Thursday, July 7, 2011

Paper plate picnics are for parasites

Grab your bonnet honey, we are going on a picnic!I was reading this silly thing on the internet about famous picnics in literature and I suddenly got an unsurpressable urge to have a picnic. What better day than July 4th? My friend Gravy was coming to town that day to hang out, so I decided to drag him along. The weather has been hot and humid so I wanted something that would be cold and refreshing, but not too simplistic like macaroni salad and veggie burgers. At the farmer's market on Sunday the stalls seemed to be overflowing with zucchinis of all shapes and sizes, so I grabbed some greens and yellows and started a mental meal planner. Cold, seared zucchini with cucumbers, shredded carrots and white bean hummus. Perfect.

Monday finally came and I headed to the kitchen to start my plans when I realized that the perfect companion to this meal would be pita bread. Being on a no-trash diet means making everything from scratch, and I was out of yeast. The health food store in town pre-bags all of their bulk yeast, so I have to make special arrangements to fill up my own jar, which doesn't work for last-minute plans. I also realized that chocolate milk would be needed. Obviously. As usual, my quick projects turned into huge and frantic undertakings.

Rice milk takes about three hours to make and a big pot, which I didn't own. I decided to finally use that money the parents sent me as a house warming gift and bopped over to the local kitchen store to buy a nice stainless steel stewing pot. Then I scurried over to a friend's house to snag a few teaspoons of yeast. 1:30pm and I hadn't even started yet! The pita would need time to rise as well! At least the white beans were done though.

Gravy got to my place a little after 2pm and I put him to work shredding carrots while I cooked the zucchini. When the rice was done cooking I put him in charge of straining, and he promptly spilled a bunch of it all over my pristine kitchen. Taking deep breaths is the key to sharing a kitchen. Luckily he brought his dog who took care of anything that managed to make it to the ground. Hummus in the food processor, cocoa in the rice milk, zucchini in the fridge, pitas on the counter cooling and all at once the food was together in time for picnic supper. A July 4th miracle!

Everything got packed in reusable containers. I took two normal, totally breakable and oh-man-I-have-to-wash-these-when-we're-done plates and forgot the spoon for serving (good thing I remembered a cloth napkin when our fingers had to be used instead). Everything got carefully packed into two fabric bags along with a blanket and some hippy-dippy bug spray. Presto! Delicious trash-free picnic!

Along comes another multi-part post of recipes; White bean hummus, zucchini salad, and chocolate-mint rice milk. I won't be posting the pita recipe because it wasn't mine and it didn't turn out as I had planned. Mine were a semi-failure and Gravy laughed at my dismay. Jerk. If anyone has any good pita bread recipes to share, please do!

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