Entries in picnic (5)
What is it about the eve of a roadtrip that kicks me into a burst of idea and action? We are hitting the road today, to drive down winding roads and spend the night up north. Wherever we go, we bring our trusty pistachio-colored cooler and picnic basket, for spontaneous picnics whenever we arrive at a scenic vista. I decided to make a summery trifle, because I suspect it might travel well. Then last night as I was making up the dead simple dessert, an idea struck, very much inspired by Not Martha and Angry Chicken's genius and heart-crushingly cute experiments to bake pies and cakes in tiny jars. What about individual trifles, to pluck out of the cooler when the sweet craving strikes?
I used this recipe, but lessened the sugar to a scant ¼ cup in the syrup and ¼ cup instead of 1/3 cup in the cream. I also added lemon zest to the cream mixture. Then assemble as instructed, make up labels (optional, of course, but I particularly love this part. I printed gingham on adhesive mailing labels) and pack in the cooler. With plenty of spoons.
Mike and I are road-tripping down to Santa Barbara this weekend to meet up with some of our favoritest people, ride beach cruisers around town, cook big tipsy meals, hike in the nearby hills, and then slowly wind our way back, stopping for a night somewhere along the Central Coast.
And just as this road trip came on the calendar, we walked by this abandoned picnic basket on a street corner one morning. Mike chivalrously cleaned it up so it’s ready to make its inaugural trip with us for picnicking along the way.
Thanks, world, for sending me the actual prop to make my dreamy little picnic vignette come true.
Remember when I recently sang from on high about my love of Janurary gardening and the recent heat wave? Well right about now, all that smug self-satisfaction about California weather comes and bites me in the ass.
Memorial Day for the rest of you is the most likely the kickoff to summer heat, icy drinks and suntan lotion. While here in San Francisco, we bundled in thick sweaters and stood under heat lamps at a friend’s barbeque this weekend.
But I’ll be damned if I’m giving up the summer picnics. It’s just that instead of packing sunhats, we’re bringing an extra pair of warm socks. And this blanket that can toasty up our toes while we pass the hot port instead of frosty beers.
A quilted, downy pocket sewn onto the bottom of an existing blanket keeps the chill away.
And while I was at the sewing machine with visions of foggy picnics, I made these oilcloth pillows that can double as cushions at picnic tables as we huddle around the grill.
Bring it, fog. I'm ready.
I got my current issue of Sunset in the mail yesterday and kind of wanted to make out with it. A friend of mine tells me he felt the same way about the 1987 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
The targets of my lust are articles and recipes for getting outside this spring and summer. I already had a few picnic-related craft projects taking shape on the dining room table, so we can be out the door in a flash when the mood and weather align. Here’s one of the projects I’m working on – a kind of wipe-able cutlery clutch for carrying utensils to and from a sunny meadow.
Besides the picnicking feature in Sunset, there’s also a piece on the best campsites in the West, complete with a menu that includes a berry cake you can make over a fire. We just happen to have our first camping trip of the season already on the books for next weekend. I'll be stashing some berries in the cooler, no doubt.