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Pick a basket of picnic favorites

Celebrate the season with a picnic lunch on a warm, relaxing weekend

June 28, 2019
By Jean Teller - GRIT Magazine , Farm News


GRIT Magazine

Early summer brings warmer temperatures, vacations, family get-togethers, church potlucks, camping trips, and picnic plans, among other pastimes.

Article Photos

-GRIT?Magazine photo by Lori Dunn

Barbecued Baked Beans make a perfect side dish for any picnic.

Many a cookbook holds a treasure trove of picnic favorites, and Grit's recipe archive is no different. It didn't take long to discover a delicious shredded pork recipe, perfect for sandwiches, or a tangy barbecue sauce for your next outdoor party. And what picnic would be worth its weight without a pile of finger-lickin'-good fried chicken?

Don't forget the side dishes: creamy or vinegary potato salad, molded macaroni salad, sweet baked beans, and zesty coleslaw. And for dessert, we offer a few cookie recipes you just have to try.

Enjoy the company, Mother Nature, and the food, and don't forget to take along a blanket and a fishing pole!

Honey bbq shredded pork

1 pork shoulder, picnic roast (fat removed), or 3 to 4 pounds turkey legs

1 1/4 cups ketchup

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup honey (we suggest dark honey)

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 to 10 crusty rolls or flour tortillas

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

In 9-by-13-inch pan, combine all ingredients except rolls. Cover with foil and roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender.

Shred meat using two forks, removing all bones and skin. Stir shredded meat back into sauce in pan. Serve on crusty rolls or in warmed flour tortillas. Yields 8 to 10 servings.

Southern barbecue sauce

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

1 large onion, diced

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

In saucepan, combine vinegar, water, brown sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

Add lemon juice, onion, butter, and ketchup; bring to a boil, and boil for 20 minutes, uncovered. Add Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke; pour into a bottle and cover tightly.

To use: Put on meat for at least 1 hour of cook time, basting and turning meat often.

Best ever barbecue sauce

1/3 cup salad oil

1/3 cup melted margarine

1/3 cup vinegar

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons hot sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground oregano

1/8 teaspoon chili powder, optional

In saucepan, combine oil, margarine, vinegar, orange juice, and ketchup. Add remaining ingredients; stir well.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Yields 2 1/2 cups.

Perfect fried chicken

1 broiler-fryer, cut into serving pieces

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cooking oil or lard

Rinse chicken pieces with cool water; set aside.

In plastic or paper bag, mix flour with salt and pepper. Drop 2 to 3 pieces of chicken at a time into bag with flour mixture; shake to coat well.

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat, or until drop of water sizzles when added (425 degrees if using electric skillet). Place chicken, skin-side down, in pan. Cook and turn pieces to brown evenly on all sides. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until juices run clear and meat is tender, about 30 minutes, or until fork can be inserted into chicken with ease. Drain on paper towels. Yields 6 servings.

For extra-crispy chicken, dip each chicken piece in buttermilk, evaporated milk, or slightly beaten egg mixed with milk before coating with seasoned flour. Fine, dry bread crumbs, pancake mix, or cracker crumbs also may be used.

For picnics, cool chicken completely in refrigerator before event.

Note: To vary recipe, add 1 teaspoon paprika to flour mixture; or 1 teaspoon each dry mustard and thyme; or teaspoon dried leaf thyme, tarragon, basil, or poultry seasoning.

German potato salad

2 pounds red or waxy potatoes

4 slices bacon

1 small onion, diced

1 cup chopped celery

1 dill pickle, chopped, optional

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dry mustard, optional

Salt and pepper, to taste

In large pot, place potatoes and enough salt water to cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain, peel, and slice. Place still-warm potatoes in bowl.

In skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, then crumble and add to potatoes. Discard all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat from skillet; add onion, celery, and pickle. Cook until golden. Add water, vinegar, sugar, paprika, mustard, salt, and pepper; bring just to a boil.

Pour dressing over potatoes and toss gently to coat. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Cover and refrigerate leftovers.

Note: You may use cider vinegar and omit the pickle. The salad is good both warm and cold.

Picnic potato salad

6 large potatoes, cooked and cubed

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

3/ cup chopped dill pickles

3/4 cup sliced radishes

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine potatoes, eggs, pickles, radishes, green onions, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise and lemon juice until thoroughly blended (mixture will be moist).

Chill for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend and mellow.

Sweet potato salad

3 pounds sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and cubed

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, optional

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise, regular or light

1/3 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, onion, green pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir in mayonnaise and hot pepper sauce, mixing well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Yields 10 servings.

Macaroni salad

2 cups uncooked macaroni

4 sweet pickles, chopped

3 onions, finely chopped

2 boiled eggs, chopped

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon salt

Pepper, to taste

Cook macaroni in salted water until tender; drain well and allow to cool.

Mix together macaroni, pickles, onions, eggs, and mayonnaise; season with salt and pepper.

Place salad in jar and chill thoroughly. When packing for your picnic, wrap jar in damp cloth and brown paper.

Note: For variation, add chopped olives, sweet green pepper, and tomatoes.

Barbecued baked beans

2 cups dry navy or pea beans

6 cups tomato juice, divided

1/2 pound salt pork

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

3 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon red or cider vinegar, optional

Wash beans and soak overnight in 5 cups tomato juice.

Simmer beans and juice, covered, over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are tender. Do not boil.

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Turn beans into 2-quart bean pot or baking dish. Wash and score salt pork by cutting slashes 1/2 inch apart just to the rim; press into top of beans. Mix remaining tomato juice with brown sugar, mustard, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Pour over beans. Cover and bake for 2 hours.

Remove cover. Stir in salt and vinegar. Lift salt pork to return to top of beans. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until beans are brown, but not burnt. Yields about 10 servings.

Note: The 5 cups tomato juice can be replaced with 5 cups water to soak the beans overnight. This will make beans taste less acidic and more like regular baked beans.

KFC-style coleslaw

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

8 cups finely chopped cabbage

1/4 cup finely shredded carrot

In bowl, combine sugar, salt, pepper, milk, mayonnaise, buttermilk, vinegar, and lemon juice. Beat until smooth. Add cabbage and carrot. Mix well.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Big oatmeal cookies

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups oatmeal

3/4 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup honey

1/2 cup cooking oil

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon hot water

1 cup raisins

3/4 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease cookie sheet; set aside.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients. Stir in honey, oil, egg, and water. Add raisins and nuts.

Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, or until brown. Yields about 3 dozen large cookies.

Chocolate chip

pudding cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 package (4-serving size) vanilla instant pudding mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In bowl, combine flour and baking soda.

In large bowl, combine butter, sugars, pudding mix, and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture; stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Batter will be stiff.

Drop batter by the teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Yields 7 dozen cookies.

Excerpted from Grit. To read more articles from Grit, please visit, or call 800-456-6018. Copyright 2019 by Ogden Publications Inc.



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