Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blogger's Picnic Potluck No Crap Shoot

Sometimes you take your chances at a pot luck. I've been to buffets that should have been called "pot no-luck" with a dozen bags of chips, two quarts of take-out cole slaw and a fruit platter from Costco. And I've been to spreads so grand you don't know where to start and where to end.

The Primavera in Altadena Potluck Picnic on Saturday was the latter.

No gathering is complete without these shoestring potatoes, er pommes frittes, which were mandolined and double dipped in the fryer by Karin, the Altadena Hiker.

Debbi of Altadena Daily Photo served an amazing beef enchilida dish that featured beef that braised overnight.

Vanda of Toadberry brought the beautiful berry dessert (left below). Desiree, The Restless Chef, baked her 5-ingredients brownies (one of five chocolate desserts on the table). (All photos were shamelessly borrowed from Dianne, aka Mlle. Gramophone.)

I didn't snap a picture of my California Salad, ala Marston's Restaurant in Pasadena. This simple salad meets all my criteria for a good salad: something crisp (mixed greens), something crunchy (toasted pecans and diced apples), something sweet (mandarin oranges and yellow raisins), something soft (avocados), something protein (grilled chicken), something borrowed and something blue.

California Salad

lettuce (I use mixed greens, but I sometimes prefer Boston Bibb lettuce)
yellow raisins
green apples, diced
pecans, toasted (Marston's uses candied pecans, but I think that makes the salad too sweet.)
mandarin oranges
chicken breast, grilled
green onion, finely sliced

Marston's San Pasqual Salad Dressing is available at Marston's Restaurant or at Motif, a gift shop on Washington Blvd. in Pasadena.

You could also dress the salad in this light dressing that I used for Salad Nicoise. Just add a pinch of sugar to the recipe.

There's a rumor circulating that sangria was served. I'm sure it must have been the virgin version, but, if you're interested in the real thing, go to an earlier Open Mouth, Insert Fork post for the recipe for Susan's Sassy Sangria.


Margaret said...

I love that idea of "pot no luck." The food was yummy, and, of course, your own sangria is legendary.

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

Yes, I agree. No crap was served.

Susan C said...

Geesh, Margaret and Miss Havisham. You were too fast. You left the comments before I finished the post.

(I didn't even have a chance to ask Miss H. permission to use her photos.)

I notice Altadena Hiker does the same thing. Her post is up one second and down the next while she makes her tweaks.

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

Oh, sorry! You just happened to catch me running through reads. Of course, I am flattered that you used my photos.

Desiree said...

I'm off to stockpile red wine and brandy--looks like a sangria weekend up ahead

pasadenapio said...

Ditto the Sangria -- just right!

Susan C said...

Desiree and PIO, come and pick lemons and oranges from my yard any time you want to stir up a pitcher of sangria.

Anonymous said...

I have a featured food picture? I must be dreaming! makes up for yesterday.

Susan C said...

AH, what's the world coming to? First you're featured on Blue Kitchen's site, and then Open Mouth. Maybe you should be sending those manuscripts to Bone Appetit.

Karen said...

Hoo boy - have I been to those "pot no-lucks"! The nadir was a church potluck that featured cold spaghetti, drained but still in the pot, in all its gummy, stuck-together glory. A tepid jar of warmed-up Ragu sat nearby. My Italian-American husband almost walked out then and there. ;-)

This event couldn't have been more different. I have to say that the berry cake was simply to die for. I sliced off a bite and then had to follow up with a real piece.

Someone else brought what looked like cornflakes dipped in a caramel sauce. Oh my goodness, that was wicked!

Susan C said...

Oh, Karen, that cold spaghetti and tepid Ragu is tragic.

I hate to admit this, but I judge organizations by their food. I know that's wrong, but I can't seem to move past it.

I once went to a holiday potluck party thrown by a journalists organization. It was of the pot no-luck variety, and I never went back for another meeting or event.

Pasadena Adjacent made those sticky cereal treats, reminiscent of her days at Carver Elementary School. She'll be tickled to know you liked them.

Petrea Burchard said...

I think I should always be the one who brings the soft drinks.

By the way, if you want to tweak without publishing, use the "preview" function. Or have you tried that and should I shut up?

Cafe Pasadena said...

The AHiker brot those fries? So, then it's true about her Mickey D connection?!

Susan C said...

Petrea, I loved the tuna dish you brought. There was just too much food.

And, duh, I never thought about using the preview feature. This will change everything. No more half-baked posts.

CO, Yea, some people say that McDonald's makes the best fries, but really it's the Hiker.

Anonymous said...

I know about the preview function, but it's not the same and it doesn't always look the same as the actual. So I publish/edit/publish/edit.

JCK said...

The sangria rocked. That's all I have to say. Except that it was probably good that I just had a few sips...

What a fun time!

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