Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Apple Blossom Picnic

Welcome to the First Day of Summer! Once again this week shmoo and I packed our picnic basket and headed to the park, this time with a bright, clear sky over our heads!

In the top of our terrific tiffin I packed an apple blossom for shmoo and I to share: cut a fresh apple into wedges and arrange the slices like flower petals around a little mound of almond or cashew butter. Scoop up a bit of almond butter with every slice. I scattered some fresh local cherries on top (it's still cherry season here, and we're enjoying it while we can!).

Just for me I packed an enormous salad of mixed baby greens, spinach, cabbage, carrot, celery, cilantro, pecans, and slivered dates, with a container of Orange Cashew Dressing (scroll down to find the recipe). Tucked alongside the salad is a sliced raw zucchini to dip into some Wild Garden Hummus. This is our favorite hummus to pack for vacations, train rides, and camping trips, so I've been stocking up for summer. It doesn't require refrigeration until opened, contains no oil, and isn't spicy or garlicky, so even shmoo likes it.

For shmoo's hummus-dipping needs I packed one of the homemade bagels I made for my husband's Father's Day breakfast (Papa shmoo likes his bagels topped with pesto and sundried tomatoes).

Verdict: It was such a glorious day at the park! So glorious, in fact, that shmoo didn't want to stop playing long enough to eat, and didn't end up eating his fruit and bagel with hummus until we were in the car heading home. I, however, had no such qualms about eating my lunch, and chowed down heartily. I decided I like raw zucchini with hummus more than my usual cucumber. 5 stars.


Milinda said...

I've been in love with raw zucchini for years. Great stuff. Try daiken with your hummus. It's good too.

The apple blossom is gorgeous and such a clever idea.

Thank you.

leila said...

dear jennifer,

your picnic ideas are making me itchy to leave the office. your food, thoughtfulness, and care in preparation is truly an example.

recent health hiccoughs have been nudging me into veganer pastures; i've been using some of your recipes (like the tahinopita (sp?)) and they are fabbo hits with my friends, who Can't Believe It's Not Rich in Dairy and Sugar!

thanks again,
love from leila

eroica said...

stop, you're making me hungry...

yumgirl said...

I just really want to thank you for keeping this blog. I'm a recovering anorexic binge-eating vegan teen(confusing combo), and your blog gives me SO many ideas for healthy, full, realistic meals. I've been trying to convince my father that yes, I can be vegan and still very healthy and get all of the necessary nutrients (along with a multivitamin geared for vegans), and I'm sure that after showing him your site he'll understand more, and maybe even try some of this stuff!

Again, thank you so much. :) I can't wait to try out some of your ideas. Some of them are so cute (like the so-gurt), and although I am definitely a fan of little-kid style lunches, I'm sure a lot of these things can be turned into adult-sized meals. I'm a lunchbox enthusiant/collector so will definitely enjoy filling mine up everyday with your inspired meals! :)

A picnic sounds fun... now that the sun is finally coming up in the North, maybe I can get together some friends and have one.

Nicki Baker said...

hummus is the best!

Jen said...

I would never have thought of eating zucchini (or courgette as we call it here in the UK) raw, I didn't even know you could! I love hummus/houmous so will definitely be trying this!

Katie said...

Thanks for the hummus tip. I think I'll stock up as well.

shinyruby said...

raw zucchini? good tip - have never thought of it and will have to try it out!

thanks for the idea! x

Anonymous said...

Drooling and wishing I was at the park with my husband and puppy playing!

High Power Rocketry said...

: ) Looks like fun.

jenny said...

I can't believe you make your own bagels!! I am blown-away, as usual!!

Tere said...

Wow, what a beautiful picnic! I love raw zucchini too. I remember eating whole zucchinis right out of the garden as a child :) Thanks for keeping us posted, and I hope you're all having a great summer.

Mama Fabun said...

To make a really tasty, easy, baked zucchini dish for summertime thinly slice a couple zucchini, toss with salsa, pour into a casserole and top with veggie cheese. Bake at 325 F until bubbly.

LadyRachelLynn said...

Wow, homemade bagels! I've been tempted to make my own bagels, but am scared I'll screw up! Any tips?

Boosette said...

I discovered your blog a couple weeks ago and tore through the whole thing in the space of two days, and I wanted to say that it's an inspiration and an epiphany:

"Wow, that looks good." and "I want to try that!"

Needless to say, I'm eagerly awaiting your cookbook.

N said...

I found your blog in March and have loved it ever sense.

It actually inspired my 8 year old (an on again off again vegitarian) to go vegitarian again. This time I am, as well (I've been hovering on the edge for years.). We're trying to lean more toward the vegan side of things and your blog has been one of the reasons why.

We're planning a picnic dinner this evening for the Summer Solstice, ourselves, and several friends are joining us. We're looking forward to it, but have a few hours to go, as it's a dinner picnic, not a lunch one.

