Saturday, July 26, 2008

Whew and catch up #1

We are back among the non-technologically cursed! Well, Brian's still suffering a bit but I am happily typing on my whiz-bang new computer. It has taken me a little while to shift and organize all my crap on this computer and I still don't know the in's and out's of the new operating system. But suffice it to say there is no longer a cloud of static and swear words hovering over our house.

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
Mother's Kitchen
The Farmer's Marketer
The Hungry Masses
Eat Close to Home
Fruitcake or Nuts
Diana Dyer
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:
Patti's star biscuits and strawberry jam

A cous cous salad
Completely addictive raspberry lemonade--I think I drank about 4 mugs full of this bliss.

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
  1. Grate the beets using a food processor (or manually, but prepare to be splattered with magenta juice).
  2. Whisk together orange juice, zest, vinegar, mustard, olive oil and salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  3. Toss the beets with the dressing. Let sit for at least 1/2 hour (but can happily sit overnight in the fridge too).
  4. Before serving, toss in the walnuts, parsley and other herbs if you are using them. Top with crumbled feta.
  5. Warn the beet neophytes that their pee will turn pink after consuming this salad, otherwise they might get a little freaked out.


Anonymous said...

That beet salad was awesome! Thanks so much for bringing it and for coming to the party.

I will definitely see you again soon, my friend :)

Shayne said...

I so loved that Beet salad and I am planning the next get together in September. weeee fun!

Alex Harrison said...

I bought beets today to make the beet salad! Thanks for posting the recipe...

Diana Dyer said...

I second/third the comments that this beet salad is awesome! I bought beets at the farmers' market this morning just to make this beautiful dish for my beet-loving husband. Thanks for the tip about wearing gloves (and maybe an old t-shirt, too).