Sunday, July 22, 2012

National Ice Cream Month; American Style

Since I inadvertently missed National Ice Cream Day last Sunday, I thought it best to at least celebrate National ice Cream Month before it too slips away. Funny thing about National Ice Cream Month, it's always in July. However, National Ice Cream Day has a way of shaking things up a bit because it is celebrated, for no apparent reason except a proclamation, on the third Sunday in July. Yep, I missed it while I was wandering through that garden post last week:)

Ice Cream in America

"The first appearance of ice cream in America is not known, but the first record of any sort indicating its presence in the colonies is a letter, written in 1700 by a guest of Governor William Bladen of Maryland, which states, "...we had dessert no less Curious; among the Rarities of which it was Compos'd was some fine Ice Cream which, with the Strawberries and Milk eat most deliciously."The Great American Ice Cream Book by Paul Dickson ©1973

Who doesn't like ice cream? For many of our immigrant ancestors, ice cream was the first taste experience they had on arriving to America. It seems, the commissioner of Ellis Island at the time insisted that ice cream be part of every immigrant's first meal. In fact, back in 2011, the folks at Turkey Hill (one of this gal's favorite ice cream makers) created an ice cream flavor in honor of Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty Mint (Mint ice cream with chocolate cake crunchies and crunchy chocolate cookie swirl) was created in honor of the Statue of Liberty’s 125th birthday.

New York Times, April 13, 1902

Ice cream was a personal favorite of both President George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who first tasted ice cream in Paris. I'm guessing when he came home from Paris with a French version of a hand churned ice cream Mrs. Jefferson came up with this recipe for her Vanilla Ice Cream. And, can you believe it has been 200 years since Dolly Madison served ice cream at the White House? Here's the scoop, it was in 1812 and the flavor was Strawberry!!!

"While ice cream had graced the tables of president's before, it was Dolly Madison who glamorizing it my first serving it at the White House at state dinners. An impressionable guest describes it with convincing effect; "Last night I was bid by our President to the White House, and it was a most unusual affair. Mrs. Madison always entertains with Grace and Charm; but last night there was a sparkle in her eye that set astir an Air of Expectancy among her Guests. When finally the brilliant Assemblage-America's best-entered the dining room, they beheld a Table set with French china and English silver, laden with good things to eat, and in the Centre high on a silver platter, a large shining dome of pink Ice Cream." The Great American Ice Cream Book p.25

Prior to 1843, ice cream making was a long and cumbersome process. In 1843, a woman by the name of Nancy Johnson invented the basic hand-churn machine that is sometimes still used today. The hand-cranked churn, which used ice and salt for cooling, replaced the pot-freezer method. She was issued patent #3254 on September 9, 1843 for an Artificial Freezer. A similar device was patented in 1848 by a Mr William Young, who called his invention the "Johnson Patent Ice Cream Freezer." It seems, she sold her rights to William Young for just $200.

To all whom it may concern:
Be: it known that I, NANCY M. JOHNSON, of the city of Philadelphia; and State of Pennsylvania have invented a new and useful Improvement in the Art: of Producing Artificial Ices, and that the following is a full and exact description of the machinery for carrying into effect the said improvement.

Mr. Dickson also notes that an African American by the name of Augustus Jackson, who learned to make ice cream while at the White House, later became one of the ice cream pioneers of Philadelphia when in 1832, he started one of the first retail ice cream shops in the city.

Fresh Peach Custard Ice Cream
Step 1 Place 3 cups freshly sliced peaches in a bowl (non metallic) and gently toss with 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. Set aside.
Step 2 Scald 2 cups of milk in the top of a double boiler. (Be careful not to boil milk) In a medium bowl beat 3 egg yolks with 1 cup sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Let scalded milk cool a few minutes, then pour it into the egg mixture and stir. Pour this combined mixture back into the double boiler and cook over medium heat until mixture will coat a spoon. Let mixture cool. Stir in 2 cups light cream and 4 teaspoons vanilla extract. Pour mixture into freezing can of your ice cream freezer and follow manufacturer's directions.
Step 3 Churn mixture until approximately half frozen, Then stir peaches into ice cream mixture. Continue with churning (freezing). Old Fashioned Ice Cream Recipes Bear Wallow Books ©1989

In 1888 Frozen Dainties was published by the makers of the White Mountain Freezer Company.

