Thursday, August 7, 2008


On Sunday, the hubby and I trekked out to Lenox, MA to visit Tanglewood, the summer home of the BSO. This was part of his anniversary gift to me, and a very nice gift it was! Since this is a cooking blog, I'll try to get through the music stuff quickly. Their program included three pieces: Suite from Iberia by Albeniz, Lalo's Cello Concerto (performed by Yo-Yo Ma!), and Symphonic Dances by Rachmaninoff. I wasn't super familiar with any of these pieces, so it was nice to hear some new things. I think if we'd been in a concert hall (I'll explain momentarily), my favorite would have been the cello concerto. In this case, my favorite ended up being the Rachmaninoff. I'm definitely going to need to get a recording.

Anyway, Tanglewood has a few different performance venues, this concert being held at the Koussevitzky Music Shed, which has a few sections of covered seating close to the stage, but then a huge lawn area in the back for people to picnic (do you see the food connection now?) and lounge while they listen to the music. The thing I love about it, is that unlike many other outdoor concerts that I have attended in the summer of jazz and rock/pop groups, people are really here to listen intently to the music and when the concert begins everyone is quiet (except for the small children who do their best to keep things under control!). It's really quite nice.

OK. On to the picnic! We wanted to keep things simple, but delicious. We started with some pesto, tomato, and mozzarella finger sandwiches. For these I just sliced up some ciabatta bread, spread a little pesto on each slice, and layered each sandwich with a slice of tomato and a slice of fresh mozzarella. Easy!

I did make my own pesto using this Cooking Light recipe. I really like this version because it's not as oily as store-bought.

Recipe courtesy
Cooking Light

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 cups packed basil leaves (about 2.5 oz)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts **I used walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Drop garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Place basil and next 4 ingredients (basil through pepper) in processor; process 10 seconds. Combine water and oil in a measuring cup. With processor on, slowly pour oil mixture through food chute, processing just until blended.

Next, we had some strawberry spinach salad (not pictured), which consisted simply of baby spinach, sliced strawberries, walnuts, salt, and pepper with your favorite balsamic vinaigrette.

After salads...and some rain in the middle of the cello concerto (which is why I cannot call it my favorite...sadly, I couldn't hear the whole second half due to the sound of the rain on our umbrella)...

...we moved on to Brie with Grape Jelly and Wheat Thins. This is honestly one of our favorite treats ever! It was of course accompanied by a nice bottle of merlot. Notice how the sun is now shining brightly. The weather was quite fickle that day.

Finally, during Rachmaninoff, we reached dessert. I wanted something chocolaty, but fairly light. I found this recipe and then simply subbed light ingredients.

Recipe courtesy of
Recipe Zaar

  • 1 180z package Oreos, crushed **I used reduced fat Oreos
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 8oz container Cool Whip **I used light
  • 1 8 oz package gummy worms **I left these out and put in some sliced strawberries instead

Make the pudding, fold in the Cool-Whip. Place half the cookie crumbs on the bottom of a glass bowl **I used three cookies each on the bottom of individual serving dishes. Spoon in the pudding mixture and place the worms, half in, half out, on top. **I just put some strawberry slices on top. Top with the remaining cookie crumbs. Chill.

The following photographs are examples of why I portioned everything instead of having us share out of one dish. I always feel like I'm racing. In the second photo, hubby's dish is on the left and mine is on the right - about 2 minutes after we started eating...


Joelen said...

What a great picnic! Tanglewood sounds like so much fun and thanks for sharing the experience with us!

KMAYS said...

I spent a summer at Tanglewood in the high-school voice program. We were always in awe of the picnics people brought since we were eating terrible cafeteria food. We saw one group with a candleabra once!

KC720 said...

kmays - We actually saw a lot of students there who were catching the show after rehearsal during their summer program. It seems like a great experience! Last time we went to a performance there it was in the evening and people were much more formal. We saw lots of candelabras and floral centerpieces! This daytime performance seemed a lot more casual, which was nice because we didn't feel so outdone! :)