Sunday, September 13, 2015

Le Dîner en Blanc SF, 2015

One day 25 years ago, a group of friends got together in Paris, dressed in white, set up tables and chairs, and had an elegant picnic. Today, they're holding similar events across the globe. Last night was the annual event in San Francisco. The U.S. organizers are a group called Handmade Events -

The location is kept a secret until a few hours before the event, but we got a couple of hints that it would be in Golden Gate Park. Our first thought was, "brrrr!" since it was a foggy day, but it turned out to be lovely and warm and in the gorgeous Music Concourse between the DeYoung and the Academy of Sciences.

Being the competitive picnickers that we are, we started planning a month in advance. Here was our final menu, printed up by the lovely and talented Lesly!

Lesly also made me my very own feathered mini top hat - I love it!

We met at Maren's Hidden Cottage to box up salads with grilled peaches, blueberries, arugula, goat cheese and pecans, courtesy of Darcie and Amena...

Did I mention, grilled peaches?

Into the big boxes went Maren's yummy and hearty double decker summer vegetable frittata stacked with cream cheese and smoked salmon...

 ...and my potato salad made with carrot-top parsley pesto, since we count many non-bacon eaters and at least one mayo-averse person among our numbers.

Some pieces of cute waxed paper from Daiso kept them from getting too shaken up en route.
This photo and the next two courtesy of Susan Mallon

Maren's delicious selection of cheeses was artfully arranged by Ana-Marie.

And then there were desserts:

My salted caramel pots de creme, which suffered from a bad bout of cooking juju I was having the night before. Some curdled and most didn't set up, but they still tasted good :-),

Steve's brown butter and honey madeleines, which were even better this morning with coffee,

and the highlight of the menu for me, Jason's white chocolate caramel popcorn with herbs de provence...out of this world.

Somehow we squeezed all of this between the beverage committee's wine selections (Thanks, Nil and Joe!) and the beautiful floral arrangements (accented with beautiful little birdies and feathers) created by Julie, Susan, Rosie and the rest of the decor team. Little battery-powered tea lights, strings of lights, and flashing "ice cubes" brought the table to life again after the sun set.

Photo courtesy Nil Isik - I mean, how gorgeous is that?

After all that, it was time to burn off a few calories by swingin' to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in the Bandshell.

Other groups had some great ideas as well, like the Viking Ship team, the feather bouquets, and the group that made things easy on themselves and just picked up some KFC.

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