A Rainstorm Picnic

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I’m joining the The Novel Bakers for Picnic Week!

The Novel Bakers been busy packing picnic baskets and cooking up recipes for a couple of months in anticipation of picnic week, from a host of books full of inspiration, delicious menus and theme picnics!

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My Rainstorm Picnic was inspired by a week of summer weather with pop up storms, a bottle of Rainstorm Pinot Gris. . .

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. . .and Picnics by Hilary Heminway & Alex Heminway. 

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Some shelter under the dock provided the cover and some colorful umbrellas set the stage.

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Picnics by Hilary Heminway & Alex Heminway: 

A picnic is classically defined as a meal eaten outdoors on an excursion. But why settle for that when you can experience a Sunset Romance Picnic, a Snowshoe Picnic, or even a Dinner Picnic in Bed?

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 Hilary Heminway and Alex Heminway share dozens of creative ways to take a meal outside, whether the sun is just coming up for the day or romantically dropping in the sky, in the heat of summer or during a winter’s chill. All-season picnics include: Sunset romance, boat on a lake, snowshoeing in the woods, rodeo tailgate, riverside barbecue, horseback riding, dog pack, picnic for children, and rainy day.

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A water-themed menu was provided for a rainy day picnic. . .

 Watercress Soup, Watermelon Salad and Water Crackers with Cheese.

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I filled some rain boots with some flowers for vases . . .

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And I packed some water related reading to enjoy. . .

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Waterside Cottages and Waterside Living.

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And packed my favorite Watermelon Salad, combined with feta cheese,

the creamy, salty cheese a perfect partner to the sweet, juicy melon!

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No recipe required, just the fresh and delicious combination of watermelon, feta cheese, chopped basil, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, salt and pepper!

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Water crackers and Brie, tied with some baker’s twine and some herbs, rosemary, blooming lavender and tarragon.

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A rain gauge ready and handy, tucked in a pot of lantana. . .

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I couldn’t find watercress for soup this time of year so I substituted arugula for a similar peppery flavor.

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Potato-Arugula Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and chopped

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (or use 4 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, no need to peel)

3 cups reduced sodium chicken stock

1 cup arugula (or substitute watercress)

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon lemon juice

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Directions

Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add potatoes and cook for 10 minutes.

Add stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the arugula. Cook for 1 -2 minutes, until wilted.

Place half of the broth mixture into a blender (or use an immersion blender for easier clean up and no danger of exploding soup). Cover and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Repeat the blending process with the remaining broth mixture. Return all the puréed mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture is heated through. Season to taste. Stir in cream and lemon juice. Serve immediately or refrigerate at least 2 hours until well chilled.

You can find a printable recipe, here.

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Bring your appetite and your virtual picnic basket and visit Jain and Michael Lee for Picnic Week, along with special guest bakers, Linda and Pam!

Novel Bakers Picnic Week

Jain, a quiet life

Michael Lee, Rattlebridge Farm

Linda, More Fun Less Laundry

Pam, Sidewalk Shoes

Rainstorm Picnic

Thank you for your visit, I’m joining:

 Metamorphosis MondayThe Scoop,

Inspire Me TuesdayWow Us Wednesdays,

Home Sweet Home,

 Tablescape ThursdayFoodie Friday

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  13 comments for “A Rainstorm Picnic

  1. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud
    September 12, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Seize the day! No matter what the weather… You created a colorful (tasty) and cheerful picnic on a less than ideal day Mary:@)

  2. September 12, 2014 at 5:35 am

    How cute!! You have thought of everything here, right up to the rain gage!! Who would have thought a picnic in the rain could be so much fun.

  3. September 12, 2014 at 7:30 am

    You are well prepared for whatever mother nature brings your way ! Cute ideas! Have a great day!🌴

  4. September 12, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Mary, try your potatoe soup recipe with chopped kale. It is yummy!

  5. September 12, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Striped umbrellas and rain boots full of flowers and a basket of cheese and wine, bring on the rainy day! The rain gauge in your lantana made me laugh out loud Mary, so friggin’ cute! And you find the best wine labels! Your water logged menu sounds good for a sunny day to me, I will have to try the watermelon feta combo with lime and remember to tie my brie with some baker’s twine! Thank you for so much incredible fun this week!
    Jenna

  6. September 12, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Mary, You’ve captured the essence of these late summer pop up storms so well with your photo of the wall of rain and fog next to the blue sky. And I’m loving your collection of wellies too! The brie is too pretty to cut with the floral topping, but I will take large servings of both the watermelon salad and the soup. I can’t wait to make the soup –I think it will be this weekend. You have made a rainy day picnic look very cozy! Linda

  7. franki
    September 12, 2014 at 8:47 am

    If the weather hands you lemons….make lemonade!! This was just beautiful!! Haven’t “umbrellas” come a “long ways” since…black!! Wishing you sunshine between showers!! franki

  8. September 12, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Oh Mary, your “water” theme is just perfect for your rainy day picnic. I can’t believe how everything blends…the books, the food, all of it. Well actually, knowing you, I do believe it! The rain boots filled with flowers are spectacular and I love the colorful umbrellas. I must remember to use basil in my watermelon feta salad, instead of mint, next time. I’d like that better.
    Thanks for all your picnic inspiration, Mary.

  9. Debbie
    September 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

    What a fun idea!

  10. September 12, 2014 at 10:53 am

    oh my freaking goodness, that first shot has my cheeks spread so wide i fee like the joker! i don’t even own an umbrella, after seeing you play i fell like i must live under a rock!

    rainstorm wine..

    rain boots…

    rain gauge

    waterside books :-)

    watercress…

    watermelon…

    water crackers… do you know i am totally cracking up at your check lists! i loved this book, and you did it PROUD! one of your best ones girl, way out of the box and fabulous, loved the umbrella art shots, SO DARN CUTE! as always, thanks for playing to the umpteenth degree!

  11. September 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I ditto everything a quite life says….and just making a small addition…you needed to have a CD player in the background or an iPod…or whatever modern technology has provided for instant music anywhere, any place…loaded with songs like “Rain drops are falling on my head….Stormy Weather…and others in the same vein!

  12. Melissa
    September 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Mary…. You are just so Kool!! Your ideas are just awesome! I loved this rainy day picnic just too darn cute. I loved every detail you put into it. I enjoyed this so much.. thank you!!

  13. September 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    And of course you can set a gorgeous picnic in the rain!…Your creativity is never ending..always coming up with the perfect settings…and of course you would have a cute bottle of “Rainstorm”…you never cease to amaze me Mary!…Beautiful picnic in the rain!!!…Gene Kelly is smiling down from heaven!!

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