Thursday, June 18, 2009

An International Picnic Day Invitation

Picnic Day LogoUpdate: The Alphabet Picnic Game basket is full. I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing... YOU!

Today is International Picnic Day and I thought it would be fun to invite everyone to join in to play an online Picnic Game. What? You've never played the Picnic Game. It was one of my very best favorite alphabet travel games to play when I was a child. Almost every Sunday, after church, my mother and father would pack us in the car for the long ride to Grandma's house. Grandma lived in the city (Manhattan) and we lived in the suburbs (Long Island.) In retrospect, I guess the ride wasn't really that long. It took a little over an hour, I think. Anyway, it seemed like forever then. My sister and I saved the Picnic Game for those "highly anticipated" trips to grandma's apartment in the projects. We would pass the time away dreaming up items to bring to our fantasy picnic. Want to Play? I hope so because it would be so much more fun if we had twenty-six blogging friends to tote a goodie along.

Since I've never played the Picnic Game online before, I'm not quite sure what the rules should be. Below, I've done my best to make up a set of rules (all games need rules, you know:) However, if there's anything I've missed, or, you have any suggestion, I'm all ears. Let's go over the basic rules for the traditional Alphabet Picnic Game first.

The traditional memory game starts when one player recites:
"I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an ___." (some word(s) that start with an A; for instance Apple Pie)

The second player says, "I'm going on a picnic, and I'm bringing an Apple Pie. (the same "A" word(s) the first player used, in this case an Apple Pie) and ___." they add a "B" word. (for instance, Blueberry Muffins)

Now, if the second player said they were going to bring a Hula Hoop, they wouldn't be able to come:( You see, although the Picnic Game is played various ways, since today is International Picnic Day, I thought it best to stick with the alphabet version, that's the game I am most familiar with. (We are also going to concentrate on picnic recipes too, but we'll get to that later:) So the full sentence would be:

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an Apple Pie and Blueberry Muffins.

Let's do one more the traditional way just to make sure I know what I'm doing:)
I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an Apple Pie, Blueberry Muffins and Candy. (I added a "C" word; Candy)

Sometimes, the picnic game is played and the words can be anything; people, places, or things. Although that's fun too, I thought it would be more exciting to add a bit of zip by offering a previously posted recipe. (or a new one if you prefer) Plus, it would give everyone a chance to go back over their blogs and highlight a recipe that has gotten lost in the archives. For those visitors who haven't joined the blogosphere yet, an exception can always be made:) Just remember, the recipe must begin with your letter of the alphabet, which leads me to the rules for the Online International Picnic Day Game.

Online Picnic Day Game Rules

Update: June 20, 2009-Picnic Day Picnic Game. Only nine (9) letters left.

Once again, I've tried to make the "rules" as easy and fair as possible. I am open to suggestions.

1. Since this is a virtual picnic day celebration, that means Anyone, Anywhere can play. It doesn't matter if you live in Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hungary, India...or the USA. If you have a suitable picnic recipe you're welcome to play.

2. Leave a comment below with the recipe dish or letter you would like to bring on the picnic and I will let you know if you can join. Recipes will be chosen by alphabet letter only. For instance, if you want to bring a dish to the picnic, that begins with the letter "A," your comment must be left before another person's letter "A" dish. We can only have one letter of the alphabet for each dish. Note: If you would like to choose a backup letter just in case your chosen letter is taken, that would be GREAT too!!! If you would rather I suggest a letter from those letters that are left or you just LOVE surprise, let me know and I will "assign" you a letter and you can create the dish.

3. I will let you know if you can bring your dish to the picnic by leaving a You're Invited! comment on your blog. (for those with no blog, please leave an email address) "You're Invited" will be your signal to prepare a post for the Picnic Day Round-Up. Now, here's the confusing part. Your post can be your usual post but at the beginning of the post, you should mention something about the Picnic Game and a link list of the dishes that are being brought before yours. For example:

Let's say my dish begins with the letter "F" and I'm bringing Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge. After a short introduction to the game, my post would look something like this:

I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...
A-Apple Raspberry Turnovers
C-Cilantro & Lime Chicken Breasts
D-Double Good Macaroni & Cheese
E-Edamame & Violet Risotto
F-Foolproof Dark Chocolate Fudge.

Naturally, it will look much more appetizing with fetching photographs between each dish:) UPDATE: Gloria over @ Cookbook Cuisine is coming on the picnic she posted her dish today. She chose the letter "D" You can look at her post to get a better idea. 

