Staycation Picnic for $17

And there's more where that came from, under $17

Memorial Day is about to happen. A little late to make reservations, and getting stuck in traffic to stay with out-of town friends and family isn't always 3 day weekend worthy. Staying where you are, smell the roses, and pack a little picnic to make the day exceptional. A menu of sweet, salty, decadent, and savory in small amounts adds up to a picnic basket-o-joy to suit everyone. Not quite a full meal, and light enough to graze on all afternoon. Forget the forks, picnics are for fingers.

Picnic Menu for 8 under $17

-- Big French Ham and Cheese Baguette --
---------- Salt and Pepper Popcorn ----------
------ White Bean Dip and Vegetables ------
-------- Super Sweet Strawberries -----------
--------------- Fizzy Lemonade ---------------

Shopping List
1 baguette ($2.50)
1/2 lb sliced deli ham ($4.25)
1/4 lb sliced swiss cheese ($2.50)
1/4 lb popcorn kernels (@ 1lb for $1.29)
1 can of white beans ($1.09)
1 lb carrots (2 lb for $1.00)
1 cucumber (1 @ 3 for $1.00)
1 qt strawberries ($2.50)
2 qts worth of lemonade mix ($1.00)
1 qt seltzer water (1 @ 2 for $1.00)
2 lemons (2 @ 4 for $1.00)
total: $16.96

Groceries lightly manipulated into picnic bliss

Pantry items

2-3 tblsp butter, room temp
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt & pepper
2 tblsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp brown sugar

Directions and Planning

For the Big French Ham and Cheese Baguette: split open baguette with a serrated knife. Spread room temperature butter on both sides. Layer with cheese and meat, cutting slices in half if necessary to fit. Leave whole, pack that serrated knife with you and cut outdoors.

Tip: Use rubberbands to keep your sandwich together while transporting

For the Salt and Pepper Popcorn: Heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add popcorn, cover and let sit for 6-10 minutes until popped. Shake in a bag with salt and pepper to taste.

For the White Bean Dip and Vegetables: Drain white beans and add to a food processor with 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch of cayenne, and the juice of 1 lemon. Turn food processor on and add 2 tblsp in a thin stream. Process until smooth. Stop and adjust for taste. Can be made the day before serving. Wash, peel and slice carrots and cucumbers (peeling optional) into long sticks. Serve next to dip.

For the Strawberries:
wash, hull and cut into manageable pieces. Toss with brown sugar and serve.

For the Fizzy Lemonade: Add lemonade mix to 2 qts water slice remaining lemon and add to lemonade. Its best to do this 3 hours or more in advance. Fill cups 1/3 full with seltzer water and top with lemonade. Garnishes with more slices.

Extras (aka what you ask your guests to bring)
Prosecco for the adults in place of the seltzer
Cheese, crackers, and salami
Bundle of grapes
Cookies or brownies
Potato chips or pretzels
Something fresh from the market!

Don't forget the frisbee.


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