Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Solstice Picnic

Hi out there! I hope everyone enjoyed the Solstice yesterday and (if you're in the northern hemisphere) are looking forward to the summer season. I know I am...among other things, I can't wait for local summer fruits and berries to start popping up in the markets.

Yesterday couldn't have been a more perfect day for the first day of summer around here: 78 degrees, sunny, blue sky and puffy clouds. Originally, split pea soup was on the menu for dinner last night, but as I was out for a ride on my bike,  it struck me that spilt pea soup seemed incongruous with the summery nature of the day. Instead we decided to pack a picnic...and although the pics might lead you think that we ended up on a sail boat...alas no, we headed to a nearby park that overlooks the city...lovely just the same.

Sail boats, and boaters in general, were out in full force enjoying the evening breeze, lots and lots of other picnickers too.

I didn't have a lot of time to get the food together so I just made a quick salad of bulgur wheat with parsley, red onion, cucumber and tomato, dressed with lemon juice, black pepper and olive oil. I also tossed some cherry tomatoes with fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper, boiled some corn on the cob, and to round it all off, picked up some falafel at Whole Foods. With some olives, lemon-tahini sauce, and lemon wedges it was a perfect picnic affair. I also made some garlic crostini (not pictured) and of course we had a bottle of wine.

Oh, and we had a fruit salad, blueberries, Maui Gold pineapple, and a few strawberries from the garden:

Those Maui Golds are the best...if you run across some, I recommend giving them a try. I snap them up regularly when they're in the markets around here.

We stayed until sundown...

... and well past:

Happy Summer!


  1. Beautiful! The food and the setting. You pack a mean pic-a-nic basket, Yogi!


  2. What a beautiful view for a picnic, and I'm so jealous of your weather!

    I love the gold pineapple. I used to be a produce inspector & loved cutting them open to taste them. Lucky for me that they came in a lot! :)

  3. Rose -- what a fine day to be near the water. I did not realize you lived so close to a major body of water. I lived in the Corvallis, Oregon area and enjoyed driving to the coast for some relaxation on the beach along with the mesmerizing view of the rolling waves.

    Both salads look delicious. Liked the looks of that bulger-wheat salad.

    --- barbara

  4. That is perfect picnic food - much more fitting than split-pea soup! What a great view, too. Even your picnic food photos look perfect. Happy summer!

  5. You did a much better job of celebrating summer than I did! A picnic is such a great idea, and the view looks wonderful.
    Corn on the cob is essential for summer and the fruit salad sounds delicious!
    Happy Solstice to you too!

  6. You didn't have a lot of time to get dinner together?! I think I would have slaved all day to create such a delicious looking meal! :)

    Beautiful pictures. Being in Arkansas, it's hard to believe summer has JUST NOW started. Yeek.

  7. Beautiful setting, and picnic! And I love the plates :-)

  8. Great city pictures! And your meal looks so fresh and delicious. Sounds like a perfect day.

  9. Georgia took the words right out of my mouth (or right off my fingertips, since I'm typing them!) :-) Sounds like a perfect day indeed, from beginning to end! That weather sounds absolutely ideal. Don't you wish you could bottle up days like that and uncork them later as needed?

    BW is, of course, beside himself with glee over your sailboat photos! (Though he did point out that the jib on the blue-hulled sailboat in the first photo is luffing a bit, but we can just ignore him, LOL) Makes me wish I were out there too, sailing in the gentle breezes under the blue skies. Or better yet, on the hillside overlooking it with you and John, rooting through your picnic basket while you were distracted taking pictures of the pretty scenery! (Mmmwwaahahahaha!) What a picture-perfect place to have a picnic! I especially love your sundown and twilight photos at the end. So lovely and tranquil!

    No surprise, your picnic lunch looks delicious, colorful, healthy and irresistible! And who but you would have plates that actually say "picnic" on them? Even your "props" are perfect! :-)

    You guys deserved a wonderful, relaxing day like that - I'm so glad you were able to usher in official summer in such a delightful way! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  10. Rose, you're back! I'm glad to see another post — and such a beauty, too. When I saw the word "solstice" in your header I half expected to see nude bicyclists from the Fremont Parade instead of idyllic boat scenes and gorgeous picnic food. :) I agree with Jenny that the dinner you prepared doesn't look like a quickly thrown together meal, but a carefully planned and executed repast.

    It's nice to see the sun shining on Seattle!

  11. Beautiful pictures and yummy looking food! Sounds looks like you had the perfect picnic day! If we had somewhere like that to picnic, I would be picnicing all the time! Sounds like perfect weather too. I think spring was the beginning of our summer here in the south. It's been in the 90's for the last few weeks, but I'm not complaing. It's much better than winter! Happy Summer to you too!

