Sunday, October 11, 2020

Picnic Preparedness

Though the origin of the word means "of little importance" a "picnic" to us is so much more. Our picnics are excursions, out of town retreats to parks with flowers, birds, views and a table to dine outdoors in beautiful surroundings.

Our picnic basket stands ready through three seasons. Inside are two portable utensil sets, salt and pepper, crackers and hand sanitizer. Nearby are enamelware plates and foil packs of salmon and tuna. For two seasons, I canned jello jars of baked beans and applesauce, favorite sides for al fresco dining.

Seasonal soups are perfect additions to pring and fall picnics. We keep it hot in a thermos preheated with boiling water, emptied just prior to adding the heated soup. I choose vegetable based soups that stay at a safe temerpature for our 60-90 minute trip.

We packed some seasonal produce and salads in insulated containers with ice packs. Greek salad, corn relish, potato salad and pickles were packed. We cut the fresh tomatoes at table side and packed olive oil non-refrigerated.
Besides the foil packed seafood, we often cooked hard cooked eggs for protein or added some thin sliced deli turkey and Swiss cheese.

Protein Foods

Cheese, turkey, hard cooked eggs, roasted chicken, tuna or salmon foil packed, baked beans, bean salad.

Seasonal Sides

Asparagus soup, corn soup, vegetable soup, Greek salad, pickles, cherry tomatoes, potato salad, applesauce, melon.

Whole Grains

Whole grain crackers, cornbread, corn relish.


Low sodium V-8 juice, water, coffee

Baked Beans

(7-4 ounce jelly jars)

Cook beans. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. 
8 ounce dried navy beans
3 cups water
Combine beans with 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid, onion, sugar, salt, dry mustard, molasses, vinegar, paprika and chili powder.
1 small onion, diced
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoon black strap molasses
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid from beans
Portion hot beans and sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Clean jar rim. Center lid on jar and adjust band. Place jars in pressure canner containing simmering water to cover jars by 1 inch. 
Place lid on canner and turn to locked position. Adjust heat to medium-high. Vent steam for 10 minutes. Put weighted gauge on vent; bring pressure to 10 pounds (psi). Process for 10 minutes. Turn off heat; cool canner to zero pressure. After 5 minutes, remove lid. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove from canner. Cool and check lids.
The best picnics are those we prepare together!



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