A Picnic for My Mother's Birthday

In the last few weeks we have celebrated Mother's Day, my mother's forthcoming retirement, -and today- my mother's birthday. My father, mother and brother drove out to the city to meet John and I and as soon as we walked outside it began to drizzle. We decided we would not be scared away and headed to the one park with a pavilion, just in case. The Osaka Garden on a small island behind The Museum of Science and Industry is a serene and beautiful place that is rarely crowded. We spread out a blanket on the grass, nearby the pavilion and looking out on the water, and spread out our goods:

A seeded baguette and a plain baguette from the Medici Bakery
Crackers
Brie cheese
Vermont Cheddar cheese
Olives
Pasta salad that my mother brought
White and red wines
Fage Greek yogurt
and . . .

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A fruit salad inspired by one John made a few months ago. Chop up any fresh fruits (we used pear, granny smith apple, mango, kiwi, strawberry, and peach) and pour over them a mixture of 5 parts no pulp orange juice to 1 part rum with sugar to taste. We ran by our garden on the way to our picnic spot and grabbed some fresh mint to add. Ideally one should add the mint an hour or two ahead of time in order to allow the flavors to combine. This can be topped with yogurt if desired.

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I also made a salad of mixed greens topped with chopped black walnuts, sliced pears, and breaded goat cheese. I bought the goat cheese and molded it into pats about 1/4 in. thick and 1 in in diameter. I then coated the cheese with a mixture of bread crumbs, dried thyme, and a bit of salt and pepper. John made a lovely balsamic vinegar and oil dressing to finish it off.

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It was a great picnic and the two main dishes were very simple to make--and it didn't rain! Happy birthday mom!

Cheddar Biscuits

Crumpets