Picnics

February10
A Porrtable Cheese Store in Catalafimi, Sicily

A Portable Cheese Store in Catalafimi, Sicily

Is it silly that I am dreaming of picnicking when the view out my window is of 3 feet of snow?  No it is not-it is is one of the coping skills of hardy Winnipeg folks.

On a bench in Prairiano

On a bench in Prairiano

Ilve Choices in Nice (France) Market

Olive Choices in Nice (France) Market

Let me begin at the beginning.  My husband and I met in the hospitality business and so it is no surprize that we’ve been self-professed foodies before the word was invented.  We became a couple when D was home for his summer break between University semesters.  He had an amazing summer placement, working alongside Chef Tony of the St. Charles Golf and Country Club.  He was attending Ryerson for his degree in Tourism and Hospitality and when I went to visit him for the first time, he was living the life of a poor out of town student-“borrowing”  toilet paper from the pub and filling his grocery shelves with yellow generic labelled food.   I on the other hand was already working as Marketing Director for a local restaurant so I had some cash.  But because we have always tried to do more with less, we even spent that money wisely.  So instead of dining out…we picnicked!

On a bench in Nice (France)

On a bench in Nice (France)

D lived in residence next door to the Eaton Centre and at one time Eaton’s was THE place for gourmet food offerings.  We prided ourselves in being very adventurous in those days, even though our selections are now purchased during our monthly shops.  We would buy little tastes of dolmades, cottage pate, spicy olives, pickled herring (now we always choose Elman’s), smoked mussels and oysters, creamy Havarti cheese and crisp red grapes.  Then we would go across the mall to the LCBO and select a Alsatian white wine.  Each bite was savoured and we dreamed that one day we would have a six babies (we settled on 3) and travel (we have) and cook together (we do) and grow old together in rocking chairs on the front porch.  So dreams do come true (except that we’re not quite at the rocking chair part)!

Over the years we have modified the picnics to take the kids when they were little to Assiniboine Park and roll and wrestle on the riverbank and then walk across the bridge to Sargent Sundae.Lester Beach 2007 064 We also love having love happy hour on the beach with cocktails and appetizers.  We also have an end of summer cook which is a much loved tradition.

When we were travelling in Europe this September some of our favourite meals were our picnics.

So even if you can’t spread a blanket on the lawn, shop for a picnic supper.  Take little bites, savour and dream.


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