I’ve had a great summer of picnics this year! Haven’t gone on this many picnics in many years. I had forgotten how much fun and relaxed al fresco dining can be. This posting will feature my Labour Day Weekend Picnic but, first, a little trip down memory lane.
One of my favorite summertime memories involves a picnic. I was visiting a neighbour playmate and we were probably about 8 or 9 years old. We took a notion one hot summer day that we would have a picnic by the little stream across the road from my friend’s place. The two of us stood by the friend’s mother at the kitchen counter as she whipped up some gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, placed them in an old tin school lunchbox, filled a thermos with Kool-aid (anybody remember Kool-aid?), and sent us off on our big adventure to the picnic by the stream. Off we went across the little country road, down through the cow pasture to a little stream which, at its deepest point was probably all of 4″ or 5″ deep. We situated ourselves, had our picnic, and probably returned to the house all in the span of about 15 minutes, no doubt ready for another activity! Yet, we had been on a picnic adventure and made a memory. That was back in the days when kids played outside all day and found numerous ways to amuse themselves and none of them involved cell phones or computers.
I will admit my picnic adventures have progressed and become a bit more sophisticated. There are so many options for picnic foods, particularly when it comes to sandwiches – there are traditional sandwiches with any number of different kinds of breads as options, wraps, baguettes, different kinds of rolls, bagels, etc. For my picnic by the sea today, I have chosen croissants. They are tasty and have a nice, soft texture. Because I live near the water and close to a small fishing village that has a fresh seafood market open daily in the summer, lobster was a logical choice for a croissant filling. The late summer fishing season has opened in Victoria-by-the-Sea on the south shore of PEI so buying lobster at the seafood market means the lobster is really, really fresh. Take a look at this 1 1/2+ pound lobster that I took home with me to make the filling for the croissants!
I don’t really have a defined recipe for lobster filling for sandwiches or croissants. I chop the lobster meat into fairly large chunks as I like to see good-sized pieces of lobster in a lobster roll or croissant — no mashed-up or shredded pieces of lobster meat will do for me!
I add a bit of celery, some pepper, some fresh chopped chives, a splash of fresh lemon juice, and some homemade mayonnaise – just enough to hold the meat together and give it flavour. That’s it, nothing more as I don’t like anything that detracts from that rich lobster flavour.
I buttered the croissants, added a bed of fresh lettuce from our garden and then heaped on the lobster filling. Yes, it was very yummy!
A little closer look….
And, this is what I mean about wanting to see nice big pieces of lobster in the sandwich. Isn’t it mouthwatering and colorful!
Add some potato chips and picnic fare doesn’t get much better than this, particularly when the picnic location is beside the water. With something as special as lobster, the menu does not have to be extensive. Let the lobster star all on its own!
Croissants are so easy to handle and eat…particularly when filled with lobster
My August Cookie of the Month was the chocolate drop cookie. They were dessert.
I added some fresh fruit – this time, some green grapes – and the picnic basket was ready to go.
I always like to take along some props to dress up the picnic spread, regardless whether it is at a picnic table or on the ground as is the case here by the beach. It doesn’t matter whether I am in my dining room setting a formal table or outside, I like to think of setting the stage for a feast for the eye as well as for the stomach. A few props really can make an ordinary picnic a bit more special.
For my seaside picnic, all it took was a blue-checked cloth, a stylish matching wicker picnic basket, a lantern with a blue candle, and some seashells and starfish, to dress up the dining experience.
I love the patterns in the pink-red sandbars on PEI. Our Island beaches are extraordinary – on the south side, they tend to be more the pink-red color you see in the photo below while, on the north side, the sand is more of a soft pink color. This is definitely a dining room with a water view!
However, the sky began to look somewhat ominous so we thought we had better hurry up and eat in case a rain shower came along and spoiled the picnic.
I hope you have enjoyed some of the scenes from our seaside picnic that featured PEI lobster. Enjoy your Labour Day weekend.
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