer cake mix) and use a 9² square pan; bake ±45 minutes (5/16/95).

Strawberry Shortcake

Never mind that Billy posted this here on about 6/13. I liked the sound of it. I used some of that Orange Vanilla sugar on the berries I sliced, too. I also included a coupla handsful of blueberries -- that patriotic thang happening, doncha know. Thanks, Billy.

1 quart strawberries; hulled
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese; softened
1 cup powdered sugar
8 oz Cool Whip
14 oz angel food cake; cut in cubes

Wash, stem, and cut strawberries in half. Add sugar; toss to mix well and chill.

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar well. Fold in whipped topping and cake cubes. Spread cake into an ungreased 13x9 dish.

Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Cut cake into squares; top with strawberries.

Contributor: Inez Willenborg