Urban picnicking

by Brittany Grace

Thank you very much to all of you who came out to the Urban Picnic last Friday. We had a great time and were very happy so many of you tried us out!

We made:

– Greenleaf Farm watermelon, tomato, lime basil salad
(with jicama, cayenne pepper, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper)

We had never heard of lime basil before and found it after making a wild dash to the East Atlanta Village farmer’s market on Thursday night. Imagine that fresh, sweetly distinguishable scent of basil brightened by notes of refreshing lime. It has “perfect for summer salads” written all over it.

– Mom’s pimento cheese and H & F toast points

– Vietnamese style organic veggie wraps

– Pearson Farm peaches, cream, and local honey
(With Atlanta Fresh creme fraiche that we blended with Atlanta Fresh Greek yogurt)

– Sparkling local blueberry lemonade

With the help of our dear friend Robin and Brittany Grace’s mom (who came down from the hills of north Jaw-juh), we bought, washed, prepped and cooked almost everything in one 24 hour period. This was a lot of fun. And sweat.  The fun was probably encouraged by several bottles of Chardonnay and a few cans of watermelon wheat beer that helped take our minds away from the sweltering heat our bodies were feeling. But we learned a lot, and will be using those learning lessons to help improve our next Urban Picnic appearance at the end of this month.

Things we learned:
Making the perfect Vietnamese wrap takes patience and a diligent hand. Also, they will keep for longer than a few hours, so there is no need to wake up at the crack of dawn to roll 30 of them.

Pureeing 5 pints of blueberries and straining them can make a big fat mess, so wear an apron. And be ready for blueberry stains underneath your nails. Also note that when playing Mixologist, sometimes flavors need a few minutes to marry. Tasting a new drink creation after sweating in a un-air conditioned, 100 year old kitchen for 10 hours will likely just lead to a lot of “this may need more agave nectar. Or maybe a little less lemon juice. Actually, I’m really thirsty and really need straight up water! My taste buds are suffering from dehydration!”

People love peaches and cream. And here in the South, we looooove pimento cheese. It is important to note that toast points have to be cooked for a long time (like, an hour) on a low oven setting – about 200 degrees – and that placing these points in a brown paper bag is a good way to store them while preserving their freshness and crispiness.

So, we look forward to more experiments in the kitchen, and more tasty revelations as we figure out how to make this project work. Going to look at the truck soon and are currently applying to sell at a local farmer’s market (fingers crossed)…

Photos courtesy of Daniel Stabler