Picnics may not be the first things that come to mind during the winter months, but we would argue that you can have a picnic at any time of the year! Even now, when green, growing things seem scarce, there is still food all around us that we may not notice.
Many people in previous generations knew how to use every last bit of the foods they had – especially in winter when food may have been scarce. Today, we may tend to overlook or even throw away some nutritious and tasty foods! Our goal over the next couple months is to delve into this mindset of winter scarcity and what culinary delights we may be missing out on by throwing them away or walking past them. We’ll delve into a few of our favorite ways to reduce food waste and increase winter’s bounty!
Winter Foraging and Gardening
Reinventing Throw-Away Foods
UPDATE: See the posts in this series that follow below:
Get Wild in your Kitchen: Wild Winter Salads
Winter Gardening: A great time for lasagna
Update: Lasagna Gardening 101 Demo
Reinventing Citrus: Tale of Two Vins
The Queen of Wild Roots: Wild Carrot
Monthly Planting Guide: February in the Piedmont
12 Seed Starting Tips for the New or Experienced Gardener
Candied Citrus Peel: Vin Reincarnated
Tap That! Piedmont Picnic Taps a Maple Tree
Wild Winter Teas: Aka Scurvy Prevention Strategy
Peel, Pith, and Pips: Piedmont Picnic talks Marmalade
Monthly Planting Guide: March in the Piedmont
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We are happy to say that we had a great time this past Saturday at the Piedmont Picnic Project’s official launch picnic – Cocktails & Mayonnaise! Our guests braved the rain to get out there and smash ice, plunge mayo, and mix up drinks.
Because this party embodies so much of what the Piedmont Picnic Project is about, we are planning to use it as the inspiration for the next month of blog posts. What about this first picnic so resonates with what we hope to do here?
It’s participatory – We didn’t play bartender. Folks were involved in creating their own unique dishes and drinks. This empowers people to do the same thing at home and gets them interacting with each other.
It’s historical – We think history can be fun, and using it to inspire food and drink is one way we are going to try to prove it.
It’s local – We tried to keep ingredients as local as possible and use local history and flora to inspire our menu.
It’s sustainable – By keeping things local and bringing back traditional recipes we can be more sustainable. We also hope to show how using decorations and table settings full of reused and compostable items can actually make your event more unique and more cost effective.
It’s simple – Picnics are meant to be casual! We tried to focus on the experience, not the appearance and build an atmosphere that felt welcoming to all – not stuffy or exclusive. Our drinks and dishes are meant to be something someone could easily recreate at home.
During the month of August, we’ll unpack each item from our first picnic one by one and go over why we chose them, what the historical background is for them, how you can grow, forage, or source their ingredients locally today, and how to make them into delicious dishes and drinks! You can look forward to the following:
- Fruit Cobbler Cocktail. Ice and Straws as the Wave of the Future – making countless variations
- Borage. History’s Prozac – how to grow it, muddle it, steep it, freeze it
- Mayonnaise. Cheap, Natural, and Traditional – how to make it, where to source it, what to do with it
- Wild Bergamot. A Revolutionary Tea – how to grow it, dry it, infuse it, drink it
- Wood Sorrel. Eat your Yard – where to forage it, how to use it
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