In its traditional form, the Picnic Game is not written down, or in this case posted. Memory is of the utmost importance. As items are "brought" to the picnic, the list becomes longer and longer finally concluding at the letter "Z." As the picnic goodies are recited, it becomes more difficult to remember who is bringing what. That's usually the times players choose to "change" the rules. Just like there are different ways of playing Monopoly, (free space money, or NOT) Players can agree beforehand if they choose to leave out the more difficult letters such as X, Q and Z. We won't be eliminating any letters. In our game, the list will continue from blog to blog with each blogger adding an alphabetical link for each item being brought on the picnic. They will also include their dish in their post whether it be by posting the recipe or by linking to a recipe previously posted on their blog.

In the above example, I did a quick search focusing on the first letter. As most of my regular visitors know, I don't usually post scrumptious looking pictures, precise cooking directions or tempting accompaniments. Many of the recipes I include are scanned or offered from one of the many cookbooks in my collection. (like the recipe for Blondies above) Quite frankly, I don't cook as often as I should. (Hint: That will be changing when I get to PA:) However, my plan is to actually include a recipe for the International Picnic Day Picnic Game. We'll see:) At first, I was going to start things off by filling the picnic basket with the first item. I have decided against that for the time being. Many people are on a blog hiatus since the nice weather is upon us. (will it ever stop raining on the east coast?) I'm going to leave the letter choosing all up to YOU! I will whip up something with the leftovers:)

Well, I think I've covered all the bases. If I've missed anything, please feel free to let me know by leaving a comment or dropping me an email. (acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com) IMHO, I think this is going to be fun, inexpensive and a wonderful opportunity to revisit some of the posts many have buried in their archives. You might be surprised to realize the difficulty in choosing a dish when alphabet letters are involved so may I suggest, that you choose a letter quick! 

I was trying to come up with an appropriate time-line for the picking and posting. I've decided on Monday, June 22nd. It just happens to be this bloggers birthday and I've been wanting to go on a picnic so badly; I can taste it. So, please email me your picnic day link, by midnight, June 22, 2009 (the sooner the better so I can pass it along) and I will post the complete Picnic Basket of goodies on Tuesday, June 23rd which just happens to be National Peaches & Cream Day:) If the majority of contributors don't mind, I will also revisit the Picnic Basket of goodies in July for National Picnic Month and include a list of the links and images on that post also.


1. Choose a recipe with your chosen letter and write a post about it on your blog. (see #5 below) If the recipe is from your archives, link to it from the post or just repost it.

2. If you would like to include the Picnic Day Logo I "designed" above, (no easy task for this blogger. I used a vintage die-cut recipe book:) be my guest. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a dish from every letter of the alphabet. The more the merrier, they say...

3. Email me at acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com (it would be really nice of you to include Picnic Day in the subject line) In the email please include the following.

a. Your name
b. Your blog's name
c. Your post URL
d. The name of your recipe
e. A description (optional)
f. An image of your dish (250 pixels wide sounds good) Also let me know if you give me permission to pass the image along to another picnicker. (see #5 below)

4. If you would like to bring more than one dish to the picnic, you are more than welcome. Just note it in the email and include items c-f for each additional dish.

5. You must list what the people before you are bringing. That's why it's called the Picnic Game! I will email you with those links and images, if permitted, (see f above) as soon as they are emailed to me.

6. Please email me as soon as you know what you are bringing. No later than Monday, June 22, midnight EST. The sooner the better so I can forward your link to the other picnickers.

7. I will be posting the entire list of Picnic Day recipes by midnight June 23, 2009. If for some reason, there are not enough entries by that time, I may have to delay the posting until Wednesday, June 24th. (I may be going to PA for my birthday:)

8. If you would like to participate in the Picnic Day Game, and you don't have any available recipes or, just aren't up to creating a dish to bring on the picnic, get creative and find other non-food items to bring along. (take a picture of some silverware or anything picnic like:)

9. If for some reason, there are not more than 16 entries for the Picnic Day Game, I will announce it on my blog on Sunday, June 21st. In that case, I will more than likely wait until the end of June and do the complete list posting for National Picnic Month in July. At that time, I will ferret out dishes to bring with my Hospitality search engine and include those you have sent me. Like I mentioned before, many people are away. However, if you have been lurking @ Months of Edible Celebrations, now would be the perfect time to introduce yourself and your blog if you have one. If you don't have a blog, introduce yourself anyway. Picnics are always more enjoyable when there are new people to meet and greet!

10. Most important of all, Have FUN!

Do you want to go on a picnic with me for my birthday? Oh goodie, then just pick a letter and let's get toting!!!

Update: 2009 Picnic Game final list. So many goodies:)

1. Picnic Recipes and Tips (food network)
2. Picnic Recipes @ Epicurious
3. Stalking Wonder: The Picnic (I was blog hopping late the other night and ran across this inspiring picnic post:)
4. Warm Fingerling Potato Salad ( This one also. I suppose I was in a picnic state of mind:)
5. National Picnic Month (my Picnics for Motorist post last year)