Sunday, September 4, 2016

Finding the Lost Art of Picnicking

Some 42 years ago in our dating years, we stopped at Colonel Saunders Restaurant and purchased 2 small meals to go, drove to Tygart Lake State Park and "had a picnic".  Over the years we made many a scenic drive, visited parks, hiked to overlooks and walked on our hill, packing only an occasional picnic meal.  We love our healthy meals and pretty settings at home-why not combine that with out love of nature and scenic spots?

Three years ago we did just that.  We started a tradition of taking Sunday picnics to parks and wildlife management areas, most within a 100 mile radius from home.  Bob finds the spot; I plan the meal.  We've become masters of the art.

 Tomorrow we celebrate our Ruby Anniversary.  This is us in 1976:

Here we are today:

Since we worked hard yesterday, first with a culinary demo at the Farmers Market, then cleaning our house, I chose a somewhat simple picnic with a roasted chicken and vegetables.  We ate the meal hot for Saturday dinner and cold for our picnic meal.
The menu:

Roasted Farmers Market Vegetables
Cornbread Muffin
Poached Peach

Garlicky Roasted Chicken

(Serves 5)

Spatchcock the chicken.  Rinse chicken. Using strong shears, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove.  Turn chicken breast side up and open the chicken like a book.  Press firmly against the breastbone until it cracks.  Place the chicken in a baking dish.  Tuck the wing tips under the chicken.
1 (2 1/2 pound) chicken
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash
3 tablespoon Earthy Balance Buttery Spread
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Combine garlic, seasoning, buttery spread and lemon zest.  Rub half of it under the skin of the chicken breasts and legs.  Roast in 450F. oven for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven to 400 F.  Place potatoes and beets around the chicken.  Bake for 20 minutes.
5 medium potatoes, quartered
5 golden beets, ends removed, halved

Drizzle remaining buttery mixture on vegetables in pan.  Add squash and carrots to pan.  Roast until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 F, about 45 minutes. 
2 carrots, peeled and cut in sticks
1 patty pan squash, ends removed and cut in large chunks

Cornbread Muffins

(Serves 9)

Beet eggs and sugar in mixing bowl.
2 eggs
3 tablespoon sugar

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
1 1/2 cups whole grain cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8th teaspoon salt

Melt buttery spread.  Mix spread, milk and lemon juice.
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Alternately add dry ingredients, then wet ingredients to mixing bowl.  Stir only until just mixed.

Divide into muffin tins (greased with olive oil spray), about 1/3 cup batter for each portion.  Bake at 375 F. for 30 minutes, or until skewer inserted into muffin comes out clean.  Cool on rack in pan 10 minutes.  Remove from pans.

Our picnic today was at Salt Fork State Park near Cambridge, Ohio.



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