A Summer Picnic & Watermelon-Limeade

beach_binWith bright days, crisp nights, and yes, the occasional (and sometimes not so occasional) rain shower, summer is winding down. The big department stores are already bragging about their back-to-school sales but not to worry. There is still plenty of time for some outdoor fun, including a great summer picnic.

Of course you could make up a stack of tuna fish sandwiches, grab a few Oreos and a bottle of juice and call it a picnic lunch. Or you could try for something a bit more inventive.

How about a breakfast picnic? Early mornings are a very special time on the lake, peaceful and serene. The cool morning air hits the water and a delicate mist floats above the surface. More often than not, the lake is as smooth as glass and perfect for rowing, canoeing or kayaking. And just as perfect for a quiet mug of coffee on the beach.

Pack up a thermos of your favorite morning brew, add some fruit and a delicious muffin and enjoy the early morning quiet. Bring along a friend or savor the peaceful morning alone. Either way, it promises a good start to a good start to a great summer day.

Pack up a seaworthy lunch, even if you spend the afternoon on dry land. So what if a sail upon the ocean blue is not on your calendar. Simply imagine, and then create, an elegant lunch worthy of a luxurious yacht. A delicate lobster salad or maybe smoked salmon with a dab of caviar. Definitely not a PB and J. A crisp chardonnay sounds like a delightful addition to this magical lunch.

And if a day sail on the ocean is in your plans, so much the better. Thank the captain with a basket filled with wonderful goodies.

Cocktails anyone? There is no need (and little desire) to head indoors when a rosy glow colors the evening sky. Invite a few pals around and relax on the back porch. Swap stories of special days gone by or share dreams of days to come. Celebrate the occasion with a special cocktail or your favorite artisanal ale or lager. You won’t want to leave the deck anytime soon so add a few fabulous nibbles. Make up a batch of your favorite hors d’oeuvre or unwrap a wedge sinfully good cheese.

Rock the block with a neighborhood party. With back-to-school looming, people head home after a well-deserved vacation. Neighborhoods will start to bustle again. Get together and share your summer adventures. Whether you crossed the sea, scaled mountains or enjoyed a week in the hammock, there must be a story to tell. Forget fancy; let everyone bring their favorite dish to share. And the more the merrier.

Or perhaps you’d prefer a romantic dinner under the stars. Enjoy a glass of champagne as you watch the sun slip behind the hills. Fire up the grill and throw on a steak or some chicken and your favorite veggies. After dinner? Better than dessert, cool late summer evenings are perfect for a cuddle. Forget the phone or email for one night. Watch the moon rise and focus on each other.

Before long, these wonderful warm days of summer will be gone for another year. The sun will rise later and later and set earlier and earlier. Don’t let summer end without a few more delicious meals in the open air. Bon appétit!

A great thirst quencher … add a splash of rum or tequila and your summer refresher watermelon-limeadebecomes a delicious cocktail. Enjoy!
Makes about 1 1/4 quart

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sugar or to taste
8 cups cubed seedless watermelon
Tequila or rum (optional)
Garnish: lime slices or mint leaves

Put the lime juice, ginger and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Working in batches, put the watermelon cubes in a blender and process until smooth. Strain the watermelon puree through a fine mesh sieve. You should have about 1 quart of watermelon juice.

Strain the lime juice mixture through a fine mesh sieve, add it to the watermelon juice and stir to combine. Store the watermelon-limeade in a nonreactive pitcher in the refrigerator until chilled.

Serve over ice with a slice of lime or sprig of mint. Add a splash of tequila or rum for a lovely summer cocktail.

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One Year Ago – Filet de Sole Meunière
Two Years Ago – Artichoke Leaves with Shrimp
Three Years Ago – Spicy Grilled Chicken
Four Years Ago – Corn & Tomato Salad
Five Years Ago – Summer Rolls

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How do you picnic? Feel free to share. Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2013

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