Thursday, September 15, 2011

Celebrate Thursday with a Picnic

The most sincere love many people have is the love of food- St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Ooh, these Indian Summer days are beautiful. Today is a beautiful day for a picnic.
What to take on your picnic needs consideration. Yes, a Pendleton blanket, your grandmother's cordial glasses, Russian Vogue, or vintage Tatler, and maybe a two tone vintage Coleman ice chest, brown and tan. A book is nice, perhaps the 1928 Esquire Book of Short Stories - Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos and others. Sometimes one finds it in a used book store, with a boutonniere pressed between the pages.
Whatever you wear it must be old, and cotton. A good cotton has such a nice fade.
Wine, fizzy water, verjus, whiskey, and almonds to begin your picnic. Try and find a friend who can play the lute or mandolin, or doesn't talk about their smart phone.
At fruit stands, everything is on at once from our cool summer, warmer September  - late apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines. The fragrance of all the fruit at the stands is such a lovely mix- dill, raspberries, and tanned legs, all at once.
Here is the best tart ever for a picnic, it's both sweet and savory:
Walla Walla Sweet Onion & Ham Tart
3 thinly sliced Walla Walla Sweet Onions
2 tbl buerre
1 tbl caraway seed
8 oz ham, diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup cream
4 eggs
1/2 cup apricot jam
1 10 inch tart (pate brise)
Preheat oven to 350
Saute the onion sand butter, add caraway, ham, and mushrooms
saute, add the flour
Bea the eggs and mix in the cream, add the onion mixture, pour into tart shell, bake for 40 minutes, glaze with apricot preserves, then bake another ten minutes.
Picnics are easy, and the drive can be half the fun.

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