Even though it becomes busier, for some reason I relax quite a bit more when school is out for summer. I think I was more excited than my kid on the last day of school. No more teachers! No more books! No more awkward after-school parent-to-parent social etiquette stuff! Time to chill and have some summer fun. Time to have a celebratory pic-a-nic!
Since we have a 5-year-old and almost 2-year-old with relatively short attention spans, we wanted to pack a kid-friendly lunch that was quick and easy. We mixed, chopped, and packed up everything the night before so we could just fly out the door in the morning and get maximum hang-out allotment before the baby threatened to melt down pre-naptime. I decided to get extra crafty for this outing and whipped up a de facto picnic basket from a diaper box. It can carry all the dinnerware, condiments and a bottle (or two) of wine. Check out how I did it on on my DIY website, themotherboards.ca.
I packed up my funky vintage dessert bowls, brought a plethora of food and drink (more on that in a second!), applied copious amounts of sunscreen, and then we were off! On this particular weekend, the park was packed with happy picnickers so, being the lone wolves we are, we searched and searched for a spot far from the madding crowd. After a good hour at the playground, working up our appetite, we decided that we could deny our rumbling stomachs no longer, and laid the blanket out on appropriate ground. The grass was a bit sparse, but we were in among the trees, so we were happy.
To cool ourselves down, we pulled out the limeade first. I’d actually planned on making lemonade, but the store was fresh out of lemons so – by default – limeade. So refreshing! And it makes a great base for mojitos, later on – after the kids are asleep and you’re recuperating from picnicking with kids.
- grated zest of one lime
- 1 cup lime juice (this took about 12 limes)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (although it could take less for a tarter taste)
- 3 cups water
- several sprigs of fresh mint
1. Bring to boil the sugar, one cup of water, and the lime zest. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.
2. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the sugar syrup through, straining out the lime zest. Add the lime juice and the 2 cups of water. Add mint.
Chill, or serve immediately over ice.
I love to bake a loaf of bread, but it’s pretty time-consuming to do for every loaf. Luckily, I was just given a bread-maker, so this was a perfect occasion to try it out. Just my second go at the bread-maker, I found that the “french bread” setting makes a lovely loaf. With some turkey sausage (pre-fried at home), dijon mustard and cheddar cheese, we were ready to make the most delicious sandwich ever. My man also made some succulent compote, which the kids went crazy for. And it was so simple!
- lemon zest
1. Take berries of any kind and boil them down in a little water. They’ll release their own liquid as they cook.
2. Once it boils, add some sugar and lemon taste to taste, and reduce the fruit until it thickens. Stir often, for approximately 45 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and let sit before jarring, then stick it in the fridge. Easy and delicious!
Throw in a basic fruit salad and a carrot tabbouleh, and you have the makings for an amazing picnic! Oh, and some adult beverages too, of course. It’s what separates us from the animals!
- 3 carrots with their leaves
- 6 fresh mint leaves
- handful of raisins
- glop of olive oil
- 1 tsp (or more!) lemon juice
- pinch of salt
1. Chop the carrots (without leaves) in the food processor until they have a couscous texture. Put aside in a bowl.
2. Finely chop the carrot leaves. Remove any hard stems.
3. Add to bowl with the carrots, raisins and chopped mint leaves.
4. Season to taste with lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
Food is eaten, drinks are drunk – all in all a successful family picnic. Now it’s time for a looooooong nap. For all of us.Add to favorites