Pick My Picnic


Hey Foodies-

I write to you, ES readers and the food blogospehre, in need of your help. This weekend I am going to a picnic with some friends here in DC. The irony of this is that despite being British I have never been to a picnic before (I know, crazy, bad, British Britannia). I can only claim to have taken a bag of chips and salsa to Screen on the Green in years past but I don’t think that counts, does it! So here’s the deal, I need your ideas and thoughts as to what I can make for this. My group will consist of about eight people and it’s going to be a potluck kind of thing. I am encouraging my friends to be creative, trying to steer them away from the pre-made of Whole Foods. My own thoughts so far would be focaccia bread with dipping oils, cheeses and salsa, a fruit bowl of some kind and maybe a selection of sandwiches.

The picnic is at the National Cathedral. They are hosting an event this weekend called “Lighting to Unite”; acclaimed Swiss light artist Gerry Hofstetter is lighting up the Cathedral to celebrate its centennial, and the Cathedral is inviting people to bring picnics. The weather looks like it will make for a great evening outdoors.

Please let me know any ideas you might have by writing in the comments section, I promise to tell you all about my picnic in a post next week. Thanks in advance.

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  • BS May 7, 2008  

    If you’re thinking salsa – Leah’s Tequilla Mango Salsa recipe is one of the most delectable looking things I have seen on ES all-time. And if you want to avoid the Whole Paycheck thing, you could do homemade tortilla chips.

  • gansie May 7, 2008  

    and you can make whole wheat tortilla chips too.

    also, what about a funky trial mix. but, um, ive never made trail mix so i dont have any brilliant ideas.

  • BS May 7, 2008  

    I love trail mixes that have chocolate in with pretzels and salty stuff. And of course sesame sticks.

  • gansie May 7, 2008  

    to further BS’ salty/sweet theme, and if you need a dessert..ive always wanted to try these gems

  • Britannia May 7, 2008  

    Loving the trail mix idea and the homemade tortilla chips, maybe I will do that salsa to go with. Any thoughts on something hearty?

  • BS May 7, 2008  

    Because you said Whole Foods, it made me think of my favorite, tasty, insanely overpriced thing there: The spinach-artichoke dip. I have always wanted someone to recreate it. I don’t see a recipe anywhere, but it’s got to be just some combo of spinach, artichoke and mayo – maybe lemon and parm? not sure.

  • gansie May 7, 2008  
  • jane May 7, 2008  

    I picnic in meridian hill park all the time – I think the ultimate picnic fare is the Silver palate’s Chicken Marbella (recipe all over the internet) (I make it with chicken tenders baked for 30 mins – if you’re doing this you need to plan ahead as you have to marinade) and served in whole wheat pitas) and I bring Ina Garten’s tabbouleh, hummus, olives, and homemade cupcakes – yellow with chocolate frosting preferably. Vodka marinated cherry tomatoes are also easy and soo good.

  • Erinn May 7, 2008  

    Well, I always love potato salad and it’s an American picnic classic. (I also happen to have a great recipe on my site. 😉 ) Goes great with BBQ chicken which you can make ahead of time and serve cold. But if that doesn’t strike your fancy Brie (which gets better at room temp) a lovely baguette, tart green apples and white wine is one of my favorite combos! Enjoy your picnic! Cheers!

  • gansie May 7, 2008  

    regarding erinn’s comment, i was say pasta salad, but wasnt sure if you wanted to go forkless.
    britt—give us some more details!

  • Britannia May 7, 2008  

    Forks are cool, they will be plastic so nothing too tough. I’d prefer not to use a knife. Thanks guys, you’re really inspiring me.

  • Ant (Britannia's Sis) May 8, 2008  

    Take Olive Houmous, Roasted Red Pepper Houmous with Taramasalata and lots of peppers for dipping…You’re not going to want to eat anything esle.

  • Sara May 8, 2008  

    Cold fried chicken is classic picnic food, and Safeway’s is very good. No utensils necessary. With the pasta salad mentioned, some crudités and cornbread muffins you could have a Southern theme…

  • Caroline May 8, 2008  

    Flourless chocolate cakes transport really well.

  • Britannia May 9, 2008  

    These are all awesome. I have emailed my friends with your suggestions, we do have some good cooks amongst us and one is even doing a cold, grilled chicken skewers with tzatziki dip. I will write about our adventure next week. So keep your eye out.

  • kelly dieter May 21, 2008  

    BTW…I found the illumination on YouTube:


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