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Monday, June 18, 2012

Time To Stage a Picnic Game! It's International Picnic Day!


Can you believe it's that time of year again? Not only is it International Picnic Day, it's also time to play The Picnic Game!
Before we review the Picnic Game "rules", I want to tell you about a fabulous picnic related Give-Away Mary is having. You see this Vintage Style Metal Picnic Basket pictured below?

Would you like a chance to win it? It's brimming with goodies too! Well then, just take a quick sail on over to Home Is Where the Boat Is and leave a comment. But hurry, a winner will be chosen on June 25, 2012.
Okay, now that you're back, let's talk picnics. It's "Potluck and a Talent Show" as Kathryn McGowan puts it in her enjoyable article A Brief History of the Picnic. When you think about it, a picnic is the outside stage of gatherings.
"When the tradition of picnicking began in the early 1900s in England, the Picnic Society of London would gather for theatrical events and each guest would bring a dish to an elaborate indoor buffet. (Potluck anyone?)...Breaking Bread and sharing food are age old symbols of friendship. Bread, the most basic of foods enriches any meal and lies at the heart of every picnic. One imagines a crusty loaf of French bread with a good cheese and a nice red wine."~The Picnic Gourmet by Joan Hemingway and Connie Marich. (© 1976)

Setting the stage for great food and great fun is as easy or elaborate as you make it. Whether it be an impromptu lakeside picnic such as Mary's,

Or at Monet's [sumptuous] Table,

Foraging along nature's paths is a picnic work of art.

...The Cavaliere returned with zealous speed, accompanied by one of the servants of the inn, who bore a basket containing the materials of a rustic luncheon. The porter of the villa was easily induced to furnish a table and half a dozen chairs, and the repast when set forth was pronounced a perfect success; not so good as to fail of an amusing disorder, nor yet so bad as to defeat the proper function of repasts...
I found that tasty tidbit above in the book The Novels and Tales of Henry James by Henry James in an interesting article I was reading titled Elizabeth David on Picnics. Intrigued, I spent a bit of time reading a few pages of Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David and to my delight, she had a charming way of putting the picnic repertoire in prospective.
"Picnic addicts seem to be roughly divided between those who frankly make elaborate preparations and leave nothing to chance, and those others whose organization is no less complicated but who are more deceitful and pretend that everything will be obtained on the spot and cooked over a woodcutter's fire, conveniently to hand; there are even those, according to Richard Jefferies, who wisely take the precaution of visiting the site of their intended picnic some days beforehand and then buying the champagne."

A Tisket A Tasket

Of course, our picnic is an online Picnic Game. A bit whimsical, a lot Ratatouille with Chicken Shangri La tossed in! Dishes from various cultures mix happily on our picnic menu. It begins like this, I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing...I've got a better idea, since many of you have played the Picnic Game before, how about I just show this video I found on how to play the traditional Picnic Game:
Easy peasy, right? Let's sum it up. Basically, it's very simple. You choose a letter of the alphabet which matches the title of the dish you would like to bring to the picnic and post it on your blog.
The traditional memory game starts when one player recites: "I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing an ___."  (a delicious dish) that starts with the letter 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 ___." Here's where you add the B word like, Blueberry Muffins.
Each player recites on their blog what the person before is bringing and adds what they're bringing until we reach the end of the alphabet. Take a quick look at last year's Round-up and you'll get the general idea. Of course, if you have any questions, just leave a comment or email me acalenda [at] gmail [dot] com. I should mention, I've started a Pinterest Picnic Game board so if you would rather your links aren't included on it, please let me know:)


1. Since this is a virtual picnic game, Anyone, Anywhere can play. I do request that recipes be posted in English or have easy access to translation.

2. Choose your letter but don't take too long. The "easy" letters seem to go pretty quickly. Leave a comment on this post with the letter you have chosen. 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 chooses that letter. 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.

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. "You're Invited" will be your signal to grab a copy of the Picnic Game logo above and prepare a post for the Picnic Game Round-Up. Now, here's the difficult part. Since the Picnic Game is listed in alphabetical order, you may feel a bit like a contortionist trying to get your post up while still leaving room for the letters and delicious looking images that will be preceding yours. Just make a mental note and it should all work out fine. I'm always here for any questions and once we get going, I'll have many samples to show you I'm sure:)

Summary

1. Select a recipe that begins with your chosen letter and write a post about it on your blog. 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, as soon as they are emailed to me.
2. Include the Picnic Day Logo in your post with a link back to this post.
3. Email me at acalenda {at} gmail {dot} com (it would be really nice of you to include Picnic Game 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. An image of your dish and also let me know if you give me permission to pass the image along to other picnickers and whether you mind if it is included on Pinterest.

