Summer Time is Picnic Time

I have a friend who’s quite an amazing woman – she blogs about food – and food history, in posts chock-filled with fun and facts. And not only that! Each summer Louise has a picnic. A huge picnic! We each have to choose a letter from the alphabet then bring some food matching the letter. My letter this year, is V. V for Valentine? Oh! No, that’s in February. V, for our picnic! ~ for the foods I’ll carry to our picnic tables and the blankets tossed on the flat ground near the imaginary lake, will be Vegetable Things of Spring Salad . . . Veal Shank with Risotto . . . and Viennese Chocolate-Cherry Torte. I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Olive oil, bacon fat (oh yes), prosciutto, Spring onions and dandelion greens rough-cut . . . all tossed over medium high heat in a skillet with the sugar snap peas then salted and peppered and doused with apple cider vinegar, to keep it real. This is my Vegetable Things of Spring Salad.

I’ll put up the recipe for the veal shank at the end of the post!

Here is the Viennese torte recipe. It’s a bit messy – I’ve had it around since forever ~

If you’re visiting me for the first time here, you’ll notice that most of my posts don’t have food photos or recipes. That’s because I do that sort of thing on the facebook page linked to this blog. If you’re still hungry after the picnic, the door is always open to visit there!

Now here are my co-conspirators in this picnic thing. It looks like we’re going to really party . . . uh . . . hearty????!!! Um hmm.

A- Almond Joy Pie

B- Baked Beans

C-Chocolate Picnic Cake

D-Dutch Funnel Cake

E-Easy Blender Chicken Pie

F-Five Bean Salad

G-Granola Bars

H-Herb and Cheese Pasta Salad

I-Incredibly Fruity Raspberry Cakes

J-Jeweled Picnic Bars


L-Long Island Lemonade Cocktail

M-Mushroom Tart

N-Nut Roast

O-Olive Nut Bread

P-Pomegranate Mousse Cake (absolutely worth the wait, as I’m sure yours is:)


R-Raspberry Chocolate Macarons

S-Spicy Glazed Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs

T-Turkey and Pear wraps w/ Curried Aioli!!

Well, I’m off to the picnic . . . must visit everyone to see their stuff close-up and personal! And thanks once again, Louise – it’s always a pleasure to visit with both you as you, and you as Picnic Mistress at Dainty Delights from Diverse Directions @ Months of Edible Celebrations.


Oops! Almost forgot – here is the always-worthy Elizabeth David’s recipe for Veal Shanks . . .

P.S. Last minute additions! They look lovely.

P-Pomegranate Mousse Cake (Chef Dennis) @ More Than a Mouthful

U-“Unoriginal Whole Foods Salad Bar” (Mae) @ Mae’s Food Blog (Mae “threw” this post together just this morning, sweet heart that she is.)


the month of May/Is comen

The month of May is goen too. And with it will go the chance to post this psychotropic postcard offering the pleasures of May wine.

This postcard is from Maders Restaurant, which was featured in an earlier post on chefs, branding, and fame. But instead of pork shanks being run through the dining room by chef seemingly pumped on speed, there is an exhortation ‘For Your Pleasure!’

That’s nice. I do like my pleasure.

The idea of strawberry May wine has been around for a long time. It is one of the few natural seasonal drinks – the first new wine, the first new berries, a sprig of new herbs from the woods – all combine to make that serendipitous moment that does only exist in nature for ‘a moment’ and not much longer. But this drink has fallen out of style.

Should it have? In terms of taste, it can’t really compete with some finer wines. It is rather a peasant drink in ways. Simple, with a lack of pomp. It belongs on a picnic table or should be tossed back laying on a blanket in the sun – so much potential for messy clothes here!!

Here is a bit more from wiki on May wine, and here is an ‘authentic’ recipe.

