All Things Picnic!

TastyReuben

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I figured I post enough about picnics, I may as well start a dedicated topic for it. There were some others but they were quite old.

We love picnics, everything from the planning, to the preparing, packing, and the consuming, of course. This is our second one this year, and because MrsT is on a WW regimen, I had to find foods that were friendly to that. Here goes:

This was our spot, at Delaware State Park, which is a park in the state of Ohio, not the state of Delaware, but don’t let that bother you any:
89372


Oh, what treasures lie inside?!?!
89373


A little fruit and cheese (and bubbly, which had to be consumed on the sly, as booze in a state park is a major no-no):
89374


Vegetables for dipping in garlicky-white bean dip and an egg:
89375


More to follow…
 

TastyReuben

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…and here they are!

Good-looking egg:
89376


Chicken salad:
89377

There was meant to be lettuce on that, but it’s my signature picnic move to either prepare something and forget to pack it, or pack something and forget to unpack it. Lettuce was in the hamper… 🙈

Fruit with lemon-ginger dip:
89378


Sweet treats:
89379

Date balls flavored with cardamom and espresso powder and a chocolate-covered graham cracker square with pepitas and a sprinkle of salt. We had tea with those.

There was a bit of…we’ll call it awkwardness. I have two things that bug me more than anything else, like worse than murder, and that’s littering and letting your dog crap in a public space and leaving it.

While I was unpacking, I spied a guy maybe 50 feet away with two dogs, and one of them crapped in a bit of green space, and then he walked off.

I shouted at him, “Hey, did your dog just crap in the grass?!”
“Yeah!”
“You gonna pick that up?!”
“Gotta go get a bag, bro!” - that was said quite angrily.
Then he walked off and turned back around and shouted, “What do you think you’d do if I’d said no, huh?!” - still pizzy.
I was just unpacking a couple of plastic bags I use for picnic trash, so I hollered back, “I’d give you one of mine!” and held it up.

:laugh:
 

rascal

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…and here they are!

Good-looking egg:
View attachment 89376

Chicken salad: View attachment 89377
There was meant to be lettuce on that, but it’s my signature picnic move to either prepare something and forget to pack it, or pack something and forget to unpack it. Lettuce was in the hamper… 🙈

Fruit with lemon-ginger dip:
View attachment 89378

Sweet treats:
View attachment 89379
Date balls flavored with cardamom and espresso powder and a chocolate-covered graham cracker square with pepitas and a sprinkle of salt. We had tea with those.

There was a bit of…we’ll call it awkwardness. I have two things that bug me more than anything else, like worse than murder, and that’s littering and letting your dog crap in a public space and leaving it.

While I was unpacking, I spied a guy maybe 50 feet away with two dogs, and one of them crapped in a big of green space, and then he walked off.

I shouted at him, “Hey, did your dog just crap in the grass?!”
“Yeah!”
“You gonna pick that up?!”
“Gotta go get a bag, bro!” - that was said quite angrily.
Then he walked off and turned back around and shouted, “What do you think you’d do if I’d said no, huh?!” - still pizzy.
I was just unpacking a couple of plastic bags I use for picnic trash, so I hollered back, “I’d give you one of mine!” and held it up.

:laugh:
We have a basket like that in the garage. I will do this in summer. 4 months away.

Russ
 

JAS_OH1

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We have a basket like that in the garage. I will do this in summer. 4 months away.

Russ
I figured I post enough about picnics, I may as well start a dedicated topic for it. There were some others but they were quite old.

We love picnics, everything from the planning, to the preparing, packing, and the consuming, of course. This is our second one this year, and because MrsT is on a WW regimen, I had to find foods that were friendly to that. Here goes:

This was our spot, at Delaware State Park, which is a park in the state of Ohio, not the state of Delaware, but don’t let that bother you any:
View attachment 89372

Oh, what treasures lie inside?!?!
View attachment 89373

A little fruit and cheese (and bubbly, which had to be consumed on the sly, as booze in a state park is a major no-no):
View attachment 89374

Vegetables for dipping in garlicky-white bean dip and an egg:
View attachment 89375

More to follow…

Packing a picnic for the missus is a very romantic thing to do.
 

