It poured rain that Saturday. It was bitterly cold and at times windy, but the bad weather didn’t matter because we were super excited about finally meeting these fine bloggers face-to-face. I discovered Fer’s blog chucrute com salsicha when we first started ours back in 2009. Fer was already a veteran back then. Her wonderful blog has incredible recipes and super entertaining writing. In the past, she suggested that we met here in San Francisco and go eat at that hip tapas restaurant, Contigo, but somehow it never happened.
Both write about traveling and travel tips, all in Portuguese primarily for a Brazilian audience. Don’t miss them, esp. if you’re coming to the Bay Area. Maryanne has an extensive collection of posts on what to do (and what not to do) while you’re here.
Priscilla lives in Brazil but is here right now training to become a pastry chef and baker. She plans on opening a bakery in the south of Brazil late this year. She wanted to meet us, too. And since she’s only here for a short time, this seemed the perfect occasion to get the group all together.
Fer came up with the idea for a picnic in wine country. I selected the winery, Clos du Val, because I had not been there in a while and wanted to taste their wine again and also because I like their gardens with ancient transplanted olive trees. They have these sculptural gnarly trunks and branches which are wonderful. Normally this is the perfect spot, hot or cold, though turned out to be less so in the intermittent, at times heavy rain.
The picnic was fantastic despite the uncongenial weather. Fer brought a beautiful asparagus panazanella and Brazilian style corn cake with guava paste on the side. Maryanne brought a selection of fine cheeses from her cheese monger in Berkeley and a box of delectable, colorful macarrons. Priscilla surprised us with not one but three enormous boxes of pastries she made at her class the day before. She had multiple types of croissants, Italian colomba, Danish and a cinnamon sugar pastry cake rich with butter. What a feast! We brought leftovers home for breakfast and had enough for at least two days. I made orichette pasta with broccoli rabe.
Between chewing, chatting, shivering, sipping sauvignon blanc, listening to the birds chirping, and taking turns holding the umbrellas over the food, the afternoon flew by. I want to do this again sometime soon, perhaps next time during the dry season.