Endorsed by Mary Johnson Bailey (Mrs. D. A.) Lincoln; Mrs. Lincoln of Boston Cooking School fame, Frozen Dainties offered readers "Fifty Choice Receipts for Ice Creams, Frozen Puddings, Frozen Fruit, Frozen Beverages, Sherbets and Water Ices.

"...There are many ways of making the foundation for ice cream, and while I admit that the best "frozen dainties" need the addition of pure cream, I am not a believer in the doctrine advocated by many thast no good ice cream can be made without cream. The following recipes include all the best known and approved methods and from these one may select according to taste or means. Then, by varying the flavoring, ot the manner of serving, and with the help of a good ice cream freezer, a great variety of wholesome and attractive dishes may be made with very little expenditure of time and strength..."

1902 edition

The White Mountain Freezer looked like a bucket with handle and gears on top. The tub was made from Northern Pine which was treated to make it water proof. It was banded with galvanized iron hoops and the cans were made from a a heavy grade of charcoal tin plate while the outside was galvanized to prevent rust. Although there isn't a picture of the White Mountain Freezer in her first publication of the book, there is a rather detailed picture in the 1902 edition. Both these editions are from my personal collection. (click to enlarge)

As fascinating as this all is, and yes, I do find it all incredibly interesting, the most astonishing tidbit in this booklet comes from Mrs. Lincoln's recipe for "seedless" Strawberry Ice Cream. (although she simply calls it Strawberry ice Cream) Read through this recipe, I think you too will be impressed. Have you seen any seedless strawberry ice cream recipes lately?

Before we get to the "finale", I'd like to share a few other ice cream related items I have hanging around the house.

This Kopper Kettle, Sealtest Menu is undated but from the looks of the prices, I'm going to safely say it's vintage:)

This is an undated die-cut recipe book published by Hendler's Ice Cream Company founded by L. Manuel Hendler in 1905. That link will take you an article about Mr. Hendler and Kosher Ice Cream by Lisa Kelvin Tuttle. The Hendler Creamery in Baltimore Maryland was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
Don't you just love these Ice Cream Cone Salt & Pepper Shakers circa 1973

And the Grand Finale Ice Cream Watermelon Bombe!

Thanks everyone for visiting! I would like to take a moment to wish Mae, the hostess of Mae's Food Blog and "toter" of the Artichokes Steamed and Dressed with Mayonnaise to the annual Picnic Game, a very Happy Birthday!!! Thanks Mae for being such a devoted follower and "friend." May you have many, many more!!! Louise:)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Garden Peeks and Olympic Bites

As I was preparing today's post, I realized I haven't shared the latest goings on in the garden with you in a while.

Do you remember Mr. and Mrs. Robin? (Mr. Robin has been very difficult to snap this time:)

Well it seems Mrs. Robin has been at it again. That's right "kiddies" three more Robin Blue Eggs in the same spot as earlier in the season. When we discovered this new nest that was rebuilt from the ground up, I just had to research The Annual Cycle of the American Robin. Fascinating:)

It looks like there are only going to be three future "fledglings" (Fledglings are young birds that are almost grown but have yet to learn all they need to care for themselves) this time. When I ran outside to get a better nest picture for you yesterday, look what I found!

Marion reports that Mrs. Robin is quite happy to have the "new" water fountain within flying distance. The other day she said "I'm getting dizzy watching her fly back and forth hundreds of times a day." I tried to get a picture of her, Mrs. Robin that is, at the fountain but as Marion accurately noted, "she acts more like a hummingbird than a Robin while taking care of her babies."

