Picnic Recipes and Games

Spring Picnic Recipes

As the snow melts and the flowers begin to bloom, an afternoon picnic is the ideal way to welcome in the season of spring. With an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables, an uncomplicated meal can be prepared for an outdoor celebration in a park or on the beach.

Artichokes are delicious and widely available in the early months of spring, and they are perfect for a picnic when chilled and served with a sour cream ham dip. The dip is also scrumptious with another spring vegetable, asparagus. Simply boil and chill the stems until they are just tender but still slightly crunchy.

There is no need to make an elaborate main course for your picnic meal. The chilled artichokes and asparagus will be absolutely delightful with a rotisserie chicken. Most grocery stores sell them cooked and packaged ready for a picnic.

An orange ambrosia salad is a simple way to take advantage of spring fruit. The salad can be prepared in little time and can be made up to two days ahead of the picnic.

Chilled Artichokes With Sour Cream Ham Dip
Makes 4 Servings

4 medium to large artichokes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sour cream
cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced onion
teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, chopped
teaspoon salt
1 package (4 ounces) sliced cooked ham, chopped

In a 5 to 6 quart stockpot, place 3 to 4 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bring to a boil. Using a sharp knife, cut off top 1/3 of artichoke. Trim stems and remove coarse outer leaves. Cut off thorny tips of remaining leaves, and place artichokes in stockpot. Cover and cook for 35 to 45 minutes. When stems are tender, drain artichokes. Let cool slightly and pull out center leaves. Using a spoon, scrape out thistle-like centers. Cool, wrap, and refrigerate artichokes for 1 hour or until the next day.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, Worcestershire, garlic, salt, and ham. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour. To serve, place artichokes on plates with dip.

Orange Ambrosia Salad
Makes 4 Servings

2 large oranges
1 large banana
1 cup red grapes
2 teaspoons lemon juice
cup sugar
cup flaked coconut

Peel and segment oranges and place in a bowl. Peel banana and cut into -inch thick slices. Add to bowl along with grapes and lemon juice. Toss and sprinkle with sugar and coconut. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

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