Edinburgh Gardens, North Fitzroy
The first Consider The Sauce post was hoisted into the public eye on August 23, 2010, but in some ways a more significant event was attendance at the Food Bloggers’ Melbourne ‘Mad Hatter’ Spring Picnic in Studley Park in early October the same year.
It was there that I first met some of the cool and kooky customers who constitute a fairly decent chuck of the Melbourne food blogger community.
Since then, and more than 160 posts later, Consider The Sauce and the dad-and-son team at its helm have grown and evolved.
Through trial and error and the frequent visiting of, and dropping of comments on, many other blogs we’ve found what kind of endeavour we wants ours to be – what we want to do, what we don’t want to do and perhaps even areas to be explored that other bloggers have not touched upon.
In that time, too, quite a few other blogs have started up, so we no longer feel so much the new boys on the block – less prep and more, say, grade 2!
In any case, just a tick over a year later it is a pleasure to rock up to another blogger picnic to see what’s cooking.
Really, though, the points of comparison between the two events are hard to find.
As far as I can tell, I am the only attendee at both picnics.
This is a much smaller and more cosy event, but no less enjoyable for that.
The food accent is firmly vegan/vegetarian.
Apart from my own courgette fritters, straight out of Claudia Roden’s Arabesque, there’s a variety of dips and salads, as well as two kinds of intensely chocolatey fudge/brownie concoctions that become more and more like chocolate sauce as the heat and sun take their toll.
I’m grateful to Claire from Melbourne Gastronome for providing a nice bag of tiger and king prawns, aioli and even a bottle of water, the cleaning of hands for.
Three of my first abodes in Melbourne were in Fitzroy, but it’s been a long time since I had any ongoing relationship with the neighbourhood – consequently the unfolding scene in Edinburgh Gardens is a lovely surprise.
A beaut spring/early summer day and there’s people picnicking everywhere.
I stop for a yarn with Alex and James and their nutty dog Oscar after opining that their spread – a mixture of home-prepared and Coles deli counter – looks just as flash and tasty as anything the food bloggers over yonder have mustered up.
On the other side of the rotunda from where we are ensconced the Village Festival is taking place. It looks like a very fine, low-key and grass-roots celebration involving all sorts of theatrical performances and music.
As our afternoon picnic winds down, much entertainment and fascination is had in the observation of several swarthy fellows well met and their broadsword antics.
Coming across as a sort of cross between a geeky Lord Of The Rings and a medieval Star Wars, they apparently have their own FB page and rock up every couple of weeks to defend the honour of king, country, whatever.
As bloggers start dispersing, talk is made regarding an autumn picnic. Yes!
Walking back to my car, I pass a large picnic group that has its own acoustic bass/electric guitar jazz duo performing for it.
How hip is that?