I managed to mix up some cement before heading down to New York last week. While I was at it, I figured it was a good time to experiment with a few added decorations to the fountain base. That white pail just wasn't going to cut it! What do you think?

The fountain is only temporarily hooked up for the time being because it just isn't level enough to spray the water the way I would like. I haven't quite figured out how to remedy the situation but Katie's husband Sam said he will give me a hand as soon as he is finished tending to the hay crop. (that last sentence is not something I ever thought I would actually ever be writing but around these parts, we are very fortunate not to be under a drought alert and harvesting the hay for the cows on a dairy farm is of the upmost importance) Marion and I will gladly wait:)

There have been quite a few butterfly visitors this year. I'm sure it has much to do with many of the perennials I planted a few years ago finally leaping. Remember that line I learned about perennials; The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap! There was a time I didn't even think the Raspberry Wine Bee Balm was going to make it.

I can certainly understand the butterflies enjoying it, just look how pretty it looks even in the dark!

This Black Butterfly sure did enjoy it before heading off to check out the Butterfly Bush.

When he did make it over to the Butterfly Bush, he met up with his ol' pal the Yellow Butterfly for a few sips:) Yes, they have more than a few varieties to choose from:)

I love this shot of the Pink Poppy. Poppies are a fairly new garden friend of mine and I plan on planting a whole bed of them in front of Marion's living room window next year. I had no idea there were so many varieties so I'll have to do a bit of research before planting the bed. I'll also have to find out whether they neighbor well with Zinnias. Marion is quite firm when it comes to her Zinnia bed remaining right where it is. I'll get you a shot when they grow a bit taller:)

Olympic Food Bites

It shouldn't come as a surprise to any of us that the people of ancient Greece and Rome were the first proponents of the Raw Food "Fad." Here's a recipe I found in an article from the NY Daily News published for the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

Minted Garlic Spread
Serves 10
The Philosopher's Kitchen by Francine Segan. In ancient Greece, mint was a symbol of hospitality, says Segan. Welcome your guests to an Olympics party with this tangy dip.
3 cups cubed crusty bread, crusts on

3 tablespoons fruit vinegar

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh pepper, to taste

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

Assorted raw vegetables for dipping
Place the bread cubes, vinegar and 1/2 cup of water in a food processor. Allow to stand until the bread has absorbed all the liquid, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, honey, coriander, cumin and cheese. Purée until smooth. Slowly add the oil and continue to purée until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add mint leaves and pulse a few times to incorporate. Serve in a bowl surrounded by raw vegetables.

(source wikipedia)
Food historian Francine Segan studied The Deipnosophists [translated as The Banquet of the Learned or Philosophers at Dinner or The Gastronomers.] while researching her cookbook, The Philosopher's Kitchen. She found documents of an ancient Olympic runner who won several competitions while following a meat-only diet, which started a meat-only craze. (National Geographic News; August 2004)

Here's a recipe for Pole Vault Pepper Steak from the Official U.S. Olympic Training Table Cookbook published under the direction of the Kraft Creative Kitchens for the 1992 Summer Olympics. (FYI: Pole vaulting, weight lifting, swimming, cycling, target shooting, tennis, and gymnastics were some of the events at the first modern era Olympics in Athens Greece in 1896.)

The Diets of Athletes at the Ancient Olympics were just as important then as they are now. Early records suggest a cheese and fruit based diet for the first Olympic athletes. Aristaeus, the son of the Greek God Apollo, was worshipped for his gift of cheese which was fed to Olympic athletics daily to increase their strength. According to Martin Elkort in his book The Secret Life of Food, citizens on the island of Delos, where many Olympic games were held, imprinted pictures of cheese on their Olympic coins.

I hope you've enjoyed these bites of Olympic tastes. This post is not as detailed as much as I wish it were but while I was researching foods related to Olympic history, it occured to me that I just may be biting off more than I could possibly chew in such a short time. However, if you should decided to "throw" and Olympic Party, be sure and let us know so we too can join in on the feasting! I have a ton of catching up to do this week so I've decided this week will be more about me visiting you "guys" than me doing much posting. We'll see how that goes, lol...Louise.