TastyReuben

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Packing a picnic for the missus is a very romantic thing to do.
I have to admit I’m somewhat obsessed with picnics. We went to Sandringham, where QE2 and the family spend their Christmases (usually), in 2019, and about the only thing I remember is that they have a custom-made picnic trailer (us normal folks just have hampers/baskets, but Her Maj has a freakin’ trailer) that I was completely fascinated with - so overwhelmed was I that I forgot to take a single photo!
 

kaneohegirlinaz

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We picnic often.
When our home was being built, we were renting a house and the landlords lived upstairs.
Most days I'd pack us up fixin's for a lunch and off we'd go for the day.
IMG_3003.JPG
IMG_2992.JPG

Believe it or not, Arizona isn't all desert, we have loads of beautiful lakes in the Northern parts.

IMG_3014.JPG
IMG_3021.JPG

We don't live very far from the Grand Canyon and go there regularly.

I have a reusable shopping bag that I keep filled with all of our picnic essentials:
old towels to cover the tables and/or benches
disposable dinner wear
paper goods
We always have a cold bag or small cooler filled with ice and drinks with us when we leave the house, water is a must in Arizona, especially at mile high plus.
Food for the day was usually some sort of sandwich, fruit and chips.
 

TastyReuben

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Bear with me as I make The Longest Post on the Forum in an attempt to explain my infatuation with picnics:

On the Road to Nottingham (or Why I Love Picnics So Much)

First, some background: In the US, we don't really have a picnic culture; we have a cookout culture. Sure, people occasionally grab a cooler, throw in some convenience foods, head to a park and play a little frisbee, but we're much more inclined, when eating outdoors, to fire up the outdoor grill/barbecue, cook some burgers and dogs, have some potato salad, and sit around and visit with family and friends. Nothing wrong with that, of course, it's just a different way of doing things.

A picnic for two? On a blanket spread on the ground? With a proper basket/hamper? With actual dishes and foods that are more than just a simple sandwich and a packet of chips/crisps, and a can of Coke? That's just not that common here. I'm not sure when it fell out of fashion, but I'll say it was "the 1960's," because that decade gets the blame for destroying everything that was good and right with the world. So that's on you, Counterculture! :laugh:

1993, late Spring, MrsT and I were living in the UK at the request of Uncle Sam (US Air Force), and we'd both taken the day off work, so on a particular morning, we set out on a day trip for Nottingham. It was early days in our time there, about six months in, and we were systematically working our way through all the touristy places familiar to Americans (Stonehenge, Nottingham, any pub with "Ye Olde" in the name). It was going to be a great day!

Knowing that it would take us a couple of hours to get there, MrsT had the good sense to suggest we pack a light picnic lunch to eat on the way. We did the typical American thing and packed a little cooler with a couple of petrol-station sandwiches, crisps, and a some "fizzy drinks". We felt so pleased with our choices..."Look at us, picnicking like we're British!"

Oh, how wrong we were...

At the appointed time, travelling along some dual-carriageway toward Sherwood, stomachs grumbling, we spotted a layby and pulled in to eat.

Laybys are not, as our Culture Class instructor misinformed us, "the same thing as a rest stop in the US." They serve the same purpose, a quick respite from a long drive, a chance to stretch the legs a bit, but unlike an American rest stop, there aren't usually any restrooms, no building with a map of the area showing "YOU ARE HERE" and no vending machines. It's really just a widened bit of shoulder, enough for five or six cars to pull over and almost get out of traffic, and if it's a particularly popular stretch of road, there might be a somewhat faded catering truck there, selling watery teas and greasy bacon sandwiches.

