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How to Have Perfect Picnics and Barbecues

By Edited Feb 21, 2016 4 12

Picnics and Barbecues

Picnic in the Garden

   A picnic, or just eating outdoors, is a holiday from our daily table. Whether we are sitting in a meadow, on a mountain top, by the shore, or in our own garden, nature creates a casual mood and whets our appetite. Prepare food that is easy to serve and easy to eat, always make extra just in case. If you are barbecuing, get your fire started well ahead.
   An out-door barbecue offers such a tempting way to get out of the kitchen on a warm evening. It's also a means of getting the men in the family into the act of cooking, if they aren't already, and provides a simple answer to feeding a number of people, yet making a party of it as good cooking smells waft across the backyard.


   One is apt to get in a rut and fall back too often on hamburgers, hot dogs and steaks as the standard barbecue fare. Don't let this happen. There are so many things that can be barbecued deliciously. For instance, any fish or seafood that broils successfully can be done on an open fire as well. The same goes for meat, butterflyed lamb for instance, or skewed chicken livers, or shish kebab, and chicken. If you have a spit, then try doing roast meats that way, duck is particularly delicious done on a spit.

Grill Vegetables

   Vegetables and potatoes can be wrapped in foil and tucked in among the coals, once your fire is going well, or some like eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, peppers, summer squash and onions can be grilled at the last-minute after the meat is done.

Picnic Basket

   A picnic basket could contain the welcome sight of something like cold vegetables, fresh scallions, small tomatoes, hearts of celery, avocado, slices of cold meats, fried chicken, a loaf of homemade bread, the possibilities are endless. Think ahead so you will have the cooked foods ready; fill containers with pickles and olives. Wine, coffee, tea or lemonade can tend to the thirst. Cheese is simple to pack and it is nice to have a variety. Cookies or a carrot cake would make the meal complete, with fresh fruit as a snack before starting home.

Barbecue-Roasted Chicken
2-1/2 pounds chicken
1/4 cup oil
freshly ground pepper
Light the coals. Truss the chicken, rub with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on spit. When the fire is ready, place the spitted chicken on the rotisserie and cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees in the breast meat and 185 degrees in the thigh meat, basting every 15 to 20 minutes with choice of sauce.

Chicken on a spit

Top 3 barbecue sauces;
1)...Chicken Barbecue Sauce
    Brush this sauce on chicken as it cooks. Also good on pork.
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sage, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
   Combine all ingredients in a jar. Shake well and let stand for several hours before using.

2)...Light Barbecue Sauce
   This is a sauce that allows meat and poultry to keep their own character.
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rosemary, crumbled
Combine all in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes.

3)...Barbecue Sauce
   A basic sauce, good on pork, ribs, hamburgers and chicken.
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup tomato catsup
1 teaspoon Tabasco
   Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Add 2 cups water and remaining ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Place over medium-low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.



Mar 14, 2012 1:47pm
Very nice and inviting article! It made me hungry, so now I long for picnics and barbecues.
Mar 14, 2012 2:24pm
Thanks askformore.
Mar 18, 2012 4:33pm
I know what you mean about the hamburger and hot dog rut! Every barbecue I've been to in the past few years has been serving the same old burgers and dogs with some raw veggie platter. I say we ban this practice
Mar 18, 2012 4:52pm
Thanks for stopping by Pensive. I agree, don't like ruts. I like picking fresh veggies from the garden and grilling them. I can make a meal of just that.
Mar 20, 2012 4:59am
Another brilliant and mouth watering article. I love the spuds done in the coals. If you haven't got any alfoil don't forget you can also use wet newspaper.
Mar 25, 2012 2:29pm
Thanks eileen, yes wet news print works as well. In fact I like the taste of the tater better that way.
Mar 25, 2012 6:23pm
Great ideas and recipes! I've got to try the homemade barbecue sauce! Good info, Lynsuz!!!
Apr 21, 2012 5:17pm
Thanks Intro, homemade BBQ sauce tastes so much better than store bought.
Mar 30, 2012 5:58pm
Excellent article and beautiful photos! Great advice to make more than you need. I've noticed people have bigger appetites when eating outdoors. Nice job!
Apr 21, 2012 5:16pm
Yes, appetites do improve in the outdoors. Thanks diva.
Apr 4, 2012 6:44am
yum...makes me glad summer's coming up :-) ...
Apr 21, 2012 5:18pm
Thanks Rev999, summertime and picnics are the best.
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