1. The Deipnosophists, or, Banquet of the Learned of Athenaeus (available online @ University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center)
2. A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics, by Neil Faulkner, Yale University Press.
3. Cheating During the Ancient Olympics

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Birthday Tribute: Chef Paul Prudhomme

If you don't mind, I would like to take a mini detour from the promised post today (Official U.S. Olympic Training Table Cookbook) to share yet another recipe book with you instead. The title of the booklet published in 1989 is Authentic Cajun Cooking by our "birthday boy" Chef Paul Prudhomme.

If you've never heard of Chef Paul before, don't fret. He isn't one of the food people you might encounter on any of the main stream television stations today. Although, he has/had a show on PBS in New Orleans entitled Chef Paul Prudhomme's Always Cooking, I haven't had the pleasure of viewing it. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure it still airs since I don't live in the New Orleans viewing area. Oh goodness, another reason to visit New Orleans!

In each episode, Chef Paul Prudhomme fuses exciting flavors and ingredients with traditional cooking processes to create authentic yet modern side dishes, entrees and desserts. Chef Paul shares secrets for 80 tasty and accessible recipes — from his incomparable mashed potatoes to Turducken, the holiday crowd-pleaser he introduced in the 1980s, to St. Louis peanut butter banana cream pie. Between recipes, he weaves stories from his humble roots as one of 13 children raised on a Louisiana farm.

As the youngest of 13 children, Paul Prudhomme began his love of cooking in his mother's farmhouse kitchen in Southern Louisiana. He was born on July 13, 1940 in Opelousas, a small Cajun country town about 90 miles west of New Orleans, Louisiana. While learning to cook at his mother's side with no electricity and no refrigeration, he learned to appreciate fresh local ingredients. I suppose the best way to introduce you to our honorary guest is in his own words from the foreword of Authentic Cajun Cooking.

"I'm a Cajun, and most of what I know about Louisiana and Cajun folklore and history comes from my boyhood days sitting around the dinner table with my family and friends listening to my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins trade stories and talk about the past...There were always a lot of people present for meals at our house. I was the youngest of thirteen children, so that made for a lot of people!...My family are direct descendants of the Acadians who emigrated from southern France to Nova Scotia in the early 1600s, then migrated to Southern Louisiana in the mid 1700s. Traditionally, there were two types kinds of occupations for the Cajun people-one was farming, the other fishing and trapping. My family settled in a farming area and lived off the land. We were sharecroppers and grew cotton and sweet potatoes for a percentage of the crop and also raised our own vegetables and animals for food. We didn't have electricity and so, of course, we didn't have refrigeration, (We didn't have cars either. We used horses for transportation, while my relatives who lived near the water used pirogues, which are dugout canoes often carved from cypress logs.)...My mother was the best cook in the world! I learned to cook at her side starting when I was seven years old. Because we had no refrigeration, we used only what we grew, what was in season, as well as what we bartered for. Some of our staples were pork lard, rice, cornmeal, and flour. We also cooked with the native spices and herbs such as Filé powder (ground sassafras leaves) bay leaves and cayenne peppers, which the Acadians had learned how to use from the Indians in Louisiana...Looking back, the most important lesson I learned from my mother (and I've realized this more and more in my years as a chef) was to use only the freshest products possible because they always taste the best! And my style of cooking is to take these wonderfully fresh ingredients and combine them with spices and other flavors of top quality..."

Chef Paul is credited with bringing Cajun cooking to the masses. He built a name for himself in the kitchen of the revered Commander’s Palace nestled in the middle of the Garden District of New Orleans and in July of 1979, he and his wife Kay opened their own restaurant K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen® on Chartres Street in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans. Through a series of cookbooks, beginning with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen published in 1986, and four TV series aired on public television stations nationwide, Chef Paul introduced signature dishes like Blackened Redfish, Turtle Soup and Turducken to audiences and readers who may never even visit Louisiana.

