Everyone loves a picnic – eating outside on a blanket in the grass; watching the kids kick a soccer ball; staring at the river, or people watching. It all sounds idyllic! Believe me, I’ve had my experience with trying to make the perfect picnic. In the summer, my husband will often have the grand idea of going down to the river for a last minute dinner. Whatever I happen to be cooking for dinner quickly gets put into containers and gets brought down to the park in cardboard boxes. I’m scrambling to remember everything. I’ve carried a hot pot of chili in a cardboard box down to the river. I’ve also planned an extravagant picnic with real plates and silverware and real glasses. I’ve marinated meat to perfection for us to cook when we get to the river. I’ve spent hours making the perfect brick-pressed sandwiches with strawberry hand pies for dessert. While all of these are great ideas, we will opt for the simple picnic for Father’s Day this year. What I’ve learned over the years is that what makes the picnic special is simply being together. Don’t stress about the food – easy, simple foods make for the best dinner.
Here is my recipe for the perfect picnic:
- homemade, fresh-squeezed lemonade
- homemade guacamole with tortilla chips
- a loaf of crusty bread or crackers
- a brick of cheddar
- cut up watermelon.
The best part of this picnic is that it can be pulled together in no time. Cut up the cheese and watermelon ahead of time and put them into a container. Make the guacamole and lemonade ahead of time.
What to bring:
- an old quilt or blanket
- paper plates
- paper cups
- garbage bag
- wet wipes or a few wet paper towels in a zip lock bag
- 6 lemons squeezed (1 cup of juice) (easiest if they are at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 cups water
Put the lemon juice, sugar and water into a container and mix vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. Add ice and stick it into the fridge until you are ready to go. I always use an old orange juice container so that it can be thrown out afterwards – less clean up means more time to relax!
- two ripe avocados (a ripe avocado is dark green [almost black] and yields when you press it slightly)
- 1/2 lime
- three sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1/2 small red onion chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and scoop out the fruit onto a plate. With a fork, mash it until it is smooth. Squeeze the lime juice and mix it well. Add the chopped cilantro, onion, salt and pepper. When you put the guacamole into a container, press plastic wrap right on top of the guacamole. This will help keep it from turning brown too quickly.
Perfect meal – perfect plan!
Susan O’Keefe has been baking since she was a little girl. With a passion for baking and a background in marketing and sales, she opened Baked by Susan right in the heart of the little river town of Croton-on-Hudson where she lives with her husband and three growing boys. Visit Baked by Susan at 163 Grand Street, Croton-on-Hudson, NY or at Bakedbysusan.com. Like us on Facebook and Instagram! Baked by Susan Inc., Voted 2015 Winner Best Bakery and Best Cupcakes by Westchester Magazine! 163 Grand Street Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 914-862-0874 bakery 914-525-9639 cellular