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dr.com 2009 Autumn Picnic


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August is almost over - isn't it about time to start planning the Fall Picnic?

Assuming the usual October Sunday options, I'll put in my requests: 10/4 is inconvenient but possible, 10/11 not possible, 10/18 would be great, 10/25 not possible.

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I have volunteered for NOTHING. September is going to be ridiculously, insanely busy for me at work; if I run it, there will be no picnic.

Don - as poll candidates, how about every Sunday in October (4/11/18/25)? September's too soon, November too cold. Oh, and was that a pun, or did you just set the theme?

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We used a poll last time, and it was completely unhelpful. All the dates were roughly equal.

I think the most important part is for someone to take charge and "chair" the picnic. IMHO, whomever volunteers to own that headache gets to pick the date.

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While I have VERY fond memories of the fall picnics (OK, Claudia and I went together after our first date three years ago). We have this little event on the 11th, and will be returning from Paris on the 18th. If it is the 4th we can attend as singles, if on the 25th then we will come as husband and wife. Due to certain events, I can not help out this fall. I do have a lot of picnic stuff that I can hand over to someone.

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Although the poll was not helpful last time around, the date has always been determined by public consensus, not one person's decision. Is there a reason that isn't happening this time around?

And for the record, I vote for any date except the 18th.

I agree the date should be determined by (perceived) plurality.

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I will volunteer to keep the running list of food items. And I vote for the 25th if only to get Scott's vegetable terrine. Oh... and to personally wish the newly married couple well.

[DameEdna: when have we let a weather stop us? Remember when rains from hurricane whoever was bearing down on us? As long as we could get a fire going, nothin' could stop us!]

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OK, folks - the poll has been running for a week, and it looks like the leading dates are:

(corrected)

Sunday, 10/25 - 9 votes

Sunday, 10/4 and Sunday, 10/18 - 8 votes each

Saturday, 10/24 and Sunday, 10/18 - 6 votes

In order to get this done before the picnic spots have all been claimed, can we go ahead and work with these dates?

Pat, you checked site availability earlier. Can you see what's available on those dates? I tried checking online and apparently I'm doing it wrong :rolleyes: C-2 is the preferred space, but didn't we go elsewhere for one picnic?

Unless something changed this week, we have Heather willing to organize, Legant tracking food, and foodtrip a willing, but inexperienced, volunteer. Can anyone else help out? There's no breaking ground here; it's a well-trodden path, we just need some help with the heavy lifting. And it's a GREAT way for newer members to get involved.

(Not running anything, just kick-starting the process)

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OK, folks - the poll has been running for a week, and it looks like the leading dates are:

Sunday, 10/4 and Sunday, 10/18 - 8 votes each

Saturday, 10/24 - 6 votes

In order to get this done before the picnic spots have all been claimed, can we go ahead and work with these dates?

Pat, you checked site availability earlier. Can you see what's available on those dates? I tried checking online and apparently I'm doing it wrong :rolleyes: C-2 is the preferred space, but didn't we go elsewhere for one picnic?

Unless something changed this week, we have Heather willing to organize, Legant tracking food, and foodtrip a willing, but inexperienced, volunteer. Can anyone else help out? There's no breaking ground here; it's a well-trodden path, we just need some help with the heavy lifting. And it's a GREAT way for newer members to get involved.

(Not running anything, just kick-starting the process)

I had to meander around quite a bit to find the calendar of available dates before, so I bookmarked it :huh: . It looks like the 18th and 24th are both available I didn't go to the picnic that was at the other site, and I'm not sure which one it was.

I'll be home the 4th and 18th but possibly not the later dates. I'm willing to help out if I'm around.

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I screwed up! See, that's why I can't run this thing :rolleyes:

10/25 is leading the poll (8 votes when I looked, 9 now). 10/18 only has six votes. Sorry about that. C-2 is available then, too.

Typo in the first line of your first post - should say 10/25, not 10/15.

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I screwed up the "corrected" version, too? Sorry, it's been an unbelievable week. It may be a few days before I'm fully functional again.

I'm guessing that after throwing large heavy things on Sunday, there will be whisky to drink, so it may be a few days longer than that...

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Unless something changed this week, we have Heather willing to organize, Legant tracking food, and foodtrip a willing, but inexperienced, volunteer. Can anyone else help out? There's no breaking ground here; it's a well-trodden path, we just need some help with the heavy lifting. And it's a GREAT way for newer members to get involved.
I can only organize, and attend, if it's the weekend of the 18th. Other dates are impossible, so we will need someone else if it's not that weekend.
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For the benefit of those who might want to help out but don't know what's involved, can someone who has done this give a brief rundown of what the organizers (note the plural - nobody should have to do it alone) need to do?

