Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Off The Shelf: Picnics

Don't we all love picnics! There are many occasions that come to mind when I think back over the picnics I have enjoyed: the hobo sacks on a stick my mother packed for us as children, the doll tea parties under the lilac bush in spring, eating al fresco beside the Nile River, sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of Paris eating bread and cheese, and celebrating my sister's birthday every year with tea and cake on the lawn of our local Art Museum.

Picnics by Hilary Heminway and Alex Heminway is just the book to inspire you to creating some memorable picnics of your own this summer. The book is filled with beautiful photographs, picnic quotes, and delicious recipes.

Some of the picnic ideas include: sunrise picnic, at your desk, lakeside picnic, in bed, snowshoe picnic, wilderness backpack, riverside barbecue, african picnic, high tea, children's picnics, and rain date.

Alongside of menu ideas, pictures, and how-to's, there are many delicious recipes, including: Wheat Montana 7-Grain Cookies, Biker Bread Salad, Curried Egg Salad Sandwiches, Stuffed Italian Chicken with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, and Chocolate Scat Cookies (which have been a favorite gluten-free recipe for some time in our house).

While this book may not have enough practical recipes to make it a must-have for your cookbook shelf, it is a must-request from your library for summer perusal.

I decided to try the Tanzania Tomato Soup on our first picnic of the season. It was easy to put together and many of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand.

Print this recipe

4 cups V8 juice
2 cups tomato juice
juice of one lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
2 cups plain yogurt

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and blend well. Serve chilled.


  1. I think the thing I miss the most about having younger kids at home is all the picnics we used to have. My husband was never fond of eating outside so I depended on the kids for mid-day outside meals.

    I always kept a vintage picnic basket filled with an equally vintage tablecloth, and everything needed to eat at the park... except the food.

  2. I LOVE picnics!!! :-D And I adore all your gorgeous ideas for teas, picnics, home-made lunches, etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! :-)