Sunday, August 24, 2014

the novel bakers present...

PICNIC WEEK! sit back and relax while we share with you a host of fun and festive picnic books, menus and ideas, sure to keep your alfresco dining ideas flowing! our first book this week is ...

what this book lacks in pictures, as in NONE, it more than makes up for itself by offering up a plethora of menu and recipes for your outdoor enjoyment. broken down by season, you are sure to find just the right menu and idea to set your taste buds alive.

i had a hard time deciding which picnic menu and location i wanted to try first, they all sounded fabulous, but i decided to try something a little different this week, i started to mix and match recipes from ALL the books we will be featuring this week, according to what was available at our beach house located 25 miles from the nearest grocery store. one thing i read early on was to KEEP IT SIMPLE from where is your picnic basket, it has been my summer mantra for the week!

being a native californian i know our state is one of the most beautiful and varied states in the union. not many can boast that you can surf and ski in the same day, with loads of natural beauty abundant i decided to call this week my california picnic series. armed with my trusty cutting board, indispensable for any impromptu picnic, we headed out on 7 picnics, to not only delight our palette, but our senses too. i hope you enjoy tagging along for the week~

straight from the pages of the book we started off with...

i skipped the suggested menu and scoured the pages to fill our picnic basket with on hand materials.

i put together our own drinks, i am wild over this ginger syrup from cost plus, sure its easy to make a ginger simple syrup, but i love the bottle too! of course you know i have to use my home grown lemons for this wonderful blueberry ginger lemonade with fresh mint, pre frozen for easy packing.

with the food all prepped and ready it was time to grab the compass and start navigating to the island~

now let the fun begin!

we took our dogs for a walk on the beach in the morning then grabbed our bikes and headed to tiburon to catch the morning ferry to angel island.

a jewel, located in the heart of the sf bay, we almost had the island to ourselves, until the last minute the ferry waited as about 200 kids arrived for a day of summer camp on the island. the ride over was deafening, only to have been rivaled when we caught the last ferry home with TWICE AS MANY SCREAMING KIDS!

thankfully, once on the inland, we were virtually by ourselves, except for that brief moment when i tired of using my spoon for my soup and decided to drink right from the jar, JUST as the ranger pulled over to ask if i was tara, a missing woman on the island. i said no and we cheerfully chatted, only to find out an hour later my husband tells me i have a big white crescent moon of soup on my nose...

it was a wonderful, but blustery day on the island, for those of you not familiar with the northern california coast i will let mark twain take this one for me...

"the coldest winter i ever spent was my summer in san francisco"

with the fog billowing around the golden gate and the island being blasted by roaring cold winds on all sides i finally said to heck with cute pics, LETS EAT!

we stuffed ourselves, one of the best picnics i have EVER taken to the island! but who couldn't enjoy themselves with views like these...

we even had time for a little clam digging...

it was an all to quick 5 mile ride around the perimeter, with plenty of time left over to read our seaside stories by the bay in the warm protective cove waiting for the last ferry...

once again i have to thank my fellow novel baker cohorts in play, without the guise of "doing my homework", to share books for the enrichment of others, we certainly would not have done 7 such fun and varied picnics. i look forward to reading what everyone will be sharing this week, with two guest bloggers joining the novel bakers this week be sure and stop by and visit us all for a week of pure fun in the sun!

make that fog for this northern california girl...

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  1. Oh what FUN, I would have loved to have taken an excursion, you took a ferry and a bike ride too! Your picnic reunion on Angel Island is so clever and those are the tastiest clams I've seen :) I adore those bay shots with the mysterious fog, glad you had some beautiful sunshine too. I love that fun state cutting board, I can tell we're in for loads of food and fun with your CA Picnic Series. Thanks for taking us along, I'm looking forward to seeing what's in your basket this week!

  2. Jain,
    Thank you so much for letting me play with the Novel Bakers this week! I truly had so much FUN as I read through each of the cookbooks and planned our outings. I also used them as thematic inspiration, choosing recipes here and there, but that is the beauty of a picnic--no rules! I'm laughing at your description of your fellow ferry passengers. Just when you thought you were headed for serenity... and I'm impressed at all the goodies you were able to cart to the island on just your bikes! We were thinking alike with the park tour destinations--you will be seeing some of our CT state parks this week in my picnic posts. We don't have a bear on our signs, although with all the sitings lately perhaps we should add one! I can't wait to see what you have cooked up for us all week! I love Novel Baker weeks! Linda

  3. Oh Jain, you took me back down memory lane with your photos and weather descriptions~ I grew up in Southern Cal and went to college at Chico so your posts are always delicious fun for me, and I know how cold it can be in the summer on the Northern coast! Your picnic on an island was a delight, how did you ever pack all those wonderful goodies to take on your bikes? Great food, great pics, wonderful picnic!

  4. Oh my goodness! I can't believe I am going to be seeing all that California goodness in a couple of months! Perhaps we'll go on a picnic!! I must find some of that ginger syrup!

  5. What a fun picnic! The zucchini soup sounds delicious.
    Have a great week, Jain.

  6. I cannot believe I was in the Bahamas for picnic week!
    I am just now getting caught up on all the wonderful posts...sorry to be late to the table!
    But at least I get to read them all at once.