This layby had nothing like that; just us, a panel van, and a lot of exhaust fumes.

Out of the car, leaned up against the front end, happily munching our egg-mayonnaise and cheese-and-pickle sandwiches, our salt & vinegar crisps, our Fanta drinks...we felt so pleased with our choices, pitying our sad American friends back at the air base, having their bologna sandwiches and Fritos and drinking their pedestrian diet Cokes..."Look at us, with our food bought in a British shop, with British money, driving a European car, and eating in a layby, like real British people!" - I fully expected Queen Elizabeth to arrive at any moment, tap us on the shoulders, dub us knights and dames of the realm, and present us with a manor house and royal pension.

About that time, midway through musing about what name I wanted for my butler, the panel van drove off and an ancient little Ford Fiesta puttered in, parked several feet in front of us, and very gingerly, out stepped the two oldest people I'd ever seen.

I nudged my wife, "Get a load of Liz and Phil there, I think they've come to offer us citizenship."

What transpired was pure magic. Ever so slowly, the old man (we'll just stick with Phil and Liz for ease) made his way around the tiny car and opened the hatch. In the two of them went, head-first, and in not-so-short order, managed to extract...a folding table! Two folding chairs, not unexpected, soon followed, and with much deliberation, were eventually set up in the space between us.

"What are they doing," asked MrsT, "Getting ready to play cards?" :scratchhead:

That was soon answered by Liz dipping back into the rear of the car and producing...a tablecloth and some plates. But not just any plates...these were proper plates. No paper, no plastic, but actual ceramic clinky-clinky plates...and glasses...and teacups with saucers...and cloth napkins...and stainless steel eating utensils!

"Look at that," I whispered to my wife, "They've even got salt and pepper shakers! And butter! In a butter dish!"

By now, we were both fully invested. We, as unobtrusively as nosy neighbors, watched as Liz and Phil returned, time and again, to their TARDIS-like hatchback, to pull out...a loaf of bread (and a bread board, and a bread knife!), a little plate of cheese, a thermos of tea (and a little glass jar of milk!), a salad of some sort (with dressing in another jar!), and like a magician hoisting a rabbit from a hat...wait for it...an entire roast chicken! A whole <bleeping> chicken! On a folding table! In a layby!

For the next 30 minutes or so, we were treated to the right way to picnic. We watched Liz lovingly pour Phil a cup of tea, and we saw how Phil just as tenderly carved pieces of chicken off for the two of them, while the entire time, their quiet voices made inaudible by the noise of the passing traffic, and their silky hair buffeted by the wash of the same, they enchanted us both.

The French may have their pan bagnats, the Italians may have their wines, cheeses, and fruits, and that's all well and good, but nobody, and I mean nobody, picnics like the British. Americans? We're not even on the same picnicking planet with them.

There was no other word for it. It was simply beautiful, and in that moment, I felt like the old man who came down from the mountain - "These are my people, and I am home!" - and all it took was Liz and Phil, sat barely 15 feet away, demonstrating how a proper picnic is equal parts Olympic event and art.

After one last bit of magic, where Liz dived into the back and conjured a fully-intact layer cake (with frosting), we were then treated to the two of them repeating the entire spectacle in reverse; cake carefully back in its holder, chicken in a container, all the bits and bobs packed up and in their rightful places, and returned back to vehicle, and they, just like their items, slowly and with much care, inserted themselves in the front, sputtered the car to life, and with a gentle burp of the tailpipe, off they went.

In my mind, I like to think that, nearly 30 years later, they're still toodling around England, 117 years or so old, still staging wonderful picnics in whatever laybys take their fancy, and no one can convince me otherwise. As we put ourselves in our car, all I could manage to say to MrsT was, "I want to be them. We're doing that, and I want to be them!" - and no surprise, she felt exactly the same. :love:

I've forgotten a lot of things over the years; things from my childhood, things from the early years of our marriage, and even things since moving back to Ohio several years ago, and I blame it all on getting older and the eventual inefficiencies of an aging brain, but the one area where my memory is near perfect is of the few years we lived in England, in the 1990's. I can tell you what the air smelled like on the first day I breathed it, every bit of single-track road between our house and the air base, and what my first Theakston's Best Bitter tasted like.

