Now it is my task to do some catch up posts that took place while I was in techno-la-la-land. First up:
The Lady Food Blogger's Picnic!
Patti and Kim had the brilliant idea to invite together local women food-freaks who they had encountered on the blog o' sphere for a face to face meet up and pig out. Thanks to their social and organizational skills, I got to meet the authors behind:
64 sq ft kitchen
The Community Farm Kitchen
Teacher in the Hood
The Farmer's Marketer
The Hungry Masses
Eat Close to Home
Fruitcake or Nuts
Could you hum a few bars?
and Victoria who runs the Local Food Workgroup
Once we got over being seen in person, we settled around a table groaning with food and got to know each other. It was impossible to get a bit of everything on one plate. My first attempt looked like this:
Starting at the top: a green salad with cilantro dressing, beet salad, bbq beef, brown rice and kale, swiss chard custard, kale chips, and baguette with white bean dip.Here are a few photos of other delicacies which I consumed on round two:
There was also dessert which included a lovely red current tart (recipe here), an olive oil and walnut cake (recipe here) with balsamic drenched plums, and some classic cherry pie. Yes, I tried all of them. And then I slouched down in my chair to accommodate my stuffed belly and went into a lovely food coma.
What did I bring? I brought the raw beet salad. Unfortunately I didn't take a pic (just that little pile of magenta peeking out from under the green salad above). A few folks who aren't fond of beets tried it at the picnic and asked for the recipe, and then I tried out the leftovers on a friend who is married to a Ukrainian and her dislike of beets has been a source of conflict in their otherwise happy marriage. She had two servings (along with a sigh of relief) and also wanted the recipe to ensure future marital bliss. As a beet lover, I liked the salad but missed the earthiness that comes out when beets are roasted. But this lack of the "dirt factor" was probably what the beet-haters among us appreciated.
The Power-to-Convert-Beet-Haters Salad
loosely adapted from the Stonesoup blog recipe
4 or 5 medium sized raw beets, peeled (put on rubber gloves to do this--it'll stain the bejeezus out of your palms)
zest of one orange
juice of 1/2 orange
2 T red wine vinegar
2 t whole grain mustard
4 T olive oil
1 C toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 C chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 C chives, chopped (optional)
1/4 C fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1/2 C crumbled feta (optional)
kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Grate the beets using a food processor (or manually, but prepare to be splattered with magenta juice).
- Whisk together orange juice, zest, vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
- Toss the beets with the dressing. Let sit for at least 1/2 hour (but can happily sit overnight in the fridge too).
- Before serving, toss in the walnuts, parsley and other herbs if you are using them. Top with crumbled feta.
- Warn the beet neophytes that their pee will turn pink after consuming this salad, otherwise they might get a little freaked out.