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Would Love Some Unique Picnic Ideas

 
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Wine and Figs



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Napa Valley, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 11:38 pm    Post subject: Would Love Some Unique Picnic Ideas Reply with quote

Hello, everyone:

I'm hosting my best friend from Australia here in Napa Valley for the weekend. Along with the usual visits to many of the spectacular restaurants, we've booked a spot at one of the local small wineries for a picnic. Beverages, in this case, wine, is taken care of for us.

My mind is has gone soft, and I simply cannot think of anything spectacular and not too difficult to take for the eating portion of the afternoon. Of course, my girlfriend is a sort-of vegan (doesn't eat four-legged animals), but I sure would love any and all of your ideas. The rest of us eat everthing.

Ideas? Inspiration? Thanks, everyone, in advance!
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Pesto Man



Joined: 17 Jun 2005
Posts: 185
Location: New Orleans Louisiana

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How does your girlfriend feel about, 2 legs (&2 wings) Individual cornish game hens, make a classy alternative to cold chicken, perhaps with a fruit glaze, add a marinated veggie, and perhaps a whole grain salad & you are good to go
did this once on a bus trip to an L.S.U. game in near by Baton Rouge, where tthe average meal was a bologna sandwich, or box of popeye's chicken,

It made an impression!!!
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VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a vegetarian and I find middle eastern food is perfect for picnics. Stuffed grape leaves, some hummus and pita triangles, a nice garlicky bean salad, maybe some baba ganoush? All can be scooped up by the pita triangles, so no utensils required. Crumble some feta in, and maybe some falafel balls and you have quite a feast. Fresh figs, baklava and some iced turkish coffe in a thermos can finish it all off!

Another delicous veg option is grilled eggplant in the style of Napoli. This can be served with antipasto or made into sandwiches with some fresh tomato, basil leaves and fresh mozzarella. Its sooooo delicious! Just take a few eggplants, slice them lengthwise, and grill them over a gas or charcoal grill. Do not put oil on them at this point, but make sure they don't burn. Remove from the grill and lay them in a single layer, coated in olive oil, sprinkle with salt, sliced garlic and torn basil leaves. Make sure they are well coated and leave to sit for several hours.
The secret is not to get stingy with the oil. I first had this sandwich on a beach in Positano from a little beach-side restaurant. Pure heaven!
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Wine and Figs



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Napa Valley, California, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pesto Man and VictoriaLH -

Thanks so much for the ideas. Cornish Hens are a fab idea, when I marinate and bbq them, they tend to stay nice and tender for a day or two, so they are a perfect dish for the meat-eaters in the group.

Also, all the fixin's with the pita triangles are brilliant.

I'm also contemplating making the Watermelon/Feta Salad that is outlined in another posting on this forum.

Thanks again - I knew that I would have some wonderful replies. Keep then coming, I know that there are many more of us that have picnics to prep for this summer.

BTW, Victoria - Auntie Mame (Rosalind Russel version) is my favorite movie of all time.

Have fun, everyone.
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VictoriaLH



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 87
Location: Madison WI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep I love that movie too. As I have no kids of my own my goal is to be an Auntie Mame. When my best friend adopted a little girl, I told her that I was not the friend who goo-gooed all over how cute babies were and offered to change her diapers, but I would be the one to take her to Paris when she was 16.
Rosalind Russell is the definitive Auntie Mame!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find a Spanish omelette travels well for a picnic.

For dessert I take along some peaches, slice into a wine glass and top with red wine, warm a little in the sun. Drink the wine and then eat the peaches.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooooh -- I wish I were contributing but I've been running around alllll day. Got a kid to equip for college and today is the first day I've had a car in about a week.

Anyway, I'm not too sharp on what a vegan eats and doesn't eat. Is dairy a choice? Are eggs?

