Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Oct

Grokfeast in Denver, Colorado

On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.

On Sunday afternoon, in the gorgeous, if unseasonably warm, weather currently being enjoyed near Denver, Colorado, a group of 8 humans and 1 corgi named Bugsy gathered for a day of truly primal enjoyment. Melody (our organizer), Katie H., her son Squishy, Katie C., Minnesota Mike (Katie’s boyfriend), John, Peggy and her friend Mike (who is not normally primal, but came along for the food and fun) ate food prepared primally and explored Dinosaur Ridge on foot (and stroller).

The food included fresh greens (and yellows, reds, blues and oranges) with oil and vinegar, roast bison, clafouti with chicken, maple salmon, flax bread, sweet potato fries and little fruity nut pies. (See further descriptions of the food later.)  Soon after we declared ourselves assembled, we descended on the food, and conversation slowed dramatically. To quote Homer Simpson, “Can’t talk.  Eating.” Once everyone had sampled everything, we started sharing our primal beginnings and how long we’d been following the Blueprint.

After dessert, we tackled the trail. The road leads to the base of Dinosaur Ridge, where there are footprints of dinosaurs, fossilized dinosaur bones, fossils of mangrove swamps and waves all frozen in time for us to see. The views, both from the primary path and the deceptive Dakota Ridge Trail were absolutely gorgeous, and certainly took my breath away. We walked, we jogged, we hiked and climbed.

At one point on the path, a small trail broke away and our group split up. Some of us thought to take a “short-cut” over the top of the ridge, having a harder, but shorter hike. Well, as it turned out, the “short-cut” never rejoined the other path, but instead became its own hiking trail. After discovering our self-deception, those of us who took the trail rejoined the others. Well, most did. Some of us were too out of breath and chose to say that the “workout was scaled for all ability levels.” I sat and waited for my heart rate to return to a non-vomit-inducing level.

After the others rejoined me, after finishing the traditional path, several of us were witness to a touching moment for toddler and dog, sadly missed by the cameras. There were licks, there were giggles, and then there was a dog running away and a squealing Squishy chasing him in laughter.

After returning to our starting point, we set up a couple of ideas of when, how and where to meet again and then went our separate ways.

The Feast

primalpicnic005
  • Salad: we had organic spring mixed greens, with diced orange bell peppers, sliced zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, fresh oregano, snap peas, tomatoes, blueberries, blue cheese, organic Clementine infused olive oil (from O Olive Oil) and aged 18-year-old balsamic vinegar from EVOO Marketplace in downtown Denver.
  • Clafouti
  • Bison:  burgundy-braised bison brisket
  • Flax bread
  • Salmon
  • Sweet potato fries:  cooked with just some salt, pepper and grass-fed butter…mmm.
  • Pies:  1/3 cup each of ground pecans, hazelnuts, coconut flakes and almond flour, mixed with 2T of butter and two eggs formed the crust of these 24 pies cooked in mini-muffin pans.  The fruit (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, banana with cocoa powder, apples cooked with butter and cinnamon) was simply pressed into the crust before cooking for about half an hour at 325 degrees.

Recipe: Salmon

primalpicnic003

The salmon was an Alaskan Wild catch. It was marinaded for six hours in a mixture of gluten-free soy sauce, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey. After marinade, it was brushed with melted butter and maple syrup, then sprinkled with a mixture of garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and chili powder. It was then placed on a cedar plank and into the smoker fueled by lump coal and mesquite chips soaked in apple wine, slow cooked at 250-300 for just over an hour.

The Tribe

primalpicnic012

Melody Scott, Katie Hudgens, Kale Hudgens (nicknamed Squishy), Katie Carbaugh, Katie’s Mike (last name unknown), John Weeb, Peggy Woods, Peggy’s Mike (last name unknown), (non-human) Bugsy the dog

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I think it’s so amazing that PB can bring together strangers to share such a wonderful experience together. Kudos for you all for taking part!

    Jenn wrote on October 7th, 2010
  2. Looks delishous! Especially for me the salmon : )

    Good job

    The Martial Fitness Guy wrote on October 7th, 2010
    • oh man, that salmon was awesome! I found some “planks” on sale so I can make my own :)

      Peggy wrote on October 7th, 2010
  3. those sweet potato fries have got me super ready for lunch
    *eyes clock*

    MeatMe216 wrote on October 7th, 2010
  4. Man, I gotta stop reading these as today I’m doing a 24 hours fast!!

    Ryan wrote on October 7th, 2010
  5. I still love the picture of Squishy cramming sweet potato fries :)

    Peggy wrote on October 7th, 2010
  6. Awesome, someone is wearing their Luna (Huarache) Sandals! Are these Barefoot Ted’s version?

    Joe The Toad wrote on October 7th, 2010
  7. i love bison…mmmmmm

    mike wrote on October 7th, 2010
  8. Cool idea to go to the dinosaur fossils, and I’ll agree with all the other comments that the salmon sounds heavenly!

    Kris wrote on October 7th, 2010
  9. So THAT’s why all the Vibrams are out of stock! ;-)

    The Primal Palette wrote on October 7th, 2010
  10. Hell yeah! This was an absolute blast. A special thanks to Melody for arranging. You rock! :D

    Funkadelic Flash wrote on October 7th, 2010
  11. Very nice spread. I’d like to sit down and join in.

    Mark wrote on October 7th, 2010
  12. Looks like a great location as well as a great feast!
    P.S. Katie H., I have a sister-in-law named Katie who calls HER son “Mr. Squish”. Coincidence? ;)

    Larry wrote on October 7th, 2010
  13. You guys should create a meetup.com group. It is a great way to organize outings like this.

    Bryan Barksdale wrote on October 7th, 2010
  14. Amazing spread!!

    Cindy Hanna wrote on October 7th, 2010
  15. Ack – were dinosaurs pink in Grok’s time?!
    Hmmm…dino footprints and tasty food = winning a cow. :)

    Melody wrote on October 7th, 2010
  16. That looks great! We may be moving to Denver in the near future. We’ll look for y’all if that’s the case. We WILL be in Denver for X-mas, but I don’t think I can convince the whole family to give up time-honored Christmas recipes without a little lead-in time.

    Julie wrote on October 7th, 2010
  17. I have a smoker but I haven’t used it to cook salmon… yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Ryan wrote on October 7th, 2010
  18. Love the dinosaur. Impressively old vinegar.

    christie wrote on October 7th, 2010
  19. mmmm…sweet potato fries…

    Whitney wrote on October 7th, 2010
  20. The guy wearing the shirt with veggies/fruit saying “eat more meat”…those veggies/fruits know what they are talking about! :D Mmmdinosaur

    Fatkid wrote on October 7th, 2010
  21. I love that you set this feast with dinosaurs! Very appropriate! :)

    gilliebean wrote on October 8th, 2010

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