Picture Perfect PicnicPosted: June 6, 2011
It started with cherries.
I wait all year for them. I lurk around the produce stands waiting for that inevitable splash of red, because in my neck of the woods, they only come around for a few months in the early summer and then like a lovely apparition, they are gone. It was while walking through the park on my way home from the grocery store, that I realized the day was calling for a picnic. Finally, all of the trees were in full bloom, the sun was in full shine, the weather was cool and perfect.
But these cherries, these perfectly ripe, sweet little jewels, they needed to be devoured outside, in the open. These cherries were calling for a day just like that particular day when conditions were perfect for sitting on the damp grass and falling asleep under a spreading oak.
I’m lucky to live right next door to a little slice of country in the urban jungle. Our neighborhood park is mostly golf course, and the local little league team uses up most of the field for weekend tournaments, but we do have some lovely trees and a few secluded spots tucked behind fences. What better for an impromptu picnic than sandwiches and ripe cherries? I got the victuals together while Chris finished his work for the day, egg salad sandwiches on rye, pickles, marinated mushrooms and of course, the cherries. I poured some French rosé I had on hand into a plastic jug and Chris grabbed a novella he’d been wanting to read and we trudged off for an afternoon of al fresco lunching.
And ahhhhhh, what a fantastic time it was. We have not been avid picnickers, but there was something about the breeze, the sun and the distant squirrels bounding about that made everything taste like a memory or a dream. I remembered cold lemonade on a hot day, sprinting after my friends in a game of canonball, irrepressible laughter. That’s how I feel about picnics.
I might as well include a recipe while I’m at it, although I don’t know why anyone would need a recipe for egg salad. It’s not something I eat all of the time,
because it’s packed with fat and cholesterol, but every now and then I get a craving for a good ol’ fashioned egg salad sandwich.
Classic Egg Salad for Two
3-4 eggs, hardboiled
2 Tbsp mayo of choice
1-2 tsp capers
1 tsp dill
2 tsp dry mustard
1 chopped green onion
pinch of celery salt
swish of pepper
Mash the egg with a fork and mix with remaining ingredients.
I made the sandwiches in the photos above with arugula and sliced tomatoes. They were ridiculously good.
I think Chris would agree, we need to go on more picnics.