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-E for each additional dish.
5. Please email me as soon as you know what you are bringing. No later than Friday, June 29, 2012, midnight EST. The sooner the better so I can forward your link to the other picnickers.
6. I will be posting the entire list of Picnic Game recipes by midnight July 1st just in time for National Picnic Month! If for some reason, there are not enough entries by that time, I'll do my best to fill in the blanks.
7. If you would like to host the Picnic Day Game on your blog, and get your visitors involved, be my guest. The more the merrier. Just let me know. (this would require another set of picnic letters from A-Z and a bit of enjoyable work on the part of the hostess:) We would just, shall I say, "link our picnic "blankets" together:)
8. I'll be doing blog updates with available letters and such during the course of "playing."

FYI: I don't know about you, but sometimes I get discombobulated when I visit someone's blog and when I try to view an image, Blogger's Lightbox devours my screen. If you too find it annoying, it's really very simple to remedy. Check out How to Disable Blogger's Lightbox.
So, are you ready to play the Picnic Game? Choose a letter, leave a comment and let the toting begin!!!

If you  the Picnic Game, please use this hash tag #picnicgame. I forgot to do it myself:) 

Update June 26th: The letters are all taken! Our basket is brimming with goodies! Just you wait and see:)

Resources
1. Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David (@New York Book Reviews)
2. Moonlight Picnic
3. A Pretty Picnic To Celebrate Spring...
4. Archery Hunting in the Middle Ages
5. Piquer Nique

71 comments:

  1. What a fabulous fabulous idea m friend :D
    It sounds like it will be a lot of fun!
    Around what time will you be playing the game?

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. Hi Uru!
    The Picnic Game doesn't really have a time frame. It begins today and continues until June 29th. On July 1, I will post the round-up just in time for National Picnic Month! I know you are taking exams now but if you would like to "play", as long as you have your post up by the 29th, that will be fine. Just leave room for the other picnickers letters and dishes. As the days go on, I will fill everyone in with the letters they need. (only the letters that come before their letter:) I do hope you will be able to join us. It really is fun for all!! Feel free to ask anymore questions. And, good luck on those exams!

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  3. This has to be fun. I would like C.

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    1. It's GREAT fun Casey! I'm sure you won't be disappointed:) The letter C is yours. "See" you at the Picnic!

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  4. Hi, I don't know if you will have enough letters for both my blogs but if you do, these are the letters. If you don't have enough, then either letter will do.
    Bizzy Bakes V
    My Sweet and Savory Q

    Thanks. If I can help, in any way, I will be off from school, so let me know.

    Chaya

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    1. Of course there are letters for both your blogs, Chaya. Can't wait to see what you bring to the picnic with the letter V AND Q Thanks for playing:)

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  5. I wondered if you were going to do the Picnic game again this year. Of course, I'd love to join in.
    May I have B?

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    1. This year marks four years of playing the Picnic Game Barbara. I can hardly believe it! Delighted you are going to join us. Of course the letter B is yours!!!

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  6. Hi -- I would like to bring artichokes, which are in season here and easy to "prepare" for the picnic.

    Mae

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    1. Hi Mae! If you would like to "bring" artichokes for the letter A, that's just fine with us. It's yours!

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  7. Ah... I'm going to miss playing this year, but this is very crazy time for me!! I'll look forward to your recap post instead. Pout.

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    1. We'll miss you and the girls, Channon but we understand. I'm sure there will be plenty of food to go around at the Picnic Round-Up for you and others to oogle:)

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  8. I'm on, and I'd like to have C for Chocolate... lots of great chocolate lore and recipe..

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    1. Whoops, Janet. I'm sorry the letter C is "spoken" for. Would you like another? I hope, I hope:)

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  9. I'd like the letter "F" for my Frosty Summer Salad.

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    1. Yum! F for Frosty Summer Salad! Sounds delicious and it's all yours Pattie! Thanks again for "playing." We're going to have a bountiful of goodies!!!

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  10. Hi Louise! I'd love to come to the picnic and bring the letter.... P!! =)

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    1. We'd love to have you Heather and your letter P too!! It's going to be a GREAT picnic this year! I just know it!!!

