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!
My Rainstorm Picnic was inspired by a week of summer weather with pop up storms, a bottle of Rainstorm Pinot Gris. . .
. . .and Picnics by Hilary Heminway & Alex Heminway.
Some shelter under the dock provided the cover and some colorful umbrellas set the stage.
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?
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.
A water-themed menu was provided for a rainy day picnic. . .
Watercress Soup, Watermelon Salad and Water Crackers with Cheese.
I filled some rain boots with some flowers for vases . . .
And I packed some water related reading to enjoy. . .
Waterside Cottages and Waterside Living.
And packed my favorite Watermelon Salad, combined with feta cheese,
the creamy, salty cheese a perfect partner to the sweet, juicy melon!
No recipe required, just the fresh and delicious combination of watermelon, feta cheese, chopped basil, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, salt and pepper!
Water crackers and Brie, tied with some baker’s twine and some herbs, rosemary, blooming lavender and tarragon.
A rain gauge ready and handy, tucked in a pot of lantana. . .
I couldn’t find watercress for soup this time of year so I substituted arugula for a similar peppery flavor.
Makes 6 servings
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
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.