A Perfect Picnic

How do you make the perfect Sunday picnic? Spend your Saturday morning making pie and potato salad, of course!

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My kitchen counter should look like this every Saturday.

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Get out your Betty Crocker cookbook and slice up some apples. Try to get particular about peeling them properly, but lose the muster quickly.

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Make a fluted crust properly for the first time in your life. Stand back and admire things for a minute while no one is watching you.

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Fill it all up! Top it with crumbly goodness and bake it.

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Dutch Apple Pie! Perfect for a springtime picnic in weather that already feels like the middle of summer.

Inbetween all of those steps, because you can’t not do at least two things at once, at least, if you’re me, which you are in this scenario, make your favorite potato salad. (That’s a lot of commas!)

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My absolute favorite is everybody likes sandwiches‘s Incredible Lemony Potato Salad, but made with small red potatoes instead of Yukon Gold. It’s pleasantly mayonnaise-less, which makes it great for picnics, or anything else involving warm weather and transport. All of that celery, basil, and lemon zest gives those potatoes a real brightness and tang.

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I’ve made it more times than I can count, and it never lasts long in my kitchen.

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Schlep it all down to a lovely park (Fountainbleau State Park in Mandeville), with some added sandwiches, fruit, wine, and bicycles, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect picnic.

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Dan and I conquered some very winding and swampy bike trails, including a moment where I very nearly skidded out of control and could have landed either in a giant mud pile or ran into a tree. Luckily, neither thing happened, but, according to Dan, I looked really cool while avoiding certain death.  Because we do not use the camera during these things, we will never really know, but I will gladly assume it to be true.

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I also made it out of the park with only one mosquito bite, which is pretty much a miracle. Usually I am serious mosquito bait. Plus, I’m super sensitive to the bites. At the end of most excursions into the wilderness, I am a blotchy, itchy mess.

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We definitely earned that lunch. White wine (Riesling, my favorite) and lovely sandwiches of roast beef, ham, tomato, and baby Swiss on wheat bread. Might be my new sandwich du jour.

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Dan traded out his cheese for jalapeno peppers from our neighbor’s garden and radishes from ours. You can’t see the sweet, sweet pain on his face here, but it was hard for him to get through that sandwich, delicious though it was.

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Of course, we couldn’t forget that amazing potato salad, plus fruit salad that I threw together with apples, grapes, and strawberries with just a touch of sugar and cinnamon. I’m not ashamed that we basically ate the whole thing.

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After lunch, we went on a trip to see some alligators. Dan was desperate to see an alligator. Little did we know how lucky we’d be on that front.

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Some of us look really cool while awaiting an alligator.

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Others spend our time doing our best alligator impression.

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This is not zoomed in or doctored up. The alligators basically swim right up to the docks, making you wonder how many people completely disregard the giant “Don’t feed the alligators” signs that are posted.

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It was almost like I’d already been there.

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After another bike trail and brush with mud (considering how finicky and prissy I am because of how frightened I usually am to ride my bike, this picture is a badge of honor), we sat down to eat our pie.

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A perfect ending to a perfect day.

I hope that everyone had a really lovely Easter, and that you spent it with people you love, doing things you love, just like we did. We might have to make this a tradition.

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5 thoughts on “A Perfect Picnic

  1. This is great! The G man and I like to go on nature hunts too but the nature is quite different… We get squirrels, you get alligators. The good thing is that, while we’ve both been bitten by squirrels, it wasn’t a big deal. This would not be the case for you. A beautiful picnic, too, with what looks like equally beautiful weather. If the summer is good here I’m definitely going to do a picnic blog post or two.

    • Squirrels can be pretty fearsome, but you’re right, they got nothing on alligators. Everyone involved is lucky that the alligators aren’t terribly interested in what’s going on outside of the water and on the campgrounds.

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