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Simple Summer Picnic

Entertaining, Farm Life, How-Tos, Recipes

One of the things I miss most in 2020 is going on dates with my husband. We used to go out to dinner together at least once a month. I loved having uninterrupted conversation, just the two of us over nice bottle of wine that paired perfectly with our meal. Those were the days…

Since date nights weren’t often enough due to the kids’ sports schedules and other obligations with friends and family, we would regularly go on lunch dates while the kids were in school. I miss those the most because they were more frequent.

Being that we both work from home, it was quite easy for us to go to lunch together a few times a week. One of us would text the other and we would take a break in our day to visit our favorite local deli or cafe.

Since eating out isn’t advisable currently, my husband and I haven’t gone on a lunch date for almost five months. Sure, having a sandwich together in the kitchen is nice, but if we’re being honest, these days you just need to get out of the house for a bit and get a change of scenery. I know you know what I mean.

The other day I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and I planned an impromptu simple summer picnic by the pond, for two.

The idea hit me like a bolt of lighting about an hour before lunchtime. I had no time to waste! Cue the running around the house trying to find pieces in the farmhouse to help me create a simple and comfortable picnic set-up for two. (Notice I used the word, ‘comfortable’ rather than ‘cozy’ because as much as I want to use the word ‘cozy’ it doesn’t really work in the height of a southern summer when it’s ninety degrees outside with ninety percent humidity.)

I found the lightest summer blankets we had and layered them on the grass with some pillows by the pond. I stepped back and looked at my beautiful set-up, proud as a peacock… “What else do you need?” I thought to myself… Oh yeah- food!

I ran back into the house and inventoried the pantry and fridge. I had plenty of fresh fruit and veggies thanks to my most recent farmer’s market trip. My husband loves Caprese Salad, but I didn’t have quite enough tomatoes. Shoot! Then I glanced to my right and I saw a cantaloupe sitting on the counter. I had an idea! I busted out my melon baller and went to town. The next thing I knew, I had created a delicious Cantaloupe Caprese Salad. I love it when things work out like that. It was perfect!

Next, I began to cut carrots, celery, and cucumber into spears, and then I whipped up a family favorite to go with them, Dill Dip. I knew my husband would love it! I spooned the Dill Dip into Ball jars and put the veggies in them. They were ready to go mobile!

Cantaloupe Caprese Salad, check! Veggies and Dill Dip, check! Sure, I could make a meal out of just that, but something told me that that was not going to be enough for Mr. A… No worries! I whipped up some prosciutto and provolone sandwiches on ciabatta and voila! The impromptu picnic lunch for two was ready.

I grabbed some baskets and started packing up the picnic: food, iced tea, plates, napkins, glasses, silverware, and of course, you know me, I had to pack up some hydrangeas for a special touch.

I sent a text to my husband that said, “Meet at the pond for lunch in ten minutes.”

He sent back, “Ok.” But I know what he actually wanted to send was more likely, “Huhhh???”

Anyway, I ran outside and set out all the food just in time. As he rounded the corner of the barn, he said, “What did you do?!”

I said, “If we can’t go out to lunch anymore, at least we can go outside for lunch!” He smiled.

It was a beautiful afternoon. We watched the turtles in the pond, listened to the frogs sing, caught the summer breeze, and caught up with one another.

These days, life is so different and we are so limited in many ways. It was nice to create a little getaway that we needed. Making this simple picnic for two made me realize that you don’t need to spend a lot of money or do anything fancy to create something special. It’s the time together that matters and we had a wonderful time that afternoon.

Cantaloupe Caprese Salad
Yield: 4 servings

Cantaloupe Caprese Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Summer is the season to embrace the freshest fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It's also the perfect season for a picnic. This Cantaloupe Caprese Salad is the perfect side dish for any picnic. Sweet canteloupe combine with juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and savory basalmic is a summer match made in heaven. Fresh, easy, and delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 cantaloupe, balled
  • 4 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt 
  • pinch of pepper
  • parmesan cheese, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine cantaloupe, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons mint, and 2 tablespoons basil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, basalmic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the oil and vinegar over salad and gently toss.
  4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of mint and 1 tablespoon of basil on top.
  5. Using a vegetable peeler, slice parmesan cheese on top and add fresh cracked pepper to taste.

Notes

You can also add chopped prosciutto to make a heartier salad.

Dill Dip For Fresh Veggies
Yield: 2 Cups

Dill Dip For Fresh Veggies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

A family favorite, this creamy and savory Dill Dip is the perfect accompaniment to fresh veggies like carrots, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli, or any other veggie you love to snack on. It's such an easy recipe! Keep a jar in the fridge at home or pack some for on the go. Dill Dip is perfect for a picnic lunch by the pond, at the beach, or in the mountains.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of dill (fresh or dried)
  • Fresh vegetables of your choice for dipping

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic salt and dill, stir to combine.
  2. Serve along side your favorite vegetables.

Notes

You can make any amount of this dip using equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream. Season with garlic salt and dill to taste.

  1. Diane DeaTon says:

    I loved this story snd saced your recipes. We’ll be having dinner outside tomorrow. Friday night has always been our date night. I’ll do a picnic dinner date for us tomorrow evening. Thank you for the inspiration!❤

    • Meeghan says:

      I’m so happy you loved this post Diane! Have a wonderful picnic date. I’m honored to have inspired you to create your own picnic. I look forward to sharing more ideas with you. Thank you for joining me here!

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