A Summer Harvest Picnic
Living in the city, I hear a lot more horn-honks than bird-chirps, and the smell of bus exhaust overpowers any blooming flowers or fresh cut grass. But I live for summer and look for any excuse to plant myself in the great outdoors. (OK, maybe the great outdoors is a stretch.)
I’m definitely not the “roughing it” type, so picnics are one of my favorite ways to decompress in nature with friends. Sitting on the grass, surrounded by the breezy trees and buzzing bees is such a grounding experience and the best way to reconnect with what is so easy to forget under the fluorescent lights of an office.
One thing that’s always stumped me, though, is what to bring to a picnic. The basic meat/cheese/grape combo can get a little boring, and I really wanted to find a way to celebrate the fresh flavors of summer, so I invited Cameron and our friend Alex from Zesty Ginger to a summer harvest potluck picnic, where everyone had to bring something inspired by summer’s seasonal produce.
Sam from Stranded on Saturday was nice enough to stop by, take some pics, and join us for a glass of rosé!
What’s in our picnic basket
I was perusing the booths at a local farmer’s market for inspiration when the smell of sweet, sweet strawberries wafted through the air. These things were like a little taste of heaven. The same booth had honey and preserves, so I grabbed those as well and headed home to make gluten-free strawberry shortcake cupcakes with Italian meringue frosting. It sounds fancy for a picnic, doesn’t it? I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into between my amateur baking skills and my first dabble with meringue, but after two tries, they made it to the picnic.
(If you count a little bit of melted frosting for anything).
‘Tis the season of fresh herbs, so I also made a lemon & thyme flavored water for a hydrating accomplice to our rosé and cider.
Cameron brought some gorgeous watermelon and made a phenomenal garbage salad with beets, green onions, dates, avocado, carrots, apples, goat cheese and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. So, as far as summer’s harvest goes, she pretty much had us covered.
Alex made delectable little bagel sandwiches with prosciutto, brie and a yummy fig spread.
How to pack a picnic when you’re going “green”
Packing a picnic is kind of a pain. It just is. But try to avoid the urge to buy a bunch of paper, (or worse, plastic) plates, napkins and utensils. It’s so damaging to our earth and a complete contradiction to the beauty of nature that will be surrounding you. Instead, use glass plates and cups, and wrap each with cloth napkins to avoid any breakage.
Cameron’s family’s vintage picnic basket made for a darling addition to really set the scene.
With nature giving us so much to appreciate, we made sure to give back with our own little nature ritual, setting flowers on the ground as we set some personal intentions under the light of the full moon.