June 30th Is Great American Picnic Day

June 7th, 2012 by Craig Mullins

Ten days after the First Day of Summer is a day devoted to one of summer’s most enjoyed activities – the picnic.

Great American Picnic Day is on June 30th of each year and is a day to celebrate the family-friendly experience of eating outdoors.

…ideally taking place in a beautiful landscape such as a park, beside a lake or with an interesting view…

Picnics are often family-oriented but can also be an intimate occasion between two people or a large get-together such as company picnics and church picnics. It is also sometimes combined with a cookout…

…Outdoor games or some other form of entertainment are common at large picnics.

[source]

Below are a couple of great American recipes I found at FoodAndWine.com that sound like a perfect choice for Great American Picnic Day:

Potato Salad with Bacon and Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients:

4 pounds small red potatoes
1/2 pound lean bacon, preferably applewood-smoked, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons mustard oil or spicy mustard
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 celery ribs, diced
1 small red onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup onion sprouts, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

In a large pot, cover the potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes. Drain the potatoes and, when they are cool enough to handle, slice them in half.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, cook the bacon slices over moderate heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and coarsely crumble.

In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the barbecue sauce, mustard oil and sherry vinegar. Fold the potatoes into the dressing while they are still warm. Let the potato salad stand, stirring a few times, until the potatoes have cooled and absorbed most of the dressing, about 20 minutes.

Add the celery, red onion, parsley and tarragon to the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for an additional 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Garnish with the bacon and sprouts, then serve.

Make Ahead: The ungarnished salad can be refrigerated overnight. Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.

Apple Pie Bars

Ingredients:

Crust
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
12 Granny Smith apples (about 6 pounds)—peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup water, as necessary

Topping
3/4 cup walnuts
3 cups quick-cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a 15-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. In a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Press the dough over the bottom of the prepared pan and 1/2 inch up the side in an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and set. Let cool on a rack.

In each of 2 large skillets, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter with 1/4 cup of the light brown sugar. Add the apples to the skillets and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir half of the cinnamon and nutmeg into each skillet. Cook until the apples are caramelized and very tender and the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes longer; scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillets and add up to 1/2 cup of water to each pan to prevent scorching. Let cool.

Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop the walnuts. In a large bowl, mix the oats with the flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the walnuts and press the mixture into clumps.

Spread the apple filling over the crust. Scatter the crumbs on top, pressing them lightly into an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until the topping is golden; rotate the pan halfway through baking. Let cool completely on a rack before cutting into 2-inch bars.

Make Ahead: The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days or frozen for up to a month.

HAPPY GREAT AMERICAN PICNIC DAY!!

great american picnic day

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