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OK, I willl try a few items, this is really not hard to do and many people know the drill.

1) Decide on a date.

2) Book the site, get help by asking on the thread, there are lots of people to help, your job is to organize them

3) Talk up the tread and get people to commit to come, bring food, bring beverages, bring staples like plates, cups, ice, coolers, utentials, papertowels, chairs, garbage bags, first aid kit (I have a bunch of this stuff in my garage)

3a) If someone wants to do something special like roast a pig, have a chili cookoff, wine tasting, fried chicken, etc) let them, but make sure it is not the organizer

4) review the old threads, lots of good ideas there

4a) have someone help keep track of who is coming and what they are bringing

5) as you get closer to the date, republish the directions, FAQs and other documents that are already on the older threads

6) Have a few people help setup (put tablecoths on tables, nametags, tags for food)

6a if it looks like rain, see if someone can bring some rope and a few tarps to string up on the site, if it is hot, have people bring extra water

6b) put a bucket out for contributions, last picnic we got enough to cover the site

7) talk nice to the ranger when they come around, offer them food, assure them that we will clean up

8) Get Jake to bartend or is it tend the bar

9) Have fun, talk to new people

10) Have a clean up crew to help police the site, drink, eat or bring home extra food and drink (Perk!!)

11) Leave the site better than you found it.

For the benefit of those who might want to help out but don't know what's involved, can someone who has done this give a brief rundown of what the organizers (note the plural - nobody should have to do it alone) need to do?

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I will volunteer to keep the running list of food items. And I vote for the 25th if only to get Scott's vegetable terrine. Oh... and to personally wish the newly married couple well.

[DameEdna: when have we let a weather stop us? Remember when rains from hurricane whoever was bearing down on us? As long as we could get a fire going, nothin' could stop us!]

The 25th works for us too!

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OK, so we need an organizer - who will have help - for Sunday, 10/25, the most popular date. Any volunteers? (not me - I'm out of town that weekend)

Yeah, so it's Labor Day weekend, and people are out. How about we leave the call for an organizer open until Wednesday morning; if the job's not filled by then, we switch to 10/18, when Heather can do it?

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I am totally in on the 25th. And if I recall correctly, agm brought home my little fire extinguisher? I hope we can somehow get it to the Fall Picnic.

I will bring lots of some sort of treat -- it was kibbee last time, but I'll let some time pass so I can think a little more creatively -- and any of the napkins-plates-forks and stuff like that that I get tabbed with.

And I'll try to work with Jake to get the libations assembled. We shared a common employer in the past, but he's in the busy season....

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While I have VERY fond memories of the fall picnics (OK, Claudia and I went together after our first date three years ago). We have this little event on the 11th, and will be returning from Paris on the 18th. If it is the 4th we can attend as singles, if on the 25th then we will come as husband and wife. Due to certain events, I can not help out this fall. I do have a lot of picnic stuff that I can hand over to someone.

You would rather be in Paris with your new bride, than organizing the fall DR picnic? What can I say.
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Time for another picnic?-I'm in!

Right now,I'm free for Oct., so I'd be happy to volunteer to assist anyone who wants to take charge-I live pretty close, & can bring a canopy, tables, a propane stove/grill, water cooler, asstd. picnic gear...

I don't know if anyone is obsessively watching Top Chef like I am, but one of the quickfire challenges might work as a secondary theme-cook something that represents your vice or a potato dish that's out of this world....

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well, hell, now i'm in for a penny, in for a pound.

You're our coordinator, Leigh! Can a few people please email her directing her to existing threads / giving her some guidance as to what to focus on?

We have a site and time reserved, right? I'd like to pay for it - who reserved it, and how much do I owe?

agm, will you be making your fantastic roast pig?

Nebs, will we be seeing your Martian Pig Slop from Hell and Smoked Butt?

Anyone else have any ideas to our new and eager picnic organizer?

THANK YOU for taking this on, Leigh!

I'm looking forward to meeting lots of first-timers there - it's the best, best, BEST food you will ever have at a picnic, and it's humbling to have such wonderful talents contribute to the dishes, which invariably are mind-boggling and the best-of-the-best!

For those of you who don't want to cook, beverages are always more than welcome.

Anyone else want to help Leigh organize?

Cheers,

Rocks.

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We have a site and time reserved, right? I'd like to pay for it - who reserved it, and how much do I owe?

I don't think so. Pat checked the availability for a few dates, but the date wasn't settled since our (previously) only willing organizer wasn't available on the most popular (by far) date. The first step will be reserving the site for Sunday, October 25.

agm, will you be making your fantastic roast pig?

No, sorry, I can't make it that weekend.