The popularity of one of his recipes alone – blackened redfish – placed an entire species on the "endangered" list, such was the insatiable demand for it. Even today more than a quarter of a century later, there are still "catch limits" on redfish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland estuaries. (New Orleans Online)
Blackened Redfish: This is the dish that put Cajun food on the cultural map in the 1980s and is the thoroughly modern invention of Prudhomme. He aimed to recreate the taste of food cooked over an open fire by using a searing hot cast iron skillet and a mix of herbs and spices that creates a sweet crust on the outside of the filets. Part of his original Louisiana Kitchen cookbook, and later refined in The Prudhomme Family Cookbook, the recipe was often imitated in restaurants at the height of the Cajun craze—although not necessarily well, with some interpreting Cajun cuisine as anything that is ridiculously over-spiced. When done properly, the fish is supposed to taste sweet and smoky. (Five Quintessential Cajun Foods)

If you're like me, the first thing that comes to mind when yearning for Cajun food is heat! Blackened may be your next vision. However, we would be giving Cajun food a grave injustice. Cajun food traditions are more complex. Today Cajun dishes are often prepared by renowned chefs under optimum conditions. Such wasn't the case in days of Cajun yore. Cajun meals were developed out of necessity by people who were poor in material goods and who had large families to feed. They gathered what was available in their corner of the world and magically transformed those simple ingredients into food worthy of a celebration.

...New Orleans is home to a vast array of food traditions, but it is best known for Creole cooking. At one time, it may have been possible to say that Creole cooking was the fancier cooking of New Orleans with more European influences and Cajun cooking the simpler food of the country folk, but this is no longer true. Today, it is difficult to distinguish between Cajun and Creole cooking as they are practiced in the home. Nowadays when applied to food, the terms Cajun and Creole are frequently used interchangeably or together. But Creole most often refers to the haute cuisine of New Orleans restaurants that developed from the intensive blending of the city's various food traditions, many of which originated with European-trained chefs...To appreciate South Louisiana foods fully, one must remember that Cajun and Creole cooking are the products of 300 years of continuous sharing and borrowing among the region's many cultural groups. For example, the French contributed sauces (sauce piquante, étouffée, stews, bisque), sweets (pralines, a modified French confection with pecans instead of the original walnuts), and breads (French bread, beignets or square doughnuts with powdered sugar, and corasse, fried bread dough eaten with cane syrup). The Spanish added jambalaya (a spicy rice dish probably from the Spanish paella). Africans contributed okra, barbecue, and deep-fat frying and reinforced the Spanish preference for hot spices and soups. Germans, who arrived in Louisiana before the Acadians, contributed sausages (andouille and boudin) and "Creole" or brown mustard. Caribbean influence is seen in the bean and rice dishes of red beans and rice and congri (crowder peas and rice). Native Americans contributed filé and a fondness for corn bread. (Louisiana Life)

The book I'm about to share was compiled by Chef Prudhomme for the purveyors of Tabasco.

Most of the recipes are rather detailed so it was difficult choosing one which would fit on this page. I hope you don't mind celebrating Chef Paul's birthday with Pork Chops with Browned Garlic Butter Sauce. If you do, more for me:)

In 1983, Chef Paul developed his own line of seasoning blends after years of making small batches and passing them out to customers in his restaurant. His Blackened Redfish Magic is available for purchase online and one of the essential ingredients in the following recipe for Blackened Red Fish as found in Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Cajun Magic Cookbook published in 1989.

