Family Picnic Time

So, you’ve agreed.

One of your children said ” let’s go on a picnic” so you picked a day and decided on a destination close to nature, far from the hubbub of daily life. As you draw up your list of stuff to bring, bug spray, a Frisbee, a blanket…you wonder what in the world you’re going to eat. You know that if you had thought if it before now you would have made an Italian inspired pasta salad and homemade fried chicken a la Martha Stewart, but, your husband is washing the car and you all want to leave as soon as he gets back. What to bring?

First, think outside the plate. You’re not eating where you normally eat, so don’t eat what normally eat. Take a look in the fridge. What about fresh veggies and dip? Fresh fruit. Leftover pizza is great cold. Leftover pasta, chicken, maybe some lunch meat. Juice boxes. Some of that leftover 7 layer dip. Cheese. Poke your head in the cupboard and throw some granola bars in. Maybe some crackers and chips. Raisins, nuts and smarties thrown in a container makes trail mix. Finger food is fun, easier to serve than the usual and grazing (eating a small amount at a time) allows for more Frisbee tossing. It lets you off the hook, too. Just think, you can open the cooler and go park under a tree with your book or toss the Frisbee with your husband, which leaves everyone free to eat something when they feel hungry.

Don’t forget the wet naps or a damp facecloth in a ziplock baggie.

Hummus goes well with fresh veggies, crakers, chips or pita bread

4 large cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 c tahini (sesame paste)
5 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp chili powder

Throw the garlic in the food processor while it’s running. Then add everything else and puree until it’s smooth and creamy. You might have to stop the machine part way through and scrape it down. A lower fat version would replace some or all of the olive oil with plain low fat yogurt. The raw garlic delivers a bite, which increases as the dip matures in
your fridge. Alternatively, roast the garlic a little to tame it. Then you might need 8 cloves.