I'm taking cherries (we're in the Pacific Northwest, too!), lettus wraps, corn fritters (not exactly dishes you'd normally see together, but, hey, I'm going with the produce I have on hand) and oatmeal cookies bars.

Happy Summer Solstice!

raising_kahne said...

Yummy. The apples and cherries look awesome! I tried that hummus, and it was my first time trying it, and I must say I cannot stand it! Maybe my taste buds are weird, but it was just way too bland for me. It's great to hear your stories of how you and Shmoo spemd some great times together! Soem kids arent lucky enough to have parents that care as much as yoU! : )

funwithyourfood said...

cherries had a bad crop this year so they're really expensive here.
I'm missing them!


Jennifershmoo said...

>>Wow, homemade bagels! I've been tempted to make my own bagels, but am scared I'll screw up! Any tips?

I use a great recipe by Peter Reinhart, but I'm not sure if it's from "Bread Baker's Apprentice" or "Crust and Crumb". It's worth searching out if you really want good homemade bagels, as it's the best and most authentic-tasting bagel we've ever made.

You knead and shape them the night before and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you boil them in baking soda water (1 minute per side), then bake them.

Also, I order special "Lancelot" high-gluten flour from King Aurthur to make the bagels extra-chewy. I think this makes a difference.

>>it was just way too bland for me.

Yep, that's why shmoo and I love it so! Neither one of us like spicy or garlicky hummus. Although the company does make a roasted garlic version.

stephdara said...

Hi there -- I am the founder of To-Go Ware and have been so thrilled that you featured our stainless steel food carrier on your site! I, too, am a vegetarian and know that mindful choices often stop with the ingredients and we forget the packaging and to-go piece . . . how many plastic forks do most people toss into the trash weekly? Well, the American peopele toss out enough paper & plastic cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times.

I hope To-Go Ware can be some additional tools to enhance your lifestyle and eating habits . . . Thanks for the blog!

Stephanie Bernstein

sharbel said...

You should start a summer picnic blog, I think it would be a hit!

Irihapeta said...

I'm enjoying your picnic postings. Here on the other side of the world (New Zealand), 21 June is mid-winter, and a lot of the country has been affected by power cuts and unusually heavy snowfalls. Brrr! At least now the shortest day is over, we're on our way to summer!

Sarah said...

oooh - papa shmoo's bagel fav reminds me of this bagel sandwich i used to get at one of the chain bagel places - i love their sundried tomato spread!! but it has parmesan in it, so i had to give it up :(

do you make your own hummus too?

man, now i'm hungry!

Vicarious Me said...

WHAT A FRICKIN AMAZING SITE!!! So I'm only 23 years old and not planning on having little vegan kids for a loooooonnnnnnggggg time, but I feel like I should print out all your ideas now so I can make sure to access to them. This is my new favorite blog and I am so happy you started it.

Barb said...

I love your new picnic container. How do you keep it cold? Just curious.

Thanks for the terrific blog. We just went on vacation to Oregon and we were in The Dalles and saw the sign that pointed the way to Kennewick and I told my boys that is where Schmoo lives and they thought we ought to go and visit. They have enjoyed your recipes in the last few months.


katelicha said...

Jennifer - I looked at the Orange Cashew recipe and saw the other non-oil recipes that looked great. We are addicted to this amazing combination, thought you might like it: puree a few carrot chunks, fresh basil, rice vinegar (unsweetened), and a tiny drizzle of xvoo. You can use any amount of carrots and basil and add oj to make it more liquidy, but I usually use a 1/4 of a medium carrot and a small bunch of basil for two big lunch salads.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>I told my boys that is where Schmoo lives and they thought we ought to go and visit.

LOL! I have an image of tourists stopping at a gas station, asking where the Shmoos lives.

Hi, katelicha, sounds interesting! Are the carrots cooked or raw?

katelicha said...


Jennifershmoo said...

>>How do you keep it cold? Just curious.

I've been tucking the container into a picnic basket next to a cold water bottle. Since we usually eat within a couple hours, it hasn't been an issue yet. I would probably wrap an ice pack up and set it next to it or put it into an insulated carrier if it needed to stay cold longer.

I bet you could also sew a little "tea cozy" kind of thing to cover it and hold a little ice pack. Hmmm, wouldn't that be cute? I might have to work on that idea...

Thanks, katelicha!

Peace, Love and Veganism said...

Hi there! I don't know if anyone is reading this thread anymore, but I just wanted to say that I also love raw zucchini much more than cucumber with hummus and other dips. Yum! So much more filling and less watery.

Heather J. Chin said...

yay, you're back! :-) ...yay, i'm back to checking your blog. i didn't realize how much i'd missed it until i went without it for almost three weeks! hehe.

this lunch sounds great. wow, homemade bagels. so practical. my first attempt at homemade dough lead to excessive doughiness to my empanadas. how long have you been cooking and how long does it usually take for you to perfect a recipe?

red said...

thank you


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