July 27, 2012
If a picnic opportunity presents itself, we like to grab it. Our trek on the Centennial Trail was the perfect example. Since we were going in the evening, I planned a simple menu of delicious food, we packed it up, and off we went to eat al fresco.
The proper knapsacks are important, but mostly, we just use what we have on hand. Paul has a cool old sack that he has repaired himself. It has lots of character, and I'm sure it has served many folks well.
Addie opted for the basic white canvas. I just used my old trusty Jansport. It served as a table as well. The only problem we had was that the fresh loaf of ciabatta did not like to be carried vertically. It ended up sagging a lot, but it still tasted great. I had just baked that morning, so it was about as fresh as it could be.
To accompany the bread, we had the most delicious piece of smoked salmon I have ever encountered in my life. We love salmon, and most often we buy it from Northern Waters Smokehaus in Duluth. We really love Eric's recipe, and the various ways that he seasons it.
This salmon was a gift to us from our friends Ron and Keli. They had visited relatives in Seattle, and Ron hand-carried this fish from Washington all the way to Gunflint Lake. It was seasoned and smoked perfectly---the flesh was like succulent flakes, somewhere between lox and the traditional smoked texture we are familiar with. It was heavenly with the ciatbatta, and we think that Ron and Keli should go back to Seattle soon to bring home some more!
Devilled eggs, kalamata olives, salty potato chips and some fresh tomatoes and carrots rounded out the feast. The only thing missing was chocolate! I firmly believe that one should have a bar of good dark chocolate tucked in whenever taking an adventure in the woods.
Of course, beverages were a part of the journey--all that hiking causes one to work up a thirst. Some of us enjoyed our drinks on the rocks:
We had a few mosquitoes join us, but they were manageable. For the most part, we are seeing the seasonal decline in their numbers, so being in the woods is a lot nicer.
I think we have found a new favorite picnic spot. How about you? Do you have a notable place that you like to go for a picnic? Let us know where it is by sharing it in the comments section!