I love Victoria's suggestion of middle-eastern foods and that reminds me of a sandwich I love. It's grilled veggies on a sturdy, tasty bread like ciabatta that's moistened with a vinaigrette. Cheese and prociutto are excellent in it too but might not be what you want for a vegan friend. When you've got it all together a day or even 36hrs. ahead, you wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and set something large & heavy like a cast iron skillet on top of it and store it in the fridge. As it sits, the bread will soften and absorb all the flavors (not unlike the panzanella that clotilde is currently highlighting on the blog) and the crust will become very soft. It will, then, be super simple to slice into individual servings when you pack your basket. A nice parchment paper tied with raffia or coarse string makes an attractive presentation.

Do check out clotilde's entry on panzanella because another alternative with great flavor and a bit of panache might be steamed or grilled artichokes which are stuffed with panzanella. You trim the outer leaves of all the thorns and pull back enough of them to clean away the choke. Then you stuff the void in the center with the panzanella and also rub some into the base of the outer leaves. I would make the panzanella with a nice, assertive acidic vinaigrette so that the sharpness complements the artichoke flesh.

Beautiful, ripe fruit, of course, would be lovely. Maybe you could pack a sharp knife to trim/core/pit it at the last moment and also a jar of honey to drizzle over slices accompanied by a smooth blue cheese and a few nuts.

Have a great time!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit late perhaps, and also, I think all the above ideas are fantastic and a lot better than the 'unusual' dishes I could come up with...
But as you said, 'keep them coming'...

leek, celeriac and pineapple salad

400g leeks, 1 small celeriac, a small tin of pineapple, 2 apples (tart), 150g natural yoghurt, 100g mayonnaise, 3tbsp pineapple juice, salt, pepper, pinch of sugar.
The leeks and celeriac need to be cut into very fine strips/shredded. I use the leeks raw but blanch the celeriac (some people blanch both). Cut the apples into small cubes, mix all the other ingredients and carefully add the vegetables and fruit. Put in the fridge, allow the flavours to develop. (appr. 4 hours)

A weird recipe, with an even weirder name, comes from the Wightwick Manor Picnic Recipe book, it’s called Salmagundy and claims to be Victorian. I haven’t tried it out yet, so I don’t know whether it’s worth the effort....

1lb potatoes, 3 tomatoes, 1 tin anchovies, 3 slices ham, cucumber, radishes, spring onions, 2 boiled eggs, mayonnaise

Boil the potatoes and mash, allow to cool slightly. Remove the skin of the cucumber. Slice the tomatoes, cucumber, white of onion, radishes and eggs thinly into rings. Cut small circles out of the ham with a pastry cutter. Save 3 anchovy fillets and chop the rest. Finely chop the green part of the spring onion and any trimmings and end pieces from the other ingredients. Add these to the potato, stir, and add mayonnaise to form into a cone shape (looks like a mound in the picture). Working from the base, press the various rings onto the potato mix in layers, alternating the colours, beginning with the largest and ending with the smallest. Finish by placing a star shape of anchovy fillets at the top.


salmagundi \sal-muh-GUHN-dee\, noun:

1. A salad plate usually consisting of chopped meat,
anchovies, eggs, and onions, served with oil and vinegar.

2. Any mixture or assortment; a medley; a potpourri; a
miscellany.

Salmagundi comes from French salmigondis.

Synonyms: assortment, hodgepodge, jumble, mishmash, potpourri
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Wine and Figs



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Napa Valley, California, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it's not too late, and, ooooh, how very British! Thanks so much. Both recipes are great.

I'll let everyone know what the final menu turns out to be. I know that you are all on pins and needles...

Have a great weekend... Off to have some fun in the vineyards!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lakritz!! In my family it was called "solomon grundy"!! which i think is also a nursery rhyme!
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Lakritz



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 120
Location: Birmingham, UK (via Essen, Germany)

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David - funny you should say that!
When my husband saw me typing it last night, he went immediately, 'Solomon Grundy?'
Yes, as in the nursery rhyme:

Solomon Grundy,
Born on Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday:
This is the end
Of Solomon Grundy.
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