Cooking picnic provides change for experimenting

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This last summer I was able to attend the second Annual International Cooking Echo Picnic in Portland, Oregon. I have been accessing the Cooking Echo through our computer Bulletin Board System, and was able to meet some of the people that I have been writing back and forth with over the last couple of years.

It was a real treat to not only meet these people, but to actually sample some of the various dishes that have becomes so "famous" and linked to the different characters. The dishes that were there were as varied as the characters that brought them. One of the people, Stephen Ceideberg, who is well know on the Echo for his "unusual" tastes and preferences for Asian foods, brought along 1000-year old duck eggs, tamarind, and licoriced limes.

I tried the 1000 year old duck egg, it was kind of muddy tasting, with a gritty consistency. I told Stephen that as much as I was willing to try different things, I didn't think that I would be trying them again soon! The tamarind was very spicy and I might be tempted to use some in a sweet and sour dish if I ever broke down and bought any. The licoriced limes were extremely salty, so much so that it burned the tongue, and was very strong tasting.

Next year he has threatened to bring a durian, which is a fruit that is very good tasting once you get past the strong sewer like smell.

If I try any next year and survive, I will let you all know whether or not to add it to your "maybe" try list.

The lady who moderates the Echo and tries to keep the rest of us in line, Joann Pierce, brought an excellent taco salad and a spice cake with maple frosting.

Al Martin, a salmon smoker extraordinaire, brought a gumbo that he claimed he had fretted over all the previous day. And made sure that eveyone knew just how hard he worked in order to get it finished in time. He is known as the punster, so we were hesitant to take him seriously, but will have to admit, he provided us with just about the best tasting smoked salmon I have ever had.

Being the only Canadian that attended and having taken some pretty serious ribbing all year long about what I was going to bring to the picnic, I managed to get into everyone's good books by providing some moose jerky, and lots of my stained glass candy. By the time we were finished sampling all the goodies that had been brought, we only had enough energy left to sit around moaning and groaning about how we should NOT have had that fourth helping of everything and comparing differences in politics, medical coverage, and the horrendous prices of most things. After many different poses for all those who had brought their cameras along, we split off into groups and we took off and did some more sightseeing and headed up to Mount Hood and visited Timber Line Lodge. We made some new friends, got some wonderful recipes, and they got a commitment from us to come back again next year for the Third Annual International Cooking Echo Picnic. The recipes that I got from the various people there, I will be posting over the winter. Origin: My newspaper article, published October 14, 1992. Shared by: Sharon Stevens.

Submitted By SHARON STEVENS On 11-09-95

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