Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prepping for a Picnic & Things That Make Today Perfect

Tomorrow we are heading into the Nantahala National Forest, the Standing Indian Basin, to hike to see the Wasilik Poplar (details tomorrow) with our friends Ursula & Dick, and then for a picnic.  So today was a day of picnic prep cooking, among other things soon to be disclosed.  Since I have not posted a recipe in a while, I thought I'd share our menu, the simple recipes and the end results.  I am not including photos of the process, this all stuff you have done before yourself, you don't need me to show you how:)  Maybe these are just some new approaches...

I baked some skinless bone-in chicken breasts on the grill.  I patted them dry, put them individually in tin foil with a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence.  I turned on 1 side of the grill on low, to get the temperature to 325-350 degrees, and I put the chicken on the other side, so the heat was indirect, and closed the lid.  I kept the lid closed as much as possible except to rotate the chicken periodically.  I cooked it like that for about 1 hour.  Then I took the chicken out of the tin foil, used the juices for basting, and grilled on medium high with all 3 heat strips lighted until the outside got a little browned.  I believe it came out perfectly, we shall see tomorrow.  This it the chicken, cooled off.

I made old-fashioned potato salad.  I used russet potatoes because that is what I had.  Cut into pieces and boiled until soft (that is how we like it, you can cook them to your preferred tenderness).  I diced 2 stalks of celery leaves included, diced 1/3 of an onion, and added that to the only slightly cooled potatoes.  I prefer to keep them a little warm because I believe the flavors seep in more effectively with them warm.  Then about 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish, salt, pepper, and mayo to your preferred taste.  I actually add everything in two layers, potatoes, celery, onion, relish, salt, pepper, mayo.  Then everything again.  It makes it easier to stir, and helps not to break up the potatoes.  Voila, yummy potato salad...
Now many people put hard boiled eggs in their potato salad, I prefer not to.  But we do have some hard boiled eggs we are bringing along!

No picnic is complete without desert...I made Toll House chocolate chip cookies but added some white chips as well...you can get the recipe off the chocolate chip package, oooh oooh they are good!

We will also have lots of water, sliced watermelon, fresh plums right off the tree, white wine, and a few other things in the backpack for while we are hiking, just in case we need a boost.  It's enough to feed an army!  Wanna come???

As for the rest of the day, Mountain Man and I felled more trees...this was to increase the sun on our third square foot garden box.  Once again, success...see before and after...you can see the box to the center of the picture very much shaded...

By the time we finished the sun was behind the trees to the West, but you can see the shadow is only from the West and not above the box any more.   

We had an adorable visitor this morning, this little guy had no fear, not even when Fluffy was stalking him...we have to teach him not to be so darn sociable!  Cute, huh!

This is a photo from sunset last night, through the trees.  Not a view I typically will post, but when I was sitting on the porch watching the sun through the trees, I thought it was worth sharing with you.

All this made for a perfect day.  And tomorrow, we hike!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Christine said...

Hope you guys have a wonderful hike and picnic! Can't wait to see photos of the day. That chicken looks real yummy. I don't like eggs in my potato salad either.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I bet your picnic will be wonderful. I hope you guys have beautiful weather! Food looks yummy.

Tell that little squirrel to stay close to your place. He's not safe here. You see they are on the menu for dinner tomorrow night, freshly taken down today.

We need to cut down a few trees to around our garden. But decided it will have to wait until after everything is harvested. I especially want a cedar tree gone, I picked too much cedar out of the leaf lettuce tonight when washing it.

Enjoy tomorrow!

Lise said...

Patti, do you shoot or trap your squirrels? And how hard is is to prepare them for eating? I think I have some that are eating my new corn the garden, I'm ready to stop those varmits!

Lise said...

Ha ha Mamabug, maybe it's a Florida thing:)