And here is what the postcard says:

This famous spring wine drink has been a feature here at Maders for many years. It is a wine with a distinctive flavor all its own. On the continent it is served in the spring of the year when the Waldmeister Plant (its main ingredient) is in full Bloom. At Maders it is mixed in a bowl with luscious. ripe strawberries to bring out its best flavor. The next time you stop at Maders be sure to ask for this famous drink.

Now – why I used the title I did for this blog post is that last time I had a title that was ‘suggestive’ to readers the blog hits zoomed to twice the level of readership. Probably they had no interest in food or postcards, but so what. Now my goal in life is to write suggestive titles.

Here is where this title originated – Chaucer, of course.

Whan than the month of May
Is comen, and that I here the foules synge,
And that the floures gynnen for to sprynge,
Farewel my bok, and my devocioun!

Farewel my blog – till tomorrow maybe? I must make some May wine before May is over.

Living la Vida Weekend, Postcards From The Dinner Table in a Foodie Way

Some people don’t want to do facebook. I don’t know why. Maybe they want to have a few moments of free time, or maybe they don’t want to fall into the morass that is called ‘social media’ or maybe they are sane.

For those of you who refuse to enter the doors of time-sucking doom to read the facebook page attached to this blog, here’s a round-up of the week’s photos and links inspired by the daily postcard.

From berry to cake . . .

The cake is a home style simplified version of Lenotre’s Strawberry Cake, viewed below

If you go on a picnic you might want to make some ratatouille. Kittens like it.

It goes well with sausage bread (which kittens also like!)

Now, on to the topic of chewing.

less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe
more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be
yours’ – Swedish

And here is MFK Fisher on the food I think of when I think of a food that does not need to be chewed

What other writer do¬† you know – who could make ‘milk toast’ sound and feel the way she did?

Here, we learn about icemen of the olden days

And here we hear a scary story about ice being used in an unusual way

There is a beautiful ice palace with a dreadful secret . . .

1878 – Valery Ivanovich Jacobi

And the final thought for the week is summed up, for musing upon till something better comes along to muse upon

‘Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors’ – Alice Walker

Ciao, bellas! Enjoy the weekend!

x K

The Cats Picnic

Innocent Bystander: How cute! Little kitties having a picnic with their friends!!!

The Bear: Hey! I want the beer, you take the soda! You got the beer the last time!

Fishing Boy Cat: Hey Momma, I got a big fish for the pot! He’s gonna make a good bouilliabaisse!

Momma Cat: Son, we don’t make bouilliabaisse in this family. In this family we stick to chowder! Get those fancy foreign notions out of your head.

The Fish: Not me! Not me! Do not eat me! Remember, I am like you!!! I am only an adorable little animal! Not me!

A 1910 Picnic (With Thoughts of Cape Gooseberries?)

(Received?) your letter and wanted to answer long before this but was very busy. Will write before the pic-nic. Have you made all arrangements for that eventful day. I expect to see you then. Anna.

(Miss? Mrs.?) Harriet S. Kunkle must have stuck this postcard into a book with tape, as the back is torn in just that manner. I wonder how many years it stayed there, allowing for reminiscing of the picnic and of her friend Anna . . .

That was one hundred years ago. 1910. And the picture is of Cape Gooseberries. Also called Lantern Fruit, a relative of tomatillos, a pretty thing wrapped up in tissue paper by nature itself, dangling dancing so temptingly from its greenery-touched stems!

There are some lovely things you can make with this fruit if you happen to have it growing near you. Jams, of course – and tarts too. Here’s a story with some history of the fruit, right alongside a flavorful cake.

Somehow the way they look implies a sense of the precious, of the guarded – of treasures to be unfolded. Perhaps Anna had a similar feeling about the picnic she soon would attend, which she wrote of in such an almost-stiff manner?

Today is the start of a new year. I hope the corners peeked around in all our various ways will hold more treasures to be unwrapped than banana peels to slip upon! (And I also hope Anna’s dreams came true!)