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What to do with a warm summer day

Posted Jun 25 2009 12:00am

Notice I said a "warm" summer day, not Hot. I do not like Hot, and Hot does not like me. And I suppose today could have been classified as Hot, except - and this is important - there was a lovely fresh breeze that made it bearable. So back to the original question: what to do with a warm summer day?

A picnic is really the only acceptable answer. OK, maybe go to the pool is a good one, too, but my favorite is picnicking. Around about 11:45, we (myself, my husband, and a Certain Little Someone) decided to go on a picnic and enjoy the lovely weather. The where was easy to decide, because there are several beautiful lakes here, one of them quite close to us. The when was decided for us, since it was almost lunch time! And the what to eat was pretty easy, too, because I had already drawn up a picnic menu for plans that had fallen through.

So, quicker than you can blink, we were packed and in the car, and after a quick stop to pick up one more thing for our picnic, we were on our way.

Upon arriving at the lake, and on our way to find the perfect picnic spot, we found a goose

He was not interested in having his picture taken, apparently, because every time we tried, he buried his head in his feathers and ignored us completely. But as soon as we turned the camera off and walked away, his head popped up and he began to look around again. We repeated the process several times, to no avail.

We continued walking, and saw a groundhog

This little guy did not seem to mind that there were people very close by, or that they were taking pictures VERY close by. Not only myself, but another gentlemen was very intrigued by this creature, and he was completely unfazed!

We walked until we found a picnic spot under a nice tree for shade, with a great view of the lake

The food was simple, or should I say, quick, easy, cheap and healthy! For the main course, there were crackers with a variety of possible toppings: crab salad, tuna salad, pepperoni and cheese slices

For both the tuna and the crab salad, I made a dressing out of lemon juice, olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and some dried dill. My husband enjoyed the Club crackers you see in the corner of the picture above, but I preferred Food Should Taste Good's Olive tortilla chip/crackers. Delish! And the taste went perfectly with the salads, especially the tuna. It was almost a little overpowering with the crab.

For a side dish, we enjoyed an assortment of fresh fruit

This picnic was QUICK, as proven by the fact that I had very little time to prepare it before we left to enjoy it.

It was also very EASY. I made the same dressing for both tuna and crab salad; already had the cantaloupe chopped in the fridge; bananas are great take-along fruits; the apples went through an apple corer/slicer; a couple bags of snacks, some bottles of water; a stop along the way for the crackers... nothing difficult in the menu at all!

It was pretty CHEAP, too. I used canned tuna and crab, which I always buy on sale if I can (although one of my pet peeves is that tuna rarely goes on sale for less than $1 anymore!). The cantaloupe is in season, and was only .99! Bananas and apples are always inexpensive, as well. The crackers were probably the most expensive item on our menu, but that was only because we picked them up in a hurry and were not particularly paying attention to sales and coupons.

It was HEALTHY. Better than fried chicken, anyway, which is a yummy but disastrous picnic favorite! Tuna in particular has great health benefits, especially the oft-touted Omega3s. Also, since the salads were made with an olive oil/lemon juice dressing, we avoided the pitfall of mayonnaise and other fat-laden creamy dressings. Fresh fruit is perfect for picnics, especially the finger food variety, and always great for your health.

So what do YOU like to do on a warm summer day?
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