Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What Pairs Nicely with Sand?

Over the years I have probably packed hundreds of beach picnics. During that time, I have discovered what pairs nicely with sand.

Our meals have evolved as the kids were less likely to drop whatever I handed them right into the sand or come charging up to the picnic basket spraying everything with sand. It used to be just a stack of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, which were easy to tear apart and refresh if the seam of PB & J hit the sand.

Watermelon was always a popular choice, but if a piece of melon was dropped…it was toast. Grapes, on the other hand, could be cleaned off with a water bottle! Potato chips always tasted good, even if they had a little extra crunch.

As the kids have grown up, we have changed the way we go to the beach. The big girls don’t necessarily like to come with us anymore since their peers are a lot more appealing than their parents. On a typical Saturday in the summer, at least one of my boys will have a morning baseball practice and that just ruins the early start to the day in terms of beating the crowds. Plus, that puts us at the beach all day in the heat of the day.

We now leave around 2pm for the beach and stay through dinner and that has changed my picnic basket considerably as well.

On Saturday evening, we had some chipotle hummus with carrots and celery as a starter, followed by a pineapple salsa with tortilla chips. We had a selection of ham & cheese or turkey & cheese on rolls (Udi’s Hamburger buns for the GFree crowd). We had a tub of pub cheese and rice crackers, which is everyone’s favorite cracker for spreadable cheese. We had olives and almonds for little nibbles. I also brought potato salad, which was overkill because as we worked our way through most of the appetizers over the course of the afternoon into evening, no one was really hungry for potato salad.

The kids had lemonade or soda and we had a nice, light, summery rose. The only thing that got sand in it was my Solo cup with the wine in it! I was the klutz who dropped it in the sand, not any of my kids!

No matter what, a beach meal always has just a little extra crunch. No worries, a common sense judgment would say that sand is gluten free.

Kendall Egan

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