The Art of the Picnic
By Mark Mulcahy
If you’ve read my column before, you are well aware that I’ve previously talked about the many options for using Melissa’s produce for your picnics. What I haven’t talked about however, is using Melissa’s produce for picnics just about any time of year. Since it's April, the weather in your part of the country could be amazingly beautiful - or you could still be digging your way out of the snow. Either way, a picnic can be a fun, creative part of your week. The other day we were planning a birthday party for my youngest daughter and realized it might rain, so we put up a canopy in the front yard (it's easier to do when you live on a rural property in California), added some lights, pulled out the camp stove, and had a ball.
We started with appetizers: Melissa’s sliced Organic Hass Avocado, tortilla chips, and homemade salsa and humus. For the main course, we put together some amazing sandwiches made with sourdough bread, fig jam, Dijon mustard, Melissa’s organic arugula, grilled Organic Yellow Onion
, and gruyere or gouda cheese. Then we popped them in the oven until they were deliciously melty (the benefits of having your picnic in the front yard) and for the hearty souls in the group I manned the camp stove and added a fried egg on top. Voila!
The afternoon passed with lots of laughter, interesting conversation, and the fun of doing something a little different for a special day. I know putting up a canopy may not be possible for you, but decorating your patio could do the trick, or heading down to a picnic table at a local park would be a nice change of pace too! Even a picnic indoors on the floor in the living room can turn a Tuesday night meal in to a new kind of exciting adventure.
I was staying in a hotel room with a kitchen on a recent business trip, and I surprised a colleague with a picnic dinner on the floor - using the coffee table as our dining table and a menu of fun finger foods to keep the dinner light and fun to eat. I made up the fixings for some kale wraps using Melissa’s organic Lacinato kale, mashed Organic Avocado
, baked Organic Sweet Potato
, diced Organic Red Onions
, bits of organic chicken, and some Toma cheese. That way we each could make up our own version of our favorite wrap, mixing and matching flavors as we when along. I went with all of the ingredients layered in the kale leaf. (I cut off most of the kale stems up to where the leaf began to make for easy chewing, and used the stems the next day in a sauté.)
We laughed, built wraps, ate one very delicious and very healthy dinner and turned a Tuesday evening work night into a moment to remember. So I guess with a little Melissa’s Organic Produce
and some imagination, a picnic is as close as you make it.