Perfect ideas for a summertime picnic
Published 7:50 am Thursday, July 6, 2023
Remember singing “Summertime, summertime, sum sum summertime”?
The glorious days of summer are upon us. The days heat up fast and the outdoors calls us to a beach, the pool or maybe even a run through the sprinkler in bare feet. A picnic dinner in the shade of a tree is the perfect setting when families and friends gather to share a meal.
Linda: Enjoying a meal alfresco is the perfect change of pace this time of year. Outdoor grills are fired up to keep the kitchen cool and provide some tasty fare. Let’s offer a twist on regular burgers. Sliders are all the rage this summer. They grill quickly and guests can enjoy more than one.
Lucy: I’ve noticed the grocery stores now carry smaller buns just for sliders. I think they are perfect for anyone not wanting a quarter-pound or half-pound burger that you often see these days. They’re also a good size to offer children. I think a cool salad with some fresh vegetables could accompany a meal of sliders. My neighborhood recently hosted a salad potluck. My friend and neighbor, Rebecca brought her delicious broccoli bacon salad. It was one of the most popular offerings.
Linda: Mmmm, that sounds wonderful. We’ve never suggested our mother’s baked bean recipe. I’ve always hesitated to print it because it’s so simple, I wasn’t sure it deserved publicity. But recently I pulled out her recipe and made some for our neighborhood cookout. The dish has always been a favorite. Several neighbors shared with me how much they enjoyed this casserole. One friend suggested I include the recipe in one of our columns.
Lucy: You’re right, people always love mother’s recipe for baked beans. She was a teacher and didn’t have time for fancy recipes when it came to PTA potlucks. She would put the ingredients together in the morning before she left for school and put the dish in the oven at a very low temperature. When we arrived home mid-afternoon, we would remove the cover and let them cook a little longer.
Linda: These days, I cook for a few hours at a little higher temperature. But I still remove the cover for about an hour to let the sauce cook down. It’s the type of casserole you need to let sit for about half an hour after it comes out of the oven so it can set.
Lucy: Let’s tell our readers that our “Two Sisters Cookbook” has arrived and is available at your cookie booth at the Landrum Farmers Market.
Linda: People enjoyed browsing through the book last Saturday and several people purchased one for themselves or for a gift. I know the Market is very busy this year and sometimes I don’t get a space. Hopefully, I’ll be able to be there most weeks to greet our readers.
Package of slider buns
11 slices American or cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
12 bacon strips, cooked and broken into 1-inch pieces
In a large skillet, cook onion over medium heat until onion is tender. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until combined, 1-2 minutes. Combine with ground beef and form into 2 oz burgers. Cook on grill about 7 minutes, turning once. Serve on buns with bacon and cheese available for adding to burger.
Rebecca’s Broccoli Bacon Salad
1 large bag of cut broccoli
½ cup purple onion
1 cup bacon bits
1 bag dried cranberries
½ cup pecans
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbs vinegar
Mix all together and refrigerate overnight before serving.
Isabel’s Baked Beans
Two large cans of Van Camps Pork and Beans (check the label for number of servings and buy size that you need)
Molasses (about 1/3 a bottle)
One large onion, chopped
Six bacon strips (not cooked)
Spray casserole dish with Pam for easy cleanup. Open cans of beans and empty into casserole dish.
Add enough molasses to turn beans a darker color and stir. Add onions to bean/molasses mixture and stir. Put uncooked strips of bacon on top of the mixture. Cover with lid or foil. Cook at 325 for about 3 hours. Remove lid and continue to cook about ½ hour or until sauce has cooked down. Let sit for about a half hour before serving.