  12. Roxanne:

    Yogi bear was one of my favs! "Hey, hey, Boo Boo, looks like a great day for a pic-a-nic!" It was! LOL :)


    Produce inspector sounds like a great job...especially when it involves sampling delicious pineapples and other fruits...I'd love to hear more about that. Oh, and don't be jealous of the weather...we had that one lovely it's back to our usual "June-uary" temps and clouds! :D I don't mind it, but it is a little disappointing for folks who are used to sunny, warm summers.


    Corvallis area is lovely, and I love the Oregon coast too! I'm especially fond of southern OR...Medford/Ashland area. We have lots of water around here in the Puget Sound's easy to take for granted, but when I think about it, it really does add a lovely dimension to a place to be surrounded by lakes and bays.


    Split pea soup...what was I thinking. It is decidedly un-solsticey! :)


    I agree, corn on the cob and summer fruits are quintessential summertime treats! The corn and berries aren't local yet around here...and needless to say that the pineapple isn't :D, but I'm looking forward to local summer fruits and produce...this time of year is a bonanza! Happy Summer to you too.

  13. Jenny:

    Yeah, I imagine you've been enjoying summer weather for quite a few weeks if not months in Arkansas! Being used to that, you'd probably freeze in the summers here! :)

    As for slaving away all day...I've seen the awesome lunch boxes you make for your kids: extrapolating from that, I'd wager you're a picnic packing expert! :)

    Thanks Vegan Georgia! :)

  14. Laurie:

    I was so totally thinking about you guys while watching all those sail boats! When you guys have one of your own, I don't know whether the Pacific Northwest would be in your itinerary, but I can imagine you two and the three girls sailing on by as we watched from the hillside! And you'd certainly be welcome to root through our pic-a-nic basket...though truth be told, it's more of a picnic backpack!

    Ah, leave it to BW to catch the luffing! The shame, the shame! LOL... I'm sure on your boat...luffing will be unknown! Indeed, luffing jibs, what's the world coming to? Seriously though, you two are going to make great captains of the sea someday.

    Oh, and I love your idea about corking the nice weather for later.



    Unfortunately, we didn't make the solstice parade, but the lovely weather on the day more than made up for that...yes, it was a real summer day in was fleeting though. I'm sure you're enjoying more summery temps in Wisconsin. :D


    I like the idea of picnicking all the time! :D Well, if the weather were always as nice anyway. Oh, you have lovely warm summers down there..."real" summers! Around here, nice weather is sporadic. I'm looking forward to more garden updates from you with all that lovely warm weather and sun, I'm sure your garden is doing well!

  15. That's such fun that watching those sailboats out in the pretty harbor made you think of us! That's going to really tickle BW. :-) I love the scene in your imagination, it sounds terrific! Including rooting through your pic-a-nic backpack! :-)

    Boy howdy, don't you know it? When the jibs are luffing it's time to throw in the towel. LOL I'm sure on our boat, multiple sails will be luffing merrily on a daily basis, and it will most assuredly be entirely my landlubber fault. We'll have to name our boat "Sir Luffsalot" or something. You're too kind to place so much confidence in my future ability as a sailor, as I picture myself less as a "great captain of the sea" and more as a Gilligan! :-)

    Yes, weather corking, why can't we? Seems only fair! We could uncork rainy days when it's too dry, and dry days when it's too wet, and warm days when it's cold... sounds like a lovely idea to me!

  16. Tabouli/Tabbouleh/Tabouleh.

    One bottle of wine for two people for the whole afternoon? We talking 1.5 litres here?

    Growing your own Strawberries is very impressive. I don't think I'd mix them with anonymously grown fruit.

  17. Sir Luffsalot! lol...I'm sure if I had anything to do with it jibs would be luffing all around! I just have the feeling that running a sailboat wouldn't be something I'm good it's Gilligan status for you and me both!

    I lurve Gilligan btw: I had a huge crush on him when I was was pretty much my favorite show, outside of Scooby Doo. :D...And that age-old question...MaryAnne and Gilligan would have so been the perfect couple...Ginger was definitely a better match with the Skipper...and the Professor... I guess he's out of luck!

  18. Shen:

    Yes, you got it! I made tabouleh...I'm partial to the "eh" endings! I don't know why I didn't say that I simply made tabouleh...but whatever...obviously should have had more wine! Believe me, next time we'll be better prepared in that department.

    ...anonymously grown fruit...tsk,'re right, I'll have to pay better attention to that in future too! :D

  19. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाJune 29, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    Lovely photos :)

  20. Beautiful pic's of the bay. I went to Summer solstice on Sat. fun times! Your food looks so fresh and delicious...gorgeous tomatoes!

  21. Sorry this comment is so late! We've had some lovely weather, too (now, sadly, over) and I've been in the garden or at the seaside (with a picnic!)

    What a gorgeous day you had! Your photos are great and I can just imagine myself there. And your picnic looks SO delicious! A picnic by the water is my favourite holiday activity! Glad you had such a good day!

  22. Guari, JoLynn, and Penny:

    Thanks for stopping by!! I've been out of touch with the blogs lately, but hope to get back into it soon...I hope you're all having a wonderful summer/month of July.


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