However, being privileged to watch that couple going through their picnic set-up...it was like a play or a ballet, put on just for us, and it's easily one of my top-three memories of England. Seeing the crown jewels was jaw-dropping, visiting Stonehenge was awe-inspiring, but it was that picnic performance that put a lump in my throat and made me think, "God, I love this country!"
 

caseydog

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Bear with me as I make The Longest Post on the Forum in an attempt to explain my infatuation with picnics:

On the Road to Nottingham (or Why I Love Picnics So Much)

First, some background: In the US, we don't really have a picnic culture; we have a cookout culture. Sure, people occasionally grab a cooler, throw in some convenience foods, head to a park and play a little frisbee, but we're much more inclined, when eating outdoors, to fire up the outdoor grill/barbecue, cook some burgers and dogs, have some potato salad, and sit around and visit with family and friends. Nothing wrong with that, of course, it's just a different way of doing things.

A picnic for two? On a blanket spread on the ground? With a proper basket/hamper? With actual dishes and foods that are more than just a simple sandwich and a packet of chips/crisps, and a can of Coke? That's just not that common here. I'm not sure when it fell out of fashion, but I'll say it was "the 1960's," because that decade gets the blame for destroying everything that was good and right with the world. So that's on you, Counterculture! :laugh:

1993, late Spring, MrsT and I were living in the UK at the request of Uncle Sam (US Air Force), and we'd both taken the day off work, so on a particular morning, we set out on a day trip for Nottingham. It was early days in our time there, about six months in, and we were systematically working our way through all the touristy places familiar to Americans (Stonehenge, Nottingham, any pub with "Ye Olde" in the name). It was going to be a great day!

Knowing that it would take us a couple of hours to get there, MrsT had the good sense to suggest we pack a light picnic lunch to eat on the way. We did the typical American thing and packed a little cooler with a couple of petrol-station sandwiches, crisps, and a some "fizzy drinks". We felt so pleased with our choices..."Look at us, picnicking like we're British!"

Oh, how wrong we were...

At the appointed time, travelling along some dual-carriageway toward Sherwood, stomachs grumbling, we spotted a layby and pulled in to eat.

Laybys are not, as our Culture Class instructor misinformed us, "the same thing as a rest stop in the US." They serve the same purpose, a quick respite from a long drive, a chance to stretch the legs a bit, but unlike an American rest stop, there aren't usually any restrooms, no building with a map of the area showing "YOU ARE HERE" and no vending machines. It's really just a widened bit of shoulder, enough for five or six cars to pull over and almost get out of traffic, and if it's a particularly popular stretch of road, there might be a somewhat faded catering truck there, selling watery teas and greasy bacon sandwiches.

This layby had nothing like that; just us, a panel van, and a lot of exhaust fumes.

Out of the car, leaned up against the front end, happily munching our egg-mayonnaise and cheese-and-pickle sandwiches, our salt & vinegar crisps, our Fanta drinks...we felt so pleased with our choices, pitying our sad American friends back at the air base, having their bologna sandwiches and Fritos and drinking their pedestrian diet Cokes..."Look at us, with our food bought in a British shop, with British money, driving a European car, and eating in a layby, like real British people!" - I fully expected Queen Elizabeth to arrive at any moment, tap us on the shoulders, dub us knights and dames of the realm, and present us with a manor house and royal pension.

About that time, midway through musing about what name I wanted for my butler, the panel van drove off and an ancient little Ford Fiesta puttered in, parked several feet in front of us, and very gingerly, out stepped the two oldest people I'd ever seen.