It was from K-Paul's restaurant that the seasoning company evolved. Customers would commend the food’s flavor, asking "What are you putting on it? Can I get some?" So the restaurant started giving a bit of seasoning wrapped in foil. But soon, those customers began coming back asking to purchase the seasoning, so K-Paul’s put together hand-labeled, plastic, zip-close jewelry bags filled with the seasoning. As demand grew, Chef Paul realized the business potential, and opened the Magic Seasonings plant in 1983. (Quality Assurance Magazine May/June 2008)
"...Among his many accolades and awards, Chef Prudhomme was named "Restaurateur of the Year" by the Louisiana State Restaurant Association in 1983 and "Culinarian of the Year" by the American Culinary Federation in 1986. Nation's Restaurant News recognized him with the College of Diplomats Award in 1993 and the Fine Dining Legend Award in 2000, and inducted him into its MenuMasters Hall of Fame in 2003. Bon Appétit honored Chef Prudhomme with their "Humanitarian of the Year" award in 2006..."(Culinary Institute of America)

"See" you Sunday with those tasty Olympic recipes! Louise:)

1. What is Cajun?
2. Folk Boats of Louisiana
3. Chef Paul's Poultry Magic (Top Secret Recipe by Todd Wilbur)
4. Chef Paul Quality Assurance Magazine (May/June 2008 PDF file)
5. Paul Prudhomme’s Kitchen: Cajun Cuisine Goes Mainstream
6. Chef Paul Prudhomme's Turducken

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Awards and Medals

Hi All! Did everyone have a good time at the Picnic? I know I sure did. I imagined myself being rolled down the nearest hill right into my little Scion, lol...You just wait until next year!!!

By the time you read this post, I will be well on my way to New York for a few days. As much as I dread the ride, I sure am looking forward to seeing my family and stocking up on some New York goodies. Only thing is, I haven't decided whether I'll be bringing my provisions back to PA with me or if I'll simply indulge while I'm on Long Island. I might be safer if I do a bit of both:) I don't know how much more food this tummy of mine can fit, lol...

Before I go, I wanted to thank all of you guests and visitors alike for once again making the Picnic Game a playful success. You "guys" are terrific! I also wanted to take a moment to thank some very thoughtful bloggers for these:

Thanks Trisha!

Thanks Linda!

Thanks Jen!

As much as I truly cherish these awards bestowed upon me, I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to follow the rules as written. Sorry "guys." I couldn't possibly choose new recipients. I love all your blogs that's why I visit!!! True, I also get excited when I discover a new place I've never been before but to single out either 5 or 10 blogs, it just "ain't" gonna happen:) I do thank you all though from the bottom of my heart:)

Which brings me to my final words before I leave for New York; The Olympics!

In just a few short weeks, most eyes throughout the world will be focused on London and the 2012 Olympics. For those of you considering an opening night Olympic Party, have I got some sites for you!!!

Eat The Olympics should probably be your first stop.

"Jack Hemingway and Sarah Kemp have been so excited about the Olympics coming to their city this summer, but like so many other Londoners, they didn’t manage to get hold of the tickets they wanted. But instead of getting bogged down and depressed, they have decided to throw themselves into it in another way.

From now until the closing ceremony on 12th August 2012, you can follow their journey literally eating their way around the Olympics.

On my last visit, Jack and Sarah were serving up a hot bowl of Dutch Mustard Soup from the Netherlands. If you happen to be on Pinterest, you might also want to check out one of the Eat the Olympic Boards someone has started. It has all the dishes Jack and Sarah have posted so far. As you can imagine, there is quite a feast of international foods pictured. I'm eyeing up the Tipili Bulgar Salad (Dominican Republic), The Polish Sausage with Red Cabbage (Poland) and of course, Pecan Pie (USA)

Another stop to make on your tour of Olympic Food for 2012 is at About.com. The Food Facts for the London 2012 Olympic Games article is quite interesting. For instance, did you know the London Games will need to serve close to 14 million meals daily across 40 different locations, and not just in London? Talk about mission impossible!