I'm looking forward to meeting lots of first-timers there - it's the best, best, BEST food you will ever have at a picnic, and it's humbling to have such wonderful talents contribute to the dishes, which invariably are mind-boggling and the best-of-the-best!

I'd have to disagree here. Yes, overall it's absolutely the best food you'll have at a picnic. Some of it is indeed mind-boggling. But some of it is just good, solid, basic comfort food. You don't have to be a genius in the kitchen to contribute; you don't have to worry about impressing a bunch of hard-core food fanatics. If there's something you make that you'd like to eat, bring it. You'll have plenty of people eager to help you make it disappear.
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My first-ever DR picnic was this past June. It was easily the most incredible buffet I have ever been to in my life, with dishes showing up all through the afternoon. I can honestly say I have never in my life at one event ever eaten everything from pulled pig to pate campagna to braised pig jowl to fried twinkies to burdok root salad to kibbee. I gained 10 lbs. that day because I couldn't stop tasting everything that appeared.

On the day of a DR picnic, I can honestly assert that there is no better food to be had in the DC metropolitan area, anywhere.

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You're our coordinator, Leigh! Can a few people please email her directing her to existing threads / giving her some guidance as to what to focus on?

Anyone else want to help Leigh organize?

Cheers,

Rocks.

A good place for leleboo to start (and anyone who would like to help her) is here, in the Picnics section of the "Past Events" thread. It's not up to date, but there is a lot of the very good, helpful, information from the early picnics. Here is the thread for the most recent picnic. Once the date is set and the space is reserved, things really kind of fall into place. Legant has already offered to keep track of the list of what people are bringing (and to echo agm's comment, it doesn't have to be gourmet or fancy - it's a picnic!). A few people showing up a little early to start set up is a good idea, as is making sure the last few people get things cleaned up before leaving the site. It's a good bet that neither of these will be an issue - there are always people ready to go right at noon and plenty of folks who stick around to help finish off the last few bites and sips :rolleyes:

I'm not able to do much to help this time around but am planning to be there!

(I'm happy to provide advice by PM, so feel free to send one leleboo)

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Thanks, all!

I don't mind taking the list from legant if that will be helpful -- list-keeping is a specialty of mine. I will look into the site ASAP -- is it confirmed that October 25 is the date of choice (per agm's post)?

I've read the previous picnic threads so I think I'm good to go at least on procedure. :rolleyes:

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The picnic is on Sunday, October 25, 2009. Things usually get going around noon and last until we're done! We'll be at Fort Hunt Park, Site C-2

http://gwhsaa.com/ft-hunt-dir.html

Since I'm new here -- and thus, complete and utter proof of the shared wisdom that the DR picnic welcomes all new folks, and is a great way to meet other members! -- I've dug up some picnic information that has been helpful in the past. (Oh, the magic of cutting and pasting! Thanks to those who wrote this up.)

You are all encouraged to bring something of quality. To make sure there's something for everyone, that will also mean vegan and vegetarian offerings need to be part of the spread. Labels will be provided at the picnic where you can identify your dish, whether it is vegan or vegetarian, and list any ingredients (nuts, pork, soy, etc.) that might be of interest to those with allergies or other dietary restrictions.

If you're not into cooking, consider heading to your favorite food store, deli, liquor store, bakery or restaurant and sharing something utterly scrumptious from there. Just bring enough to share with a few folks! There is always a LOT of food; no need to double recipes or anything—a standard sized preparation (i.e. serves 4 to 6) should do the trick.

In addition to your food contribution, please plan to bring either a beverage or some paper goods (we need plates and tableware). Wine and beer are allowed at the picnic site, but non-alcoholic beverages will be welcome too. Cases of water, soda, and drink boxes for the younger attendees are always appreciated.

There will also be a collection jar to defray the costs of the picnic site rental. Suggested minimum contribution is $5/adult, $2-3 per child.

General categories -- if you want some ideas of what people have brought in the past, check out the last picnic's thread and other previous picnics, too.

Appetizers (finger food, snacks, nibbles, whatever you like to call them)

Sides/Salads

Main Course

1. meat/fish

2. vegetarian/vegan

Desserts/Sweets

Beverages

Misc.
(Ed. note: Honestly, I have no idea what food falls into the miscellaneous category and not into any of the above. I'd love to find out.)

Also recommended: camp chairs, coolers, games (Frisbees, soccer balls, ladder golf ... you get the idea)

So, who's in? Please post if you are joining us, and feel free to tell us what you're making. I'll be the one with the Tuscan chicken-liver pate with crostini!

(PM me or email me if you have questions; I may not have the answer but I'll find someone who does and pass the information along!)

~Leigh

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