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  11. I love Elizabeth David! Her books are so wonderful, and she made French food accessible to English speaking cooks before Julia Child did (although I'm not sure David was widely read in the US at the time when she was writing; although she certainly was in England). And the picnic game sounds like fun! I'll have to see if I can whip up something appropriate. Good post - thanks.

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    1. As do I, Kitchen Riffs. Unfortunately, I only have one of her books. I'm always on the lookout for others:) I do hope you will be joining us for the Picnic Game. I'll be posting the letters that are left either tomorrow of Thursday.

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  12. Wasn't sure if this posted, but I'd love G for Goat Cheese.. and chocolate, of course.

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  13. Hi Louise, can I have the letter S for my strawberry tart?

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    1. You certainly may, Dia! Strawberry Tart, oh my!!!

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  14. Hi Everyone! It seems Petra has been having a problem leaving comments here. As we try to figure out what the problem might be, here is the email I received from her

    Hi Louise!

    I really don't know why but since several weeks I can't leave any comment on your blog - it just disappears after sending it.
    So how could I take part in your picnic game? If I could leave a comment I would choose the letter C or if C is no longer available
    I would take J instead
    Maybe you could copy this comment in your blog instead of me typing it there?

    Have a nice day


    Petra will be "bringing" the letter J

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  15. I can't wait to see what the participants will come up with! A great event.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Me either Rosa. It's going to be one delicious picnic!!!

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  16. Yay! I'm definitely in for this year. I'll take "E" as a first choice or "T" as a back up!

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    1. You have your first choice Yummy. You will be bringing the letter E

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  17. Oh, rats...life is too crazy right now to play along, but I love these sorts of blog events!!! Off to take my son to university orientation for the next few days~

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    1. Check back when you get home Lizzy. Not to worry though, We understand. You can always join us for us the Round-Up! I'm sure there will be enough nibbles for all:)

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  18. PS...if life looks better when I get home, I'll check in with you again :)

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  19. Hi Louise,
    You asked about Pinterest -- as far as I'm concerned, anyone can pin anything of mine. I think it's a compliment!

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    1. Thanks for letting me know about Pinterest Mae. And, thank you so much for preparing your link so quickly. I will be passing it on ASAP!!!

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  20. Hi Louise, I’d love to play along with all of you…can I have B…I’ll bring biscotti! Great post!!

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  21. Sorry…I just saw that B is taken….how about L for Limoncello Biscotti…does that work?

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    1. Hi Kathy, L definitely works and Limoncello Biscotti always sits just dine with me!!! "See" you there:)

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  22. I can't play this year, because life is just too much for me right now, but I'll love seeing your roundup! (I'm sure you've noticed sporadic posts and copious dentist references...Kevin and I are BFFs these days; I saw him today, and will go again Thursday: GAH!)

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    1. Oh Marjie, I'm so disappointed that you won't be "playing" this year. I do understand though. I really hope things are going as well as can be expected under the circumstances. Not to worry though, we'll make sure there's a doggie bag for YOU!!! Stay well...

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  23. Let me know if S is available! If not, Joe about H?

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    1. Hi Tina, No can do on the letter S. However, the letter H is now yours!!! So Happy to hear that you're playing!!!

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  24. If "I" is available I'll take that; otherwise just assign me the next closest letter and I'll get creative. Ready for some fun!

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    1. That's just wonderful Inger. The letter I is all yours!!! Delighted you are "playing."

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  25. Holy Guacamole! Here's a run down on the available letters for the Picnic Game this year. I can't believe how quickly they are disappearing. Almost as fast as the goodies are going to go, I'm sure!!! I'm going to be doing an update post and would you believe, I've already gotten two dishes to put in the Picnic Basket. My oh my...I'll be sending them your way ASAP!!!

    D, I, K, M, N, O, R, T, U, W, X, Y and Z

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  26. Hi Louise, Good morning! I'm in!! I have read your post last night and have not make up my mind which recipe that I'll be doing, keep changing my mind! I can be so fickle-minded at times! Looks like most of the alphabets have been booked! "Time and tide waits for no man" !! haha! OK, is M still available? And we can post anytime between now until 29th June?
    Thank you!

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    1. M is yours Joyce. I'm so glad you will be joining us once again. The letters are going pretty quick this year. And yes, anytime before June 29th would be GREAT!!! "See" you there. Our basket is going to be toppling over with goodies!