Next week, when I return from New York, I'll be sharing some of the enclosed pictures and recipes from the Official U.S. Olympic Training Table Cookbook published by the folks at the Kraft Creative Kitchens staff for the 1992 Summer Olympics. With recipes such as Tobogganer's Turkey Sandwich, High Jump Ham Pockets and Cross Training Vegetable Quiche, you're sure to find a recipe for your Olympic Party! For now, I leave you with a picture of one of my personal favorite Olympic Stars, Kristi Yamaguchi. "See" ya then!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's Time for the 2012 Picnic Game Round-Up!

I don't know about all of you, but I must tell you, I LOVE "playing" the Picnic Game! When one envisions the sharing of food out of doors, one tends to imagine all sorts of scenarios; a checkered tablecloth nestled along a rustling spring, a grassy meadow, or perhaps a white sandy beach by the ocean. Think for a moment, what adventure do you anticipate when you hear the word Picnic?

Welcome to the 4th Annual Online Picnic!

July may be National Picnic Month but around here at Months of Edible Celebrations, we're celebrating International Picnic Month whether it's on the calendar or not! And let me tell you, have we got baskets full of goodies for you.

We began our excursion on June 18, International Picnic Day. For the past four years, that has been the day that we scurry along choosing letters of the alphabet to tote along to the Picnic Game. As you hop from blanket to blanket or for this special occasion, blog to blog, you will learn more about how the Picnic Game is played while feasting your eyes on delicious goodness from all parts of the hemisphere and beyond. There's just one thing you must remember though, and listen to me because it is very important. Before you can join in on the picnic festivities, you must repeat after me, I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...

A-Artichokes Steamed & Dressed w/Mayo

Toted by Mae

B-Baked Beans

Toted by Barbara

C-Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Toted by Casey

D-Dunkin' Donuts with Maple Syrup & Honey Frosting

Toted by Kristy

E-Eggplant Casserole

Toted by Yummy

F-Frosty Summer Salad with Cranberry, Pineapple & Beets

Toted by Pattie

G-Goat Cheese Mixed Green Salad with Cocoa Nibs

Toted by Janet

H-Halibut and Salsa Verde

Toted by Tina

I-Iced Coffee Two Ways

Toted by Inger

J-Jubilee Sandwich

Toted by Petra

K-Key Lime and Ambarella Juice

Toted by Jocelyn

L-Limoncello Pine Nut Biscotti

Toted by Kathy

M-Mini Meringue Kisses

Toted by Ros

N-Nougat Brownies

Toted by Kit

O-Ozark Pudding

Toted by Erica

P-Paletas de Chabacano y Manzanille (Apricot-Chamomile Popsicles)

Toted by Heather

Q-Quinoa Salad

Toted by Chaya

R-Raspberry and Pears Cobbler Pie

Toted by Gloria

S-Strawberry & Kiwi Chocolate Tart

Toted by Dia

T-Thai Fish Cakes in Pita Pocket

Toted by Lena

U-Udon Salad with Honey Sesame Lime Dressing

Toted by Michele

V-Vegetable Salad with Lime Dressing - Rick Bayless

Toted by Chaya

W-Watermelon With Fresh Mint and Lime

Toted by Joyce

X-Xim-Xim De Galinha 

Toted by Veronica

Y-Yam Bake

Toted by Erica

Zucchini & Pineapple Bread

Toted by Tiffanee

Zucchini Many Ways

Toted by Susan

As you can see, we've culled the best of the best to present a menu of picnic deliciousness for our picnic baskets this year. I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Someone asked me the other day whether I was "nervous" the first time I announced the Picnic Game fours years ago. My answer was an unequivocal yes. Never in my wildest imagination, and believe me, it sometimes gets quite out of hand, could I ever pictured actually participating in a virtual picnic with people I have never physically seen or met in person. How can that be? Well dear visitors, It is...

Welcome to all the new guests who joined in on the festivities this year and thank you to my loyal visitors for putting up with a few of my errors this year. I would also like to give a shout out to those of you who couldn't "play" the alphabet game with us this year but who I know are "playing" in spirit. We missed you:) Have Fun Everyone! Louise