For my birthday this year my mom managed to track down my dream picnic basket which I had been unable to find anywhere. All I could find were coolers or backpacks that had some cutlery and plates inside but I wanted an actual basket lined with fabric and a matching picnic blanket. Thank goodness for my mom and her impressive gift-finding skills because I had given up on looking.
I'd been waiting since March to be able to use my basket and finally this weekend it was the perfect picnic weather.
In the morning I baked pain a l'ancienne baguettes which are baguettes made from a dough that uses cold water and is left to rise in the fridge overnight. They are rustic looking because the dough is fairly fragile and is just stretched into a rough baguette shape instead of properly shaped like other doughs.
Plus we had delicious cheese to spread on them. St.Andres, Brie, and some blue cheese and honey. If you haven't tried blue cheese and honey together then you're missing out on the most perfect sweet and savory combination on earth.
I could go on and on about cheese combinations: St.Andres slightly melted on baguette with a basil leaf, sundried tomatoes diced and spread then covered with the brie.. etc etc.
Cheese is delicious.
It wouldn't be a picnic without some potato salad. My new favorite recipe is this creamy herb and lemon potato salad from epicurious. Even though it has mayo (I use half mayo and half greek yogurt) in the dressing it ends up being light and tangy because the potatoes are tossed with vinegar, salt, and pepper before being dressed with the mayo, herbs, and lemon zest.
..and then I had more potato salad.
and a little bit more cheese.
People were floating down in the river in kayaks and inflatable rafts and it was just one of those perfect summer days that you dream about through the nine million months of Albertan winter we have each year.
I'll be posting the recipes for the baguettes and lemon pound cakes soon because I highly recommend packing them up in a basket and heading outside before winter suddenly decides to return unwelcome and unannounced.