Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Monday July 19, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
A Picnic for a Hot Summer’s Day


A picnic is the perfect way to celebrate summer!  Here are a few tips for packing a moveable feast easily and safely.

Pack the Essentials
Make sure you're fully equipped for your adventure. Here's a list of essentials for your outdoor excursion:

   1. Picnic basket or cooler
   2. Bottled water (freeze overnight and use as an ice pack and drinks during day   as it thaws.  Pour a little water out before freezing to give it room to expand.)
   3. Outdoor dinnerware / paper goods
   4. Flatware or plastic silverware
   5. Napkins
   6. Glassware
   7. Corkscrew and/or bottle opener
   8. Tablecloth, blanket
9. Decorative centerpiece (hurricane candles, a cup of freshly plucked wildflowers, a beautiful dessert)
  10. Sunscreen
  11. Bug spray or citronella candles
  12. Trash bag and wipes

Pack food in airtight containers or sealed bags to keep freshness in .

Place ice packs on the bottoms of the basket or cooler when you pack your picnic lunch. Arrange perishable items closer to the ice.

If possible -  pack drinks separately.  It saves space and lightens the load of the picnic basket.  Chances are people will be reaching for more drinks than food – so having them in a sep. cooler keeps your food safer, as people won’t be going into the same one over and over – letting the cold out of the food container.

Pack lightweight items and anything that might get smashed last.

Put fragile things like fruit or desserts in hard plastic containers.

Cheers to summer! 


Cold Beet and Watermelon Soup
Herbed Brie Sandwiches (Brie Breads)
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies or any cookie of your choice
Arnold Palmers (1/2 iced tea/ 1/2 lemonade)

Brie Breads

A true Carole concoction with a grandmother-style non-recipe recipe!!  Well it's actually a Carole and Jo (my Mom) concoction that we made up years ago for my famous Murko Open Tennis Party.

Mince a ton of garlic and a mix of herbs - thyme, rosemary, dill - whatever....
Cut open your baguettes and sprinkle with olive oil, garlic and herbs, salt and pepper and add slices of brie (1/4 inch thick should do).  Wrap tightly in plastic and put in fridge overnight.  When ready to bake them - bake at 350 - remove from plastic and wrap in tin foil for 10-15 minutes until toasted and brie is melted but not runny.  Slice into 1-2 inch pieces and enjoy!!  For your picnic, place pieces in a plastic storage container and enjoy at room temperature.

Cold Watermelon and Beet Soup

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE gazpacho and anything with tomatoes but I wanted to work with some of the other amazing items available at the markets during the summer.  And the combination of beets and watermelon are a match made in heaven for a cold soup on a warm day! Sweet, refreshing and full of nutrients.

1 bunch of farm fresh beets, greens removed, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 vidalia onion, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil +/-
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp salt
2-3 cups watermelon, seeded and chopped.  What you want is equal parts beets to watermelon.
Fresh mint (some chopped and soem not, for garnish and flavor)  In may opiion, this makes the soup!!

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss onions and beets with oil and place on baking sheet.  Roast until beets are soft - 30 minutes.  While they are roasting, cut up watermelon.  Put beets and vegetable broth in a stockpot and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Strain solids and put solids in food processor (keep the liquid to add back in) Add watermelon to food processor and puree until smooth.  Mix the puree and reserved liquid.  Refrigerate for several hours. Serve cold, garnished with mint and Enjoy!!