Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Picnic Fare

Picnic Fare
Dorcas Annette Walker

Summertime is often when thoughts turn to outdoor picnics. The heat doesn’t seem quite as hot when one is at a park enjoying a picnic with family and friends. I remember when our children were young after spending a hot summer day canning garden produce in the kitchen I would often grab leftovers while my husband put our kid’s bikes in the trunk, we’d pile in the family car, and head to the local Pickett State Park a few miles down the road from our home. After eating our impromptu supper, my husband and I would relax in the shade while Dawn and Dwight rode their bikes or played in the park playground until dark. There was something soothing and relaxing feeling the mountain air slowly cool down around us for the night. Picnics don’t have to be confined just to summer. We started going to the park in the early spring and autumn finding out that we enjoyed those excursions even better than summertime when the park would often be filled with campers. There was something exhilarating about discovering newly opened spring flowers in the quietness of a spring evening or listening to autumn winds rushing through the treetops while watching our children play in the piles of colorful leaves swirling all around. No matter the season picnics are great bonding experiences. So to help celebrate summertime I’ve enclosed a couple of easy-to-make favorite picnic recipes for you to try.

Picnic Macaroni Salad
Boil 3 c macaroni with 6 c water and 1 tsp salt. Drain and rinse with cold water.
1 hard-boiled egg (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped) or 2 tb minced dried onions
3 tb sweet pickle relish
½ c fresh celery (chopped) or 1 tb dried celery leaves
1 tsp dried parsley
1 small red tomato (chopped)
2 c mayonnaise or salad dressing
salt and pepper to flavor
Mix all ingredients until the macaroni is well coated. Chill until ready to serve. Preparation time is thirty minutes and this recipe serves ten.

Fast & Easy Baked Beans
Bring to a boil and simmer together:
2 (16 oz ) cans or 1 large can of baked beans
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp mustard
1 c catsup
¼ c dark syrup
Preparation time is thirty minutes and this recipe serves six.

Zesty Hamburgers
Mix together thoroughly and form into round patties:
2 lb ground beef
2 tb dried onion
½ c shredded cheese
½ c bacon bits
¼ c ranch salad dressing
Grill or fry in iron skillet each side until brown and cooked through. Place on hamburger bun and serve with favorite hamburger toppings. Preparation time is five minutes and this recipe makes six large hamburgers.

Homemade Lemon-aide
In two-quart pitcher mix:
1 c reconstituted lemon juice
1 c sugar
Fill with the rest of the pitcher with cold water and mix thoroughly until sugar is dissolved. Serve with ice. Preparation time is five minutes and this recipe makes two quarts of beverage. *Warning: This lemon-aide is an old-fashioned tart beverage drink!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.

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