I nudged my wife, "Get a load of Liz and Phil there, I think they've come to offer us citizenship."

What transpired was pure magic. Ever so slowly, the old man (we'll just stick with Phil and Liz for ease) made his way around the tiny car and opened the hatch. In the two of them went, head-first, and in not-so-short order, managed to extract...a folding table! Two folding chairs, not unexpected, soon followed, and with much deliberation, were eventually set up in the space between us.

"What are they doing," asked MrsT, "Getting ready to play cards?" :scratchhead:

That was soon answered by Liz dipping back into the rear of the car and producing...a tablecloth and some plates. But not just any plates...these were proper plates. No paper, no plastic, but actual ceramic clinky-clinky plates...and glasses...and teacups with saucers...and cloth napkins...and stainless steel eating utensils!

"Look at that," I whispered to my wife, "They've even got salt and pepper shakers! And butter! In a butter dish!"

By now, we were both fully invested. We, as unobtrusively as nosy neighbors, watched as Liz and Phil returned, time and again, to their TARDIS-like hatchback, to pull out...a loaf of bread (and a bread board, and a bread knife!), a little plate of cheese, a thermos of tea (and a little glass jar of milk!), a salad of some sort (with dressing in another jar!), and like a magician hoisting a rabbit from a hat...wait for it...an entire roast chicken! A whole <bleeping> chicken! On a folding table! In a layby!

For the next 30 minutes or so, we were treated to the right way to picnic. We watched Liz lovingly pour Phil a cup of tea, and we saw how Phil just as tenderly carved pieces of chicken off for the two of them, while the entire time, their quiet voices made inaudible by the noise of the passing traffic, and their silky hair buffeted by the wash of the same, they enchanted us both.

The French may have their pan bagnats, the Italians may have their wines, cheeses, and fruits, and that's all well and good, but nobody, and I mean nobody, picnics like the British. Americans? We're not even on the same picnicking planet with them.

There was no other word for it. It was simply beautiful, and in that moment, I felt like the old man who came down from the mountain - "These are my people, and I am home!" - and all it took was Liz and Phil, sat barely 15 feet away, demonstrating how a proper picnic is equal parts Olympic event and art.

After one last bit of magic, where Liz dived into the back and conjured a fully-intact layer cake (with frosting), we were then treated to the two of them repeating the entire spectacle in reverse; cake carefully back in its holder, chicken in a container, all the bits and bobs packed up and in their rightful places, and returned back to vehicle, and they, just like their items, slowly and with much care, inserted themselves in the front, sputtered the car to life, and with a gentle burp of the tailpipe, off they went.
In my mind, I like to think that, nearly 30 years later, they're still toodling around England, 117 years or so old, still staging wonderful picnics in whatever laybys take their fancy, and no one can convince me otherwise. As we put ourselves in our car, all I could manage to say to MrsT was, "I want to be them. We're doing that, and I want to be them!" - and no surprise, she felt exactly the same. :love:

I've forgotten a lot of things over the years; things from my childhood, things from the early years of our marriage, and even things since moving back to Ohio several years ago, and I blame it all on getting older and the eventual inefficiencies of an aging brain, but the one area where my memory is near perfect is of the few years we lived in England, in the 1990's. I can tell you what the air smelled like on the first day I breathed it, every bit of single-track road between our house and the air base, and what my first Theakston's Best Bitter tasted like.

However, being privileged to watch that couple going through their picnic set-up...it was like a play or a ballet, put on just for us, and it's easily one of my top-three memories of England. Seeing the crown jewels was jaw-dropping, visiting Stonehenge was awe-inspiring, but it was that picnic performance that put a lump in my throat and made me think, "God, I love this country!"

That would not work in most places in Texas, except for the five days per year with decent picnic weather.

I still can't fathom why you are looking at Pennsylvania and Florida to retire -- especially Florida. It seems like you would be so much happier in England.

CD
 
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