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  27. Gosh Louise, I almost missed out this post! Glad that I still made it. haha... Errr... I think not many words left. I think I'll take 'D' if it is still available.
    Kristy

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    1. I'm so glad you made it too, Kristy. The letters were going so quickly I still haven't gotten around to inviting everyone yet. D is still available and it is all yours!!! I can hardly wait to see what you put in our basket:)

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  28. Hi Louise, Wow...this is a Wonderful post and I'm loving the idea of games so much. Today I was out of ideas and was wandering what to do with my little one. Got the answer now...! I can't wait to have some fun. Have a wonderful week ahead. Thanks & Regards, Sonia !!!

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    1. As great as our picnic is, Sonia there's nothing that beats a picnic with the little ones. And, what could be more enjoyable than reciting the Picnic Game at a good ol' fashion Picnic anyway!!! Have a Ball and be sure and stop by for the delicious Round-up!!!

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  29. Mmmmmmm.... I would love to come to this year's picnic! Thanks for the invite. Can I have O for Ozark Pudding?

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    1. That's great, Erica. We'd love to have you and your letter O for Ozark Pudding!!!

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  30. hi louise, can i take the letter "r"..if it's still available?

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    1. I just went over to your blog Lena to let you know that the letter R has been taken. Here are the letters that are available now: K, M, N, T, U, X, Y and Z Just let me know which letter you would like:) They are going quick this year!!!

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  31. Yay! I love the picnic game! I'll take R - I think it's still available?

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    1. Yay! Me too, Reeni. Can you come up with another dish name. I know that creative mind of yours can:) because, guess what, the letter R has been "spoken for." Please let me know your next choice.

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  32. What a marvelous idea , Louise! I hope I can come up with something & FAST! I'm so excited! This is soo FUN! A fabulous game that I don't wanna miss it for anything in the world!

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    1. I hope you can make it too, Kit. But, hurry, the letters are going fast!!! Here are the letters that are left as of June 21st, 8:22AM K, N, U, X, Y and Z

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  33. Hi Louise,
    My post will be up in about two days time! So excited! Just wondering, will you be giving a list of A to Z, and who's making what. I am a bit confused since I'm with the letter W, and I have lots of letters before me, and have no idea what everyone is bringing! Or should I just post it anyway, and update it when you do the round-up? Sorry, Louise, but this is the first time I'm joining in and rather unsure about how to go about it!

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    1. Hi Joyce,

      Oh my, you can't be having that much fun with all that worrying. Not to worry:) I will be sending you the letters A to W as they come in. I will actually be sending you your first couple of letters later this evening. In the mean time, yes, you post your post as normal leaving room to add the other letters as they arrive.

      I'm so glad you felt comfortable to ask questions. Never worry about that! Thank you so much for joining in on the fun. I'll be sending you email later:)

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  34. Thank you so much for the invite to picnic party. I shall surely try to think about some dish and bring it forth. Cheers !

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  35. That would be terrific, Sonia! Just let me know which letter you would like when you decide. We're gonna have tons of deliciousness!!!

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  36. Hi Louise!

    This sounds like really fun! Is K still available? I want to join!

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    1. K is not available at more now that it is all yours, Rice! Thank you so much for joining in on the fun!!! Eamil me if you have any questions at all!!! acalenda {at} gmail {dot} come

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  37. Hi Louise! Came across this game from Joyce at Kitchen Flavours... would love to join in the fun! Is Y still available?

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  38. Hi Mich,

    Thank you for asking about the letter, Y, Unfortunately the only two letters that are left are U and X If you can dream up something to bring with one of those letters, it sure would be terrific!!! I tried to leave a comment on your blog, your Lemongrass chinchow dessert sounds quite interesting, but every time I hit submit, I got Bad Request. I will try again later. In the mean time, we'd love for you to join us if you can bring one of those two letters. Louise

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    1. Hi Louise, I'll take the U. I can make a Udon salad!

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  39. That is just wonderful Mich! I've never had Udon Salad. I can't wait to nibble! Thank you so much for joining in on the fun!!!

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  40. Hi Louise, Thanks for the invite. look like I have no choice but to take X again this again. I am going to bring a Brazilian dish called Xim-Xim De Galinha. Wish me luck:D

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    1. Oh Veronica, I was hoping you were going to get an "easier" letter:) Well, I know the letter X is once again in good hands with you. Your Brazilian dish sounds fabulous. I can't wait!!! Thank you so much for joining in on the fun!!! Good LUCK!!!

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came to early,
none returned to late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise