Day 84 – The Gatsby picnic!

Gatsby Summer Afternoon

It’s picnic time!!

And let me just say that putting together this small little outdoor get-together was a LOT of work! But it paid off and we had a blast.

Food, glorious food : )

The day started off a little iffy – as we sat in the line outside the Dunsmuir grounds it started to rain, and by rain I mean someone turned a faucet in heaven to full on. We just watched it come down and wondered if we’d be packing up before things even started. Ten minutes later the faucet was turned off, we drove through the arches out front and back 80 years.

Pretty table!

I brought the pink petalware depression glass today so we could have a ‘Pink Tea’. “A hundred years ago that was code among women for meetings to discuss equality. By calling a gathering a ‘Pink Tea’ the canny organizers could be reasonably sure men would make themselves scarce and the women could have a candid discussion in their absense.” (Thank you to Steve Finacom via Leah Garchik)

The little clear glasses were a flea market find last week, and the cups with the silver bases are for ICE CREAM and those little glass liners pop out for easy cleaning! They have a very similar molded design to the glasses. The tray the tarts are sitting on was a $6 Goodwill find, complete with petalware plate. The little handle folds down for easy storage and transport.

So we did a pink tea complete with pink depression glass, pink lemonade, fruit tarts and a galette, potato salad and two Motorloaves. What is a motorloaf? Behold…

The Motorloaf

Its a little loaf of bread, with the center removed, sliced and made into tiny sandwiches. Each individual sandwich is then wrapped in parchment and put back into the hollowed out loaf for transportation. “The “Motorloaf” comes from a turn-of-the-century English recipe that has been passed down for four generations. This bread was traditionally used as a picnic item to be taken with you when you go “motoring” in your car, and was aptly named the’Motorloaf’ .” (That description is from Tal-y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe in San Francisco, where I first had this delicacy.)

I don’t have their recipe so I used one out of my vintage Betty Crocker cookbook that worked just fine : ) And let me also just say this – this recipe and tradition was started when people had servants. Lots of work here…

Pretty table and pretty ladies : )

…but well worth it! Keep in mind we trucked EVERYTHING in you see, they provided us the grass : ) But it was a very yummy picnic so all the work was completely worth it.

Of course, there were other things to look at…Like this…And this! You can just see part of the Dunsmuir house in the upper left corner.

We also sat next to some of the coolest people, like this table of young women and their ukelele’s:

Ukelele's : )

They sang, they laughed, we shared food and good company. The quote of the day came from the woman with the furs around her shoulders “I started out getting a degree in Music but it was too hard so I got a degree in Math.”

Yes, their outfits are all green and ours were purple and white. Why?

One of the woman studied design and had made muslins of the dresses as a trial but never made the final outfits. When they decided to come to the picnic they took the muslins and threw them all in some green dye. Voila!

I chose purple initially to honor my Grandma Bertha but when I read about the Berkeley Historical Society doing a celebration on the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in California that sealed the deal for the other two dresses (that I made Friday). White, purple and gold were adopted for the movement and stood for truth, courage and loyalty so I used the white and purple, next year can work in the gold.

These people had a fabulous set-up:

How cool are they?

Pretty spiffy : )

We met some of THE nicest people today. By far the most outstanding woman was wearing a pink linen suit, very simple but with the most amazing smile. We had spent some time in the bathroom primping next to her so we learned initially that her breast cancer has metastasized to her bones and her boyfriend of 9 years just moved out. Despite all that she was very happy, very calm and extremely positive that however long her life may be, she was making the best of it.

She is also a veteran.

She’s the kind of person who comes along to underscore that life is good, even though circumstances may not be, and that you need to make THE MOST of every day. I gave her a hug and wished her well.

A most satisfactory day was had by all : )

Tomorrow – Acorn delight

282 days to go!!

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