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Notes from a Food Diva: The Post-Cleanup Picnic

Carol Brock attends an annual event at Udalls Cove and helps serve lunch.

A last weekend transitioned to “clean your plate” at noon.

Beneath two indigo canopies on loan from the Little Neck Douglaston Lions Club, Nancy Kami and Gloria Kemper Bodie did their yearly Memorial Field post-cleanup picnic lunch.

The early arriving, teenage volunteers waited impatiently as Gloria slid an impressive six-foot long hero out of its box with finesse. With knife in hand, she carefully determined the midpoint, explaining, “American on one side (American cheese, ham and tomatoes) and Italian on the other (salami, ham and tomatoes).”

Nancy quickly uncovered the foil pans of potato and macaroni salad, cole slaw and kosher dills spears arranged on the cloth-covered folding table buffet.

Under the second canopy, on a cloth-covered table, were assorted cookies, chocolate covered yodels, biscotti, orange wedges and a bowl of fruit to eat out of hand. Ice filled tubs with an array of canned soda and coolers filled with bottled water to quench the thirsty crew sat alongside.

When the younger generation, early on, demolished one six-foot hero cut in one-inch slices with the Nancy’s bread knife, Gloria slid a second impressive six-footer into place.

And thinking ahead as the last foot of the loaf was coming up, she had me - the stand-by helper of the day - make up plates. Two crews were still picking up the metal trash that had been hauled to the road at Virginia Point and the Great Neck shoreline.

As usual, the post-cleanup picnic lunch proved the yearly fitting finale.

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