picnic in the park

It’s not that we haven’t been eating since the beginning of the summer. Oh my no! It’s just that it has been

a.) insanely hot
b.) my computer time has been taken up with work related issues (how irritating when work gets in the way!).

But who cares about that? Let me cut directly to the picnic:

Near the beginning of July, my sister and I decided we should have our annual potluck barbecue in one of the public parks. The day before, T and I rode our bikes to the usual place just to make sure everything had been restored. It had been severely flooded in the spring runoff this year. And… what??? there were neither bbq pits NOR picnic tables.

So we quickly revised our plans and decided to take pre-prepared food instead to another park that does have picnic tables (but no bbq pits) close by our house. There were slight rumblings of thunder around 17:00 but the sky looked clear where we were. My sister and her husband, who live further north in the city, called and asked if we should abort because it was pouring where they were. We looked at the weather page saw that there was a lot of rain north of us but the radar seemed to indicate that it would be fine for the evening. So we decided to go ahead.

As it happened, we BOTH brought chicken and potato salad. But because there are as many recipes for chicken and potato salad as there are households, we had four completely different dishes. (our teriaki wings and potato salad recipes) They also brought a tossed salad, some fruit juice, and cold beer. We brought a crudite plate of radishes, julienned carrots and zucchini and red leaf lettuce. We also brought some soda water, a big bowl of fresh strawberries and a bottle of wine.

We found a lovely spot near the trees by a field. We felt sure that we would be the ONLY ones there because it was a Monday night. But no. A soccer game (clearly a weekly affair) was set up. The guys were pretty good about keeping the play at the other end of the field and we hardly had to worry about ducking and covering the food to protect our dinner from out-0f-bounds shots.

The dinner was brilliant. My sister’s fried chicken was absolutely fabulous. (We have gotten the recipe from her and have already made it twice since.) As we brought out the strawberries, my sister said she had a surprise. She dug into their bag and pulled out two votive candles and lit them. Then out came two bars of chocolate (dark and milk), some graham crackers and a bag of marshmallows. Yes!! We made angels on horseback (s’mores) over candles!

Did I mention that our picnic dinner was brilliant?

That very evening, our usual dining spot was completely flooded (a pedestrian bridge washed away and all banks overflowed) by severe rainstorm. It was completely clear only a few kilometers south where we were – we did hear a little thunder in the distance; we had no idea of the extent of the storm until we saw the late news and watched the footage of the pedestrian bridge being carried down the swollen river.

4 responses to “picnic in the park

  1. your sister

    Ooh, tell about the fried chicken that you made twice. Even though everyone was pleased with the fried chicken I made for the picnic, I was a bit disappointed myself because I’d had to finish the cooking in a hot oven (and the point of making fried chicken was that we wouldn’t turn the oven on when it was so horribly hot out). Did you manage to get the temperature of the fat right so that the chicken got completely cooked just by frying?

    Amazing about the flooding – I hadn’t heard that.

  2. tph


    We fried chicken twice using your recipe. Both times very good but not as good as yours I didn’t think. Not as salty – which ejm liked but I missed.

    We finished it off in the oven, which was something my grandmother (a gentle southern lady from Virginia and a very good cook) always did. If that’s how they do it down there then it must be common place, so take heart.

  3. ejm Post author

    Thank you Ana.

    Yes, the recipe will be divulged. We just had her fried chicken again last night… I will post about it soon.

    edit at 15:24; here it is: fried chicken and biscuits (etherwork.net/blog/?p=216)

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