Monday, September 16, 2013

[what's cookin'] A Picnic

Yesterday was the Homestead Museum's annual Ticket to the Twenties event.  It's a free two-day tribute to the Jazz Age complete with live music, dancing, films, games, and even fashion shows.  It's the perfect event in Southern California for a twenties-style picnic.

For this year's picnic, I thought I would try my hand at a couple of Jazz Age recipes thanks to  I wanted picnic foods that might have been served up at an outdoor luncheon in the 1920s, so decided on a couple of sandwiches and a potato salad.  But due to a few dietary limitations and allergies, I did decide to alter the recipes a bit.  So long as they kept to the style of the foods, I was okay.

The sandwiches came out well, I thought.  I chose a mock-chicken salad sandwich on white.  I looked up several chicken salad recipes on the site and used the information to guide my mock creation.  Honestly, it really was not that different from contemporary "chicken-salad."  Some "chicken" (in my case, I used chickpeas), some mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and--of course--mayonnaise.  Celery was often added, too.  Yep, pretty much what most folks call chicken-salad today.

The second sandwich that I chose was a cheese sandwich.  While not using camembert specifically, I used a similar soft, rind cheese that had a wonderful bite to it.  Quite tasty, albeit a touch messy to make.  I opted to thinly slice the cheese and place the slices on the sandwich, though I did consider cutting the cheese in half horizontally and then scooping and spreading the soft cheese sans rind onto the bread.

The potato salad recipe that I used as my inspiration include cayenne and Tabasco.  My husband is allergic to both, so I opted for black pepper and HP sauce instead.  (Sure, I could've chosen another recipe as there are plenty, but by the time I was getting around to making the salad, I had to chose one for which I had on-hand most of the ingredients and that would be nice at a picnic.)  The end result had a lovely tanginess and was quite tasty.  Yet by the next afternoon (I made the salad the day before the picnic), it was much more bland.  I here I thought the flavors would marry well.  Drat.

Otherwise the picnic was lovely.  We brought out some good china on which to dine.  We sat in the shade and sipped vintage sodas and lemonade.  My friend, Tricia, brought even more to eat: deviled eggs, sandwiches, fruit salad, and a heavenly apple pie and blueberry cake!  We were stuffed!

I certainly want to picnic again, but perhaps will wait a touch longer in the year as yesterday was just a bit too warm for my tastes.  Perhaps next time I will try a few other era recipes to share.


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