Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picnic Time!

I have been greatly desirous of a wicker picnic basket for years. There's something to me about them that is a picnic, and without the picnic looses something indescribable (or you could describe it as a wicker picnic basket). Maybe I'm a romantic, but I have this vision of the blanket spread on the grass (perhaps under the shade of a tree) with a few pillows for easy/comfortable leaning. A bottle of wine or summer beverage

Anyway, they're absurdly expensive. Seriously, a new one is about $100 and that seems like an awful lot to spend for the idea of a picnic. I mentioned my desires to Nathan's aunt and uncle and behold they had two and were willing to part with one! They are full of win.

So now I have this great wicker picnic basket and having been happily filling my pinterest picnic board with recipes and ideas. Nathan was onboard, but unforunately it was ungodly hot and humid! So we decided to do an indoor picnic in our living room instead (hooray air conditioning!). Hopefully we'll get a chance in the next few weeks to use it outdoors if the weather is a litte more cooperative.

When planning our picnic menu, I thought we would be outside. There are few things I don't understand about "traditional" American picnic food. It seems like a lot of it is not food that should be left at room temperature for an extended period. I'm thinking fried chicken, potato salad, that sort of thing. It boggles me! I don't want to haul an enormous heavy cooler full of ice around with me to keep my mayo from separating or my meat from the gross bacteria growing point. Anyway... that's my mini rant on that.

I went for a more traditional French picnic with a crusty baguette, brie, and grapes with a bottle of adult Raspberry-Mint Lemonade (recipe follows). Baguette is delicious, brie is best at room temperature, and fruit doesn't need a lot of refrigeration. The Raspberry Mint Lemonade was chilled before hand and I stuck some frozen raspberries in it at the end to keep it cool.

We pushed back the sofa and moved the coffe table out of the way, then spread out a quilt on the floor and topped it with a couple of pillows for comfort. I packed the picnic basket, because that's what makes it fun, and we enjoyed our meal propped up on pillows on the floor. I think this would be really fun to do in the winter to bring a little bit of the summer out.

Raspberry-Mint Lemonade

32 oz lemonade (make your own if you want, I bought quart from the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
4oz cocnut rum
4 oz vodka
4 oz triple sec
1 cup raspberries (I used frozen, fresh would be fine)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint plus some for garnish
1 lemon, sliced thin


In a bowl, mix raspberries and sugar. Muddle them a little with the back of the spoon and let them sit. This will bring out the juices from the raspberries and create a lovely syrup. After it's sat, muddle them a little more with the mint.

In a large container, mix the lemonade, rum, vodka, triple sec, raspberry mixture, and lemon slices. Stick it all in the fridge and let the flavors meld for an hour of so.

Strain the mixture. You can discard the fruits and mint bits. I put our liquid into a cool glass bottle and added in some additional frozen raspberries to keep it cooler. We served with a sprig of fresh mint. It was really delicious and refreshing! This could be made with strawberries and also be delicious.

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