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Your Ultimate Picnic Basket

Say you are planning the ultimate picnic. What goes in your basket?

Mine would be:

Big slice of country pate
Jar of nice Dijon mustard
Wedge of good brie
Carr's Whole wheat crackers
Pea Salad
Fresh Strawberries
Bottle of light bodied red wine

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  1. Grapes
    Cold fried chicken
    Lobster salad
    Pasta salad
    Cole slaw
    Iced tea
    Chocolate chip cookies
    Blueberry pie

    2 Replies
      1. re: Jerseygirl111

        Ooh, blueberry pie! I have to make one now.

      2. Bread
        pork pie
        hard boiled egg
        pickled onion

        Give me those and I have no need of more.

        4 Replies
          1. re: jpc8015

            Preferably a Melton Mowbray one.

            1. re: Harters

              Melton Mowbray or a chicken and leek pie are what I aspire to make before every picnic and it still hasn't happened. Perfect food.

              1. re: JungMann

                My partner is the baker of the twosome - made a hot water pastry pork pie the other week. It was very good. Not as good as a Melton Mowbray but then they are professionals.

        1. Great topic!

          To me it really depends on the type of picnic.

          Picnic at the park in early spring- good cheese, salami, pate, baguette, white wine and maybe some good chocolate for afterwards.

          Height of the summer evening picnic at the beach-some kind of fun cocktail with nuts, olives and maybe cheese/crackers to start. Lobster rolls with cape cod chips, watermelon/feta or a sweet corn salad along with champagne or a nice rose. Dessert would be something with fresh strawberries or ME blueberries.

          Fall picnic would be assorted crusty sandwiches, bacon potato salad, beer and oatmeal cranberry cookies for dessert.

          5 Replies
          1. re: foodieX2

            You Spring picnic sounds great. The other two are not bad either.

            1. re: foodieX2

              I love the sound of these seasonal picnics!

              1. re: foodieX2

                Your spring party would be mine for pretty much anytime, only I'd like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies instead of the plain chocolate :)

                1. re: foodieX2

                  Your summer picnic is what we bring to the beach on the Fourth of July before the fireworks show :)

                2. Cold fried chicken
                  Cheddar cheese, sliced up and warmed by the sun
                  A cold can of 50/50
                  Cut up crudites with homemade garlic blue cheese dressing
                  Chocolate chip cookies or blondies
                  A crispy tart apple
                  Tortilla chips or salt and vinegar potato chips to put the cheddar cheese on
                  A baggie of damp paper towels

                  1. Good, hearty bread, good cheese, good summer sausage. A garden salad with fresh in season ingredients and home-made dressing. Some fruit (local and in season). An ice cold beer. Maybe some good quality olive or antipasto. Some sort of sour cherry, blueberry or raspberry squares to finish.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                      How about a Caesar salad done with whole Romaine spears so no silverware is needed. Fingerfood.

                      1. Your picnic looks very fine, jpc8015. We think alike.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sandylc

                          I had my first experience with a good country pate recently and I think it changed my life.

                          1. re: jpc8015

                            Amazing, isn't it? I make it at Christmas. Ooh, I have some in the freezer......

                            1. re: sandylc

                              Oh my God...you can freeze it? This is going to be a problem.

                        2. Wonderful thread. The perfect picnic is a great dream.

                            1. re: sandylc

                              My pea salad is highly variable depending on what I have on hand. Ideally it will be a bag or two of frozen peas that have been thawed, lightly coat the peas in ranch dressing (preferably Uncle Dan's), cubed ham, diced red onion, and bleu cheese crumbles.

                              When my wife makes it for a large family gathering with children she will omit the onion and replace the bleu with cubes of mild Cheddar. We have been known to use bacon instead of the ham as well.

                            2. I have fantasies of opening a wicker basket in Central Park to pull out a gorgeous pork pie with pastry leaves, a plate of pate, some pickled asparagus, eggplant and cornichons to nosh on, Langres cheese and a bottle of champagne to pour over the cheese right before digging in. 7 years of living next to Central Park gives a man dreams. Like finishing said meal off with a dessert of maple bacon ice cream sandwiches with red velvet cookies brought back from my apartment by a guest who was kind enough to volunteer to make the run. Dreams, all dreams...

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: JungMann

                                Pickled eggplant? That sounds really good-do you have a recipe?

                                1. re: kitchengardengal

                                  I don't have a recipe but the picture on this page looks like the pickles I buy so perhaps they are the same.
                                  As you can see, the variety of eggplant used for pickling is small and round. They are left whole when canning so they retain their firm texture, which I love, since it makes for a much heartier and utensil-free snack.

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    Thanks! We end up with too many eggplants in the garden, and I'd love this. How small are they? Like olives or like eggs or in between?

                                    1. re: kitchengardengal

                                      They are a little bigger than olives, but I actually thought they were olives when I first bought them. It was a very happy surprise.

                              2. Today my menu would be
                                chilled rose
                                lox, bagel and all the fixings
                                shortbread cookies

                                Another day,
                                muffaletta sandwich
                                chocolate torte

                                sliced, drippy, ripe garden tomatoes,
                                homemade seedy sourdough
                                salt and fresh cracked pepper

                                just don't forget the hand wipes!

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: splatgirl

                                  I like todays menu. Rose is horribly under appreciated...but I suppose that is a topic for another forum.

                                  1. re: jpc8015

                                    "Rose is horribly under appreciated"
                                    Still healing the mark left by the horrid pink wine days of the 80's.

                                    Now, if only we would achieve picnic weather here.

                                    Great thread!

                                    1. re: splatgirl

                                      "So, what do you do in Minnesota in the summer?"

                                      "If it falls on a weekend, we have a picnic!"

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        very good sandylo.

                                        cold rare roast beef
                                        good swiss or cheddar
                                        whole grain bread

                                        potato salad

                                        red seedless grapes icy cold
                                        Diet Coke

                                        1. re: laliz

                                          I would really, really like to go on your picnic, laliz.

                                        2. re: sandylc

                                          And this year if we're lucky "summer" and not snowing will coincide.

                                    1. Ice cold beer
                                      Frozen grapes
                                      Good cheddar cheese
                                      Stinky blue cheese
                                      Salami and roast beef
                                      A loaf of crusty french bread

                                      1. Sliced Genoa, prosciuttini, prosciutto.
                                        Sottocenere--Italian truffle cheese.
                                        Homemade giardiniera.
                                        Rosemary mini croccantini.
                                        Homemade hummus.
                                        Pyramid Apricot Ale & Colorado Kool-Aid.
                                        Tipsy cherries.
                                        Almond swirl brownies.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                          Nice menu. I will take that in Italy (fly in the booze I guess, like on my post:)

                                          That Pyramid Apricot Ale is made in my town, SEA - love that stuff in the summer on a hot day.... ;)

                                          1. re: gingershelley

                                            Love Pyramid--especially the apricot! We finally got it in CT. Agree it's perfect for a summer day! :)

                                            And Italy, yes, wouldn't that be nice?!

                                        2. Cornish pasty.

                                          (My grandfather was a miner from Cornwall, which may explain why I think the Cornish pasty is an essential part of a meal away from home.)

                                          1. Foie gras pâté
                                            Water crackers or Carr's rosemary ones
                                            Chocolate dipped strawberries
                                            Dom Perignon or Cristal champagne

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                              That sounds like a good snack but just pate', crackers and strawberries is a little on the light side, for me anyway :)

                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                I agree. I want veggies of some sort, too.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  I thought that was my ultimate picnic basket, not yours ;)

                                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                    Agreed. But wouldn't you still be hungry :)

                                              2. The best picnic I managed was for an outdoor show venue where you can bring your picnic, and my date chose a show for my birthday. I made a pork rillette and served it as sandwiches on Russian style black bread with mustard, lettuce and red onion. I served it with a viniagrette- based potato salad and then a fruit salad with a brownie. This was a nice picnic for two.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Terrie H.

                                                  A rillette sandwich on that great bread sounds fantastic.

                                                2. My chicken liver/apple/calvados mousse
                                                  crusty baguette
                                                  jamon Iberico (this is my dream picnic, after all)
                                                  assorted Salumi salami's, thinly sliced
                                                  iced radishes, plugra butter, grey salt
                                                  cold fried chicken thighs
                                                  marinated grill-roasted eggplant
                                                  good pickles
                                                  dijon mustard
                                                  iced cherries and WA strawberries
                                                  chocolate decadence brownies
                                                  Rosé champagne and Badoit sparkling water, on ice

                                                  My lover,
                                                  a large antique quilt,

                                                  and finally a Spanish guitarist who is playing within earshot, but discreetly out of view
                                                  of our grassy vista overlooking the French countryside.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: gingershelley

                                                    There are a couple of things that I love about your basket:

                                                    1. You have specified chicken thighs. In my world the hind quarters of the bird is the only part worth eating. The rest of the bird is for making stock.

                                                    2. Washington strawberries. When I was a very young child my mom would take my brother and I to a big strawberry farm on Bainbridge Island to pick strawberries. These were the best strawberries in the world.

                                                    1. re: jpc8015

                                                      You are a CH of impeccable taste, to realize that about our WA berries, and the 'hind of a chicken!

                                                      And here I thought I would get a comment on WA berries flown all the way to France..... :)

                                                      1. re: gingershelley

                                                        I wasn't going to say anything about the berries going to Franch but I did think that was odd. Those Bainbridge Island strawberries do not travel well.

                                                    2. re: gingershelley

                                                      Nice basket, miss. Always key to have thinly sliced cold cuts! Would you care to share your chicken liver/apple/calvados mousse recipe?

                                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                                        Jamon iberico is sliced with scalpel. It's ubiquitous in Spain as we found in Barcelona a few months ago.

                                                      2. re: gingershelley

                                                        Yes, please on the mousse recipe....