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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Summer's Swan Song

Summer is coming to a sure close.  I’m sad to see it end.  This weekend we’ll be having a family picnic at the Jazz Festival.  This is one concert that everyone in the family seems to be able to enjoy --- and we have widely diverse tastes in music! 
Since this is likely the last picnic of the season, I really want to make it a little extra special.  We’ll set up the table, with a tablecloth and cloth napkins.  It always amazes me how much that simple detail makes a picnic feel more special.  Even if I’m serving take-out or pizza (which, I confess, I’ve done once or twice) it makes the entire meal feel a little bit more elegant.  It only takes a few minutes to drop the used linens in the washing machine and later, the dryer.  Well worth the effort. 
Food will be a bit more challenging.  We’ll have the young children (who only eat white foods --- chicken, french-fries, rice, cheese, pasta etc), the vegetarians, the die-hard meat men, and one fairly fussy eater.  Mix all of that in with a little bit of food snobbery – and you begin to sense the menu dilemna. 
Whenever this kind of menu stress kicks in, I turn to my skewers.  Anything skewered seems a little bit fancier.  I can skewer the chicken nuggets for the kiddos, skewer a wide host of veggies for the vegetarians (and for me) and even skewer some fresh fruit for dessert later.  Mix in a salad, maybe a noodle salad as well, and we’ll have a lovely menu. 
Add some wine, some sparkling juice for the young ones and it will be the makings of